Poor Mattias Tedenby is still in hospital after being cut in face Friday at Adirondack. Docs want swelling to go down before releasing him.— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) February 21, 2013
Tedenby, who spent about two weeks with the Devils to start this season, suffered the injury Friday during an Albany Devils game. For more on his recovery, check out Fire & Ice’s post on it here.
Should the Devils enter the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes?
As we hit the end of the shortened NHL season’s first period, the word “trade” will quickly enter our vernacular.
For Devils fans — with Andrei Loktionov and Alex Ponikarovsky’s acquisitions– the trade word has already entered your lexicon. And though the trade deadline is still 45 days away, a blockbuster involving the Devils is not out of the question.
So here’s the question: should the Devils get in on the Jarome Iginla sweepstakes.
Jarome Iginla will likely be traded before the April 3 deadline. Will New Jersey get in the Iginla sweepstakes?
Are there more-pressing needs, in this observer’s opinion? Yes. New Jersey’s defense has been suspect, especially recently.
But logic tells you that Iginla will be moved this year. Calgary is wallowing away– presently in 12th place in the Western Conference with 13 points. Rumors insist Boston or Philadelphia are the front runners to land Calgary’s big, burly forward.
But if two or more Eastern Conference rivals are in talks to bring in Iginla, why wouldn’t New Jersey consider it? He’s a 35-year old power forward in the last year of a five-year, $35 million contract, making him a rental.
Ilya Kovalchuk could be moved back to his natural left-wing position, and Iginla could be a welcome addition to the top line with Zajac and Kovalchuk. That line’s gone through fits and starts while trying to replace Zach Parise.
An Iginla deal could take pressure off recently acquired Alex Ponikarovsky– he could be moved back to the fourth-line left wing slot, instead of playing on the top line. Plus, with Ryan Carter suffering an “upper-body injury” late in the second period Monday– those in attendance fear it was a concussion — and Mattias Tedenby’s struggles, New Jersey is devoid of forwards.
Maybe Stefan Matteau has the hands and ability to fulfill that top-line wing spot, but that’s an awful lot to ask for an 18-year old– especially on a team that has Stanley Cup aspirations.
Iginla has a no-movement clause, and Calgary is reportedly looking for a draft-pick and a prospect in return. The Devils are lacking draft picks, but they certainly are not lacking prospects. Tedenby could use a change of scenery, and Josefson could as well.
And for those of you thinking this move is “un-Lou-like,” I’ll remind you of Doug Gilmour in 1996-97.
Pat Pickens is a New Jersey native and lifelong Devils fan. Follow him on Twitter here.
The Devils demoted Mattias Tedenby to their AHL affiliate in Albany on Monday — a move not all that surprising given Tedenby’s limited minutes in recent games. The question now is who will replace him on the roster. Adam Henrique’s not quite back yet and in the end, he’ll likely take Stefan Matteau’s spot. Could it be Bobby Butler, who was one of the last players cut in training camp two weeks ago?
That sounds like it could be right wing Bobby Butler who gets the call after playing in tonight’s AHL All-Star Game in Providence.
Tedenby, who will turn 23 on Feb. 21, had no goals and one assist in the Devils’ first four games of the season.
“He’s trying so hard,” Lamoriello said. “He’s doing everything asked of him, but he’s trying so hard. He skates so fast. He’s just got to setttle down a little and go to Albany and have some success and get his game under control because he’s certainly a prospect. He’s still young. .. Teddy just has to keep the game simple, make the easy play, keep it simple. He wants to do well.”
Tedeny’s demotion makes sense. Like Lou says, the game seemed to be going too fast for him and while he wasn’t nearly as unreliable in his own end as he had been in the past, he still seemed a little out of place in the NHL. DeBoer gave him a chance to play on the first line Friday night, but that last all of one practice, one morning skate and less than one full period. If he can get his feet under him and slow the game down in Albany, he could be a valuable call-up for the Devils later in the season. As for his current replacement, Butler makes sense. He’s got top-six potential, which is something the Devils desperately need. He also has the ability to finish — something else they seriously lack.
That said, I’m guessing he’ll have an extremely short leash and I’m not sure he’ll stay for very long. After getting to skate on the top two lines at the start of camp, he skated on the fourth and “fifth” lines toward the end, signifying his likely demotion. For Butler’s skill set, he has to score goals to stick on the NHL and to do that he needs legit ice time. Unfortunately for the righty Butler, the Devils are pretty set at RW on the top two lines and DeBoer is a big believer in guys playing their natural wing so they face the play more often. I still think the best option is a free agent veteran like Petr Sykora, which allows you to maintain your depth on defense and add scoring up front. The Devils disagree, so I’ll be interested to see how DeBoer utilizes Butler, assuming he’s the one that gets the call.
