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Jaromir Jagr lifts Devils with record-tying goal against Kings

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By Michael Blinn

Jaromir Jagr is no stranger to big-time goals — the man has been a force in the NHL for over 1,400 games now — and at the age of 41, he continues to come through in the clutch.

On Thursday, the Czech right winger scored his third game-winning goal of the season, lifting the Devils in overtime for a 2-1 win in Los Angeles.

The goal itself, besides being the deciding marker, is notable for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it puts him in some familiar company in the record books:

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  • Published On Nov 22, 2013
  • Cory Schneider’s start for Devils to break Martin Brodeur’s 18-year streak

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    Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils will see his streak of opening night starts end

    Take a seat: Martin Brodeur says watching from the bench will help him get up to speed. (Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    It may not rank among the game’s most significant records, but Martin Brodeur’s remarkable string of starting 18 consecutive season openers for the New Jersey Devils is a singular achievement that may never be matched.

    It was expected to stretch to 19 tomorrow night when the Devils meet the Pittsburgh Penguins, but in a surprise move, the team announced today that Brodeur will be relegated to the bench with Cory Schneider getting the nod.

    Schneider’s opening start will be the first by a goalie other than Brodeur since Chris Terreri led the Devils to a 2-1 win over the Lightning on Oct. 6, 1993.

    Devils coach Peter DeBoer told reporters he wanted to give Brodeur an extra day of rest after the passing of his father, Denis, last week.

    GALLERY: Denis Brodeur’s classic hockey photos

    Brodeur took the news well, telling The Bergen Record, “I haven’t seen much action in the preseason, so it’s kind of nice to be able to get a game day and get on the ice and be on the bench and look at the speed of different things. I think that’s going to help me out for my game.”


  • Published On Oct 02, 2013
  • First look: Goalie Cory Schneider’s new New Jersey Devils mask

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    New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider's new mask

    Dave Gunnarsson’s design is decidedly old school with a twist. (Dave Gunnarsson via Instagram)

    By Allan Muir

    David Gunnarsson, one of the go-to artists for NHL netminders who are looking for a fresh design take, has released images of the first mask that Cory Schneider will wear as a member of the New Jersey Devils.

    “Me and Cory brainstormed a lot during summer,” Gunnarsson wrote on his Instagram page. “We wanted to create something new, a totally new style with the NJD artwork. Our plan was a design that works [from] all angles, and a so-called two-in-one design, a design that works both [from] a distance in the arena, and close up in the TV cameras.

    “At a first glimpse, it´s an old-school design, and when you come closer and closer a new dimension opens up and the design transforms into a new design in front of your eyes.”

    Not sure this one matches the greatness of Gunnarson’s Vancouver Millionaires design, but it’s not bad.

    What do you think?

    Meanwhile, here’s a look at the new lid for Joacim Eriksson, who will challenge Eddie Lack for Schneider’s old job out in Vancouver.

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  • Published On Sep 02, 2013
  • Devils sign RFA Adam Henrique to six-year, $24 million deal

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    Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils

    Adam Henrique cashed in nicely despite having a down season in 2013. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It took a lot longer than expected — you can blame the change in ownership for that — but the Devils finally have come to terms with restricted free agent forward Adam Henrique.

    The deal, according to Sportsnet’s Shawn McKenzie, is for six years and $24 million.

    That’s decent change for a guy who followed up a 51-point Calder Trophy-finalist season in 2011-12 with a bum campaign that saw him score just 11 goals and 16 points in 42 games. New Jersey was willing to write last season off as the result of an injury-induced slow start.

    On a team that doesn’t have a lot of talent down the middle, Henrique is being counted on to handle a heavy load this season. He doesn’t have the offensive upside to be a No. 1 center, but he could hold down the second-line job while scoring 60-65 points and chipping in with a strong defensive effort. If he can deliver on those expectations, this will be a fair deal for both sides.

    As well as Henrique made out, the real winners of this deal might be the Maple Leafs’ Nazem Kadri and the Rangers’ Derek Stepan.

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  • Published On Aug 26, 2013
  • Lou Lamoriello still boss of hockey as the Devils’ new owners take over

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    The new owners of the New Jersey Devils.

    The Devils’ new regime is smart enough to know a good hockey man when it sees one. (Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    There really was only the one pressing question today as financial wizards Josh Harris and David Blitzer (next to Gary Bettman in the photo above) officially took control of their latest distressed asset project: the New Jersey Devils:

    Who would they trust to call the shots?

    Harris and Blitzer have a history of coming in to troubled situations and restructuring the management, but they knew right away that they wanted Lou Lamoriello, the team’s current president/GM, to remain at the helm.

    “This team has stood for excellence and we don’t want to fiddle with excellence,” Blitzer said. “I would like to think that Lou would stay with this team for as long as he would like.

    “I was joking with Lou the other day, he’s got some special sauce.”

    Hmmm…that must be one of those insider terms you pick up while attending the Wharton School of Business.

    Whatever you want to call it, Lou’s seen plenty of success in New Jersey. The Devils have been his baby since 1987. He’s built teams that have won three Stanley Cups and two others that lost in the final, and he’s ushered more than a few players on the path to the Hall of Fame. He’s one of the most respected men in the league.

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  • Published On Aug 15, 2013
  • Report: Jaromir Jagr signs one-year deal with New Jersey Devils

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    Jaromir Jagr has reportedly signed with the New Jersey Devils

    Jaromir Jagr is hardly Ilya Kovalchuk, but he could prove to be useful for the Devils. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It’s been rumored for days. Now, it’s all but official: Jaromir Jagr is only one punch away from filling out his old Atlantic Division card. (All he needs now is to sign on with the Islanders.) The 41-year-old star has reportedly inked a one-year deal with the New Jersey Devils, delaying his retirement yet again.

    No surprise that it was the Devils who stepped up here. There weren’t many teams that had both the cap space and the need for Jagr.

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  • Published On Jul 22, 2013
  • Ilya Kovalchuk speaks out: “I’m sure I made the right decision.”

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    Ilya Kovalchuk signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    Ilya Kovalchuk signed a four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Just hours after signing a new four-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, Ilya Kovalchuk came clean Monday in the Russian publication Sovietsky Sport about why he left the NHL and what it means to him to be back home in Russia.

    “I have no regrets,” he said. “I’m sure I made the right decision.”

    He didn’t offer up any surprises while explaining why he bailed out on the final 12 years and $77 million of a contract he signed with the New Jersey Devils to head home, but he did offer some insights into his stunning career change.

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  • Published On Jul 15, 2013
  • Ilya Kovalchuk signs with SKA St. Petersburg of KHL, plans NHL return

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    Ilya Kovalchuk

    After retiring from the NHL, Ilya Kovalchuk signed a contract with SKA St. Petersburg. (Mike Stobe/NHL/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    It’s official: Ilya Kovalchuk has signed with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

    The league confirmed the deal is for four years and that Kovalchuk will wear No. 17 with the club.

    No financial terms were disclosed, but unconfirmed reports suggest he could make as much as $15 million per season.

    Not that he made the move for the money, of course.

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  • Published On Jul 15, 2013
  • Don Cherry on Ilya Kovalchuk: “He’s laughing all the way to the bank.”

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    Don Cherry spoke out about Ilya Kovalchuk leaving the NHL.

    Now hear this: Ilya Kovalchuk was Don Cherry’s kind of Russian player … to a point. (Leon T Switzer/ Icon SMI)

    By Allan Muir

    In the 24 hours since Ilya Kovalchuk dropped his “retirement” bombshell on the NHL, we’ve heard the reactions of everyone from basketball’s Metta World Peace to Kovalchuk’s own mother. But we haven’t heard from hockey’s eternal wellspring of hot sports opinions: Mr. Donald S. Cherry

    Until now.

    Hey, you didn’t think he was saving these thoughts for Blue, didja?

    Speaking to radio host Bryan Angus on Friday morning, Cherry seemed surprisingly subdued when the topic of Kovalchuk’s departure was raised.

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  • Published On Jul 12, 2013
  • Ilya Kovalchuk passes up chance at NHL history with early retirement

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    Ilya Kovalchuk could have been one of the NHL's greatest Russian players.

    Despite his hard, accurate shot and great touch, Ilya Kovalchuk led the NHL in goal-scoring only once. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    Before he stunned the hockey world with his abrupt retirement announcement on Thursday, Ilya Kovalchuk was on track to rank among the greatest Russian-born players in NHL history.

    Maybe the greatest.

    That won’t happen now. Not unless he decides that home cooking and same-day viewings of the Evening Urgant Show aren’t quite as satisfying as his homesick mind made them out to be. And even if he does have a change of heart, it would take the approval of all 30 teams before he’d be allowed back