ESPN has posted their power rankings for the week. After how well the Devils have been since the All Star break it should not surprise anyone that they have cracked the top 5 in the power rankings and 4th place in the East. The Devils offense has been phenomenal, scoring almost at will. ESPN points out at the Devils have not given up 3 goals in almost a month. The Devils can thank the strong play of their defense and Martin Brodeur returning to a form we have come to know from the future Hall of Famer.
ESPN has posted their weekly power rankings. In a week where the Devils looked like one of the hottest teams in the NHL they fell in the power rankings all thanks to their last two losses to the St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers. They had a lead in both losses and came up short. Just days before the Devils were playing extremely well against the Rangers and Flyers and Penguins. Last week they were ranked 8th now they are 10th. Give this a read.
The Bleacher Report has posted an article on 4 moves the Devils should make. Definitely give this a read. But here is my opinion of each move.
1. Keep Zach Parise- Well yes this is a 100% must for the Devils. If the Devils want to remain a competitive team in the future they are going to need Zach Parise. I believe at this point its a 50/50 shot for Parise. The only thing that bothers me is that the Devils have not started contract talks with Parise but maybe they are waiting until the end of the season to avoid distraction. But Parise makes everyone around him play better and he is a great leader. He should get paid what he wants and I think in a short time he will get a chance for his ring.
2. Cut Ties With Martin Brodeur- I think that cutting ties with Martin Brodeur will not really benefit the team in any way. His contract expires at the end of this season and has a cap hit of $5.2 million. I think that if the Devils can resign him to a $2-$2.5 million a year contract he will be a great asset to helping a younger goaltender come up from Albany along with getting some playing time. Brodeur won’t get that much more money if he tries to go anywhere else. I’d be shocked if he got a big contract someplace else.
3. Make A Push For Tuuka Rask- Yeah it would nice to see Tuuka Rask in net for the Devils but we aren’t playing NHL 12 here. Lets look at it from Boston’s perspective for a second and then we’ll see how feasible this is. Right now Boston has Tim Thomas who is 37 years old, whose contract expires at the end of next season. Thomas doesn’t have much more time, much like Brodeur. Also Tuuka Rask is one of the best goaltenders in the league, if you were Peter Chiarelli would you really trade your future goaltender? I think not.
4.Make An Offer For Alexander Semin- Now they say if Parise walks away, the Devils should make an offer to Semin but I don’t think Semin is anywhere near the player Parise is. Parise is very tough player to replace. Even though Semin has phenomenal skills and the stats to prove it, he is not the complete player Parise is. Semin is a good role guy but he isn’t THE guy.
The Hockey Buzz has posted a good look at some Devils prospects. They go over the play of goaltender Scott Wedgewood and winger Reid Boucher. Wedgewood stopped 35 of 36 shots against the Barrie Colts of the OHL. Boucher has 21 goals this season in the OHL. In the article they compare him to Phil Kessel. So there is a lot of potential for the up and coming Devils. Give it a read.
ESPN has posted their weekly power rankings. The Devils are ranked 14th despite losing two straight to the Bruins and Flyers. There is one more game for the Devils before the All Star break against the Sabres tomorrow. If the Devils can notch a victory against the Sabres and then rest going into the break there should be no reason why the Devils can’t come out of the break and make an even more serious playoff push to advance in the standings.
Puck Daddy has posted an article on the future of Martin Brodeur and his decision to retire or continue to play. Brodeur has said that he is still unsure if he is going to retire or not at the end of season when his contract with the Devils expire. Puck Daddy also looks at the potential goaltending possibilities for the Devils.
The Hockey News has posted a rumor roundup with features the impending free agency of Zach Parise. It says that Parise wants a good amount of money but overall wants to win a Stanley Cup. If the Devils want to have a shot at keeping Parise they are going to have to show this season now probably more than ever that they need to win now otherwise Parise will probably play for someone else next season. Definitely give this one a read.
In my opinion I think both parties will come to an agreement before the end of the season which may light a spark under the whole team knowing that their captain isn’t going anywhere. I think that with the young talent coming up the Devils’ system they will be able to convince Parise to stay and lead this team to a Stanley Cup. I’m sure he’d give a rather small hometown discount in signing in the $7 million range.
The Hockey News posted an article about what it would have to take for the Devils to resign their captain. The mention that in order for the Devils to have the availale cap space they are going to have to make some moves that may take the team out of contention for a Stanley Cup ring. Parise wants to play some where he has a chance of winning a ring and can also get a nice pay check.
Right now the Wild are a very hot team and if they continue to play well through out the season and make a good run in the playoffs it would not shock me to see Parise return to his home state of Minnesota. The Wild also have the money to sign him so there is more motivation for him to go back home.
Now you maybe thinking that the Devils might have to trade him away but if the Devils can make a run on their own they might be able to convince Parise to continue to play and give him the salary he wants. But if Lou gets word that Parise is going to be gone either way at the end of the season they only thing left to do is see who will give the Devils the best price for the rest of the season.
Personally, I think that with the Devils playing well recently and the first line clicking, if this continues I can see Parise staying in New Jersey. The Devils are his team where if he goes anywhere else that has a chance of winning he won’t be THE go to guy like he would be in New Jersey. Lets say Brodeur and Hedberg both don’t return and decide to bring up the tandem of Kinkaid and Frazee in net, the Devils will have the available cap space needed to resign Parise.
Give this article a read.
ESPN posted their weekly power rankings. Last week the Devils were ranked 23rd after a bad stretch of games but the Devils have really bounced back winning 6 of 7 games. The most important thing is that the top line of Parise-Henrique-Kovalchuk have been generating a lot of goals. Finally. Give it a read.
There is an article on Bleacher Report saying that the Devils must trade Martin Brodeur now. They say that it would be tough for the Devils to resign Brodeur after this season when his contract expires. It has been obviously especially lately that Brodeur has not been up to par.
But really think about it with Brodeur’s play this season do you really think any other team is going to want to trade for an aging goaltender for half a season? I don’t think so. With the injuries that Brodeur has encountered over the last couple seasons you have to figure that this is more than likely going to be his final season especially if there is going to be any work stoppage coming up this summer.
In the article they mention that if Brodeur does return next season it will only prevent the AHL prospects from getting some time in the NHL. If you recall I talked about those AHL prospects the other day. If you don’t remember you can find it here. I still think that Kinkaid and Frazee would be a good young tandem for the Devils next season. Give this a read.