After changing things up a bit for Thursday’s practice, the Devils apparently liked what they saw out there. At least to start, Mattias Tedenby will start on the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, while Dainius Zubrus slides down to second-line winger. Krys Barch will make his season debut, replacing Cam Janssen on the fourth line next to Stefan Matteau and Jacob Josefson.
Pete DeBoer changed things up Thursday morning, swapping Mattias Tedenby in for Dainius Zubrus on the top line at practice. It was Tedenby’s first stint with Zajac since spending some time there during training camp, but the timing was what caught my eye. Tedenby was, for all intents and purposes, benched for most of Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia after committing a stupid penalty early in the second period. Tedenby, a former first-round pick, obviously has an offensive skillset, but it’s his defensive mistakes and those mental lapses that have impeded his playing time thus far in his career.
So, after giving Tedenby some time on the top line Thursday, DeBoer was asked whether the speedy winger is a project or a real weapon for the Devils:
I think that’s the question. … I guess what I’m looking for is consistency in his game. Effort’s always there. You never get a B-level effort out of him, but you’re looking for that consistency at both ends of the rink where a coach trusts putting you on the ice on a regular basis.
There’s no disputing Tedenby’s positives. Even Ilya Kovalchuk was effusive in his praise of his teammate’s speed and shot, but those mental lapses are hard for a young player to kick. Just look at what’s happening across the river with Chris Kreider, who is in danger of being sent down to the AHL after last year’s playoff run. That said, I think what Tedenby brings to that top line (“Speed,” is the word he used) makes it worth giving the experiment a shot. We already know what Kovy and Zajac can do together, but adding a dynamic speed element could really help create space on the ice for them, plus help stretch out defenses. Even if they don’t do it against a Washington team that will likely be very aggressive and desperate tomorrow (more on that in a later post today), I’d expect them to give it a shot at some point this season. It’s too tantalizing of a proposition not to try.
UPDATE: Devils did some power play work at the end of practice today after a 1-for-9 start in the first two games under assistant coach Matt Shaw. I missed the line combos, but according to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Elias skated with Clarkson and Zajac on the top unit with Zidlicky and Kovy at the points. The second unit featured Zubrus, Bernier and Josefson with Greene and Tallinder on the points.
UPDATE2: DeBoer said he wasn’t sure if these lines will stick tomorrow. Said he planned to meet with his staff this afternoon and figure it out from there.
Anyone who watched Saturday’s game saw the chemistry on the Tedenby-Elias-Clarkson line. They were all over the ice and scored the second of the Devils’ two goals, which is saying something considering the only reason the trio is together is Adam Henrique’s injury. Pete DeBoer thinks it has a lot to do with the mentor-mentee relationship between Patrik Elias and Mattias Tedenby.
DeBoer likes how Elias has been active in speaking with linemate Mattias Tedenby during practices and games to try to help him the best he can.
“I think Patty’s taken Teddy under his wing, spent a lot of time with him,” DeBoer said. “He gives him a lot of feedback on a shift-to-shift basis and that’s invaluable. It’s one thing for a player to hear it from a coach. When you’re hearing it from a Hall of Fame player I think it’s another level of sinking in.”
This has to be music to any Devils’ fans ears. Tedenby wasn’t even a lock to make the team out of camp (although he was prohibitive favorite), but he played Saturday like we haven’t seen him really ever play a consistent basis in the NHL. It’s only one game, so fans have to keep their excitement in check, but the fact that Tedenby has taken to Elias is a very positive sign. Between Elias’ experience, knowledge and skill set, there might not be a better veteran for Tedenby to emulate. All that said, displaying chemistry and scoring goals against the Islanders and Flyers are two very different things, especially when Tedenby will likely be seeing a lot of Scott Hartnell tonight. Now that’s a matchup worth watching.
As we wait for Bobby Butler to clear waivers or be claimed by another team, the general expectation is Mattias Tedenby will be recalled to take his roster spot (UPDATE: Devils confirm he’ll be recalled at noon). Judging by the morning skate, he’ll take LW on the second line with Patrik Elias at C and David Clarkson at RW.