Brian Rolston Announces Retirement

Brian Rolston had one of the NHL’s hardest shots in his 17-year career.

But goalies needn’t fear his laser any longer.

The 1991 Devils draft pick announced his retirement Tuesday.

Rolston played in 1,256 NHL games, winning a Stanley Cup in 1995 with the Devils. The Flint, Mich. native registered 130 of his 342 career goals in two tours in New Jersey.

Many of those tallies were scored using a bruising– sometimes literally– slap shot. Rolston also played in three Olympics, winning a silver medal with Team USA in 2002.

Rolston did not play in 2013 but finished his playing career with the Boston Bruins, with whom he also did two tours. Rolston also played stints in Minnesota, Colorado and an infamous 49-game tenure on Long Island.

Though Rolston was a third-line player, Martin Brodeur recalled how he aided New Jersey’s 1995 Stanley Cup-championship run.

He also was one of the few players you’ll ever see perfectly execute the slap-penalty shot

 

NEWS: Devils Do Not Win The Seth Jones Lottery

Fresh off the news earlier that the Devils would be keeping their first-round pick this year, tonight’s draft lottery proved a bit interesting as the No. 9 spot approached and the Devils’ name had not been picked yet. If they weren’t tabbed at No. 9, it means the Devils had the first pick and the right (likely) to select defenseman (and super-duper all-around guy) (oh and possible Jay-Z client) Seth Jones.

Alas, it was not to be. Wait, who won the lottery? No way. You’re kidding me. REALLY?!

OMFZG! Jones is going to back to where he learned to play hockey while his father, Popeye Jones, played in the same building with the Denver Nuggets?! I expect everyone in Denver (and at the NBC and NHL offices) to be wearing this shirt within hours.

Awesome

For full lottery results, click here.

On This Date: Brodeur Makes History with 552nd Win

Four years ago today, Martin Brodeur etched a place in NHL history with his 552nd win.

Four years ago today, Martin Brodeur etched a place in NHL history with his 552nd win.

Three Stanley Cups, four Vezina Trophies, five Jennings Trophies, plus a slew of awards and accomplishments have helped cement Martin Brodeur as one of the NHL’s all-time greatest goaltenders.

But four years ago today, Brodeur staked a claim to No. 1.

On St. Patrick’s Day 2009, Brodeur claimed his 552nd career victory– a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in front of a soldout crowd at Prudential Center.

Brodeur stopped 30 of 32 that night as he surpassed Patrick Roy for the most wins of any NHL goaltender of all time.

Though it was Brodeur’s night, Patrik Elias also surpassed a milestone on St. Patrick’s Day 2009. Elias’ assist on Brian Gionta’s

Patrik Elias celebrated St. Patrick's Day in style in 2009.

Patrik Elias celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style in 2009.

goal was his 702nd point, placing him first all time on the Devils scoring list.

When Elias was announced as the game’s No. 2 star, he skated onto the ice wearing a green fedora to celebrate “(his) day.”

Elias donned the fedora on St. Patrick’s Day 2010 as well, when he was the No. 1 star in the Devils’ 5-2 win over Pittsburgh. But 2009 started the trend.

There was a palpable buzz surrounding The Rock before the game. A “Guys Night Out” promotion– plus a perfect day and the possibility of history– all conspired for a rare midweek sellout against an interconference foe.

Brodeur’s record breaking was the veritable Christening of Prudential Center. The Rock was only 16-months old, and all the great Devils moments– including New Jersey’s three Cups– were celebrated at the Brendan Byrne-Continental Airlines Arena. The Rock was still looking for its signature Devils moment.

But after the Devils struck twice in the first seven minutes, the party was on. New Jersey never trailed, though Dustin Byfuglien’s goal at 17:57 of the third did make things interesting.

Brodeur’s famous save on Troy Brouwer sealed No. 552. His teammates mobbed him, and a post-game celebration ensued. Brodeur cut down the net, and took a lap as the arena chanted “Marty’s Better!”

It was the signature moment in an otherwise odd year for Brodeur and the Devils. When Marty went down Nov. 1, 2008, it appeared the season– and Brodeur’s chase for Roy’s record– would be lost. But Scott Clemmensen spearheaded New Jersey’s 2009 playoff push– winning 25 of 39 games started while Brodeur was sidelined with an elbow injury.

When Brodeur returned on Feb. 26 against the Colorado Avalanche, he was just eight wins from breaking Roy’s record. Brodeur won seven of his first eight starts. His 551st win, a 4-1 win in Montreal on Hockey Night in Canada, tied Roy’s record and set the stage for history on a Tuesday night in Newark.

The Devils finished the 2008-09 season with a 51-27-4 record, and their 106 points earned them the Atlantic Division championship and Eastern Conference No. 3 seed.

Brodeur authored perhaps his best performance in game five of New Jersey’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Carolina, when he stopped all 44 shots he faced in the Devils’ 1-0 win at Prudential Center.

Unfortunately, that was New Jersey’s final win of that season. You might remember the two goals Brodeur surrendered late in game seven that boosted Carolina to the 4-3 series win.

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins claimed the Stanley Cup that year, beating the Detroit Red Wings in seven games.

Buzz: Flames Take Ryan O’Reilly Plunge (UPDATE: Avs match)

Remember that whole “Should the Devils trade for Ryan O’Reilly” post? Yeah, well, looks like they won’t have the chance…

And the details of the offer:

Holy Desperation, Jay Feaster! $6.5 million next year? That’s just mean. Your move, Avs.

UPDATE: And just like that, the whole holdout saga finally ended and O’Reilly is staying in Denver (for now).

Buzz: Could Ryan O’Reilly Be In New Jersey’s Future?

Pat Pickens

Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly could be available for the right price.

Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly could be available for the right price.

Last week we discussed the possibility of Jarome Iginla coming east to the Garden State.

This week, especially in light of Pete DeBoer’s line mixups, perhaps we could foresee a new center in red, black and white?

If you follow Hockey Night in Canada’s “Hotstove” as closely as I do, you’re aware of the Ryan O’Reilly saga in Colorado.

O’Reilly’s situation is a lot like P.K. Subban’s was with Montreal. The player is unsigned but remains under the team’s control for the foreseeable future. Subban ended up signing a two-year deal with Montreal, ending his holdout on Jan. 28.

Yet, the O’Reilly saga drags on, and it is getting ugly. The father of the recently turned 22-year-old forward just typed a letter to the Denver Post spelling out his son’s demands and what he’s going through.

So where do the Devils fall in all this? New Jersey’s had trouble scoring — it ranks 20th averaging 2.53 goals per game. Much like talked about with Iginla, O’Reilly could potentially give New Jersey a shot in the arm offensively.

Plus, if DeBoer is serious about Adam Henrique and Andrei Loktionov playing with Ilya Kovalchuk, the Devils are missing a center somewhere. O’Reilly, is a two-way center who can score — think of a younger Jordan Staal. O’Reilly posted a career-high 55 points last season.

I’d bet that would even make Lou Lamoriello’s eyes light up.

Plus, Rich Chere reported Monday that it’s a possibility.

What’s the problem? Well, 22-year old top-2 centers with upside don’t come cheap. If you believe the rumors, Colorado’s asking for somewhere between a team’s first-born son or one arm and a leg for O’Reilly.

New Jersey is down to its No. 1 draft pick this year having already traded both its fifth- and seventh-round picks to get Loktionov and Alex Ponikarovsky, respectively. The Devils still must forfeit a No. 1 thanks to Kovalchuk’s “CBA-circumventing” deal either this year or next, so trading a No. 1 to get O’Reilly’s rights would leave the Devils without a No. 1 for two straight years.

Plus, a player? If Colorado would take Henrik Tallinder, good riddance. But I doubt the Avs would do that. In all likelihood, it’d have to be a Mattias Tedenby-type, a top-6 defenseman and a draft pick.

But I’ll leave it to you. Should New Jersey try to get in on Ryan O’Reilly?

Pat Pickens is a New Jersey native and lifelong Devils fan. Follow him on Twitter here.

Final: Devils 1 Avalanche 0

Scoring Summary:
First Period- None
Second Period- None
Third Period- None
Devils Win Shootout 2-0

Next Game: 3/17 vs Pittsburgh Penguins 1:00 pm.

Martin Brodeur Postgame:
“It’s kind of nice when Kovy gets in there and scores the first goal. It kind of goes into my hands to make a save and after that it’s a really good chance for us to win. It’s definitely nice to have that luxury of him scoring more often than not.”

Pete DeBoer Postgame:
“It’s a win. We found a way to win a game. I don’t compare this to the Philly game. We created opportunities to score tonight. It just didn’t go in.”

Team Stats:
Devils outdrew the Avalanche 24-19
Devils outshot the Avalanche 33-28
Devils went 0 for 1 on the power play.
Avalanche outhit the Devils 22-16

Player Stats:

Final: Wild 4 Devils 2

Scoring Summary:
First Period- Parise (7) and Heatley (7) and Brodziak (7) and Wellman (1) and Kovalchuk (6)
Second Period-  None
Third Period- Brodziak (8)

Next Game: 12/03 at Winnipeg Jets  7:00 pm.

Martin Brodeur Postgame:
“You can’t say you played well when you allow three goals in eight minutes or so. But when you look at the quality of the goals scored, it’s not like I was weak or anything. The puck doesn’t hit me.”

Peter DeBoer Postgame:
On Kovalchuk “I thought he was very good. You guys the see the mistake that ends up in the net, but him and Zach were the best players on either team tonight.”

Team Notes:
Wild outdrew the Devils 32-25
Devils outshot the Wild 31-16
Devils went 0 for 5 on the power play.
Devils outhit the Wild 22-15

Player Stats:

Final: Avalanche 6 Devils 1

Scoring Summary:
First Period-Hejduk (8) and Galiardi (2) and Hedja (3)
Second Period-  Kovalchuk (5)
Third Period- O’Reilly (3) and McClement (4) and Elliot (2)

Next Game: 12/02 at Minnesota Wild 8:00 pm.

Martin Brodeur Postgame:
“There is a reason you get killed like that. Everyone makes mental mistakes.”

Peter DeBoer Postgame:
“No excuses. We didn’t come to play.”

Team Notes:
Avalanche outdrew the Devils 29-16
Avalanche outshot the Devils 25-19
Devils went 0 for 4 on the power play.
Avalanche outhit the Devils 20-18

Player Stats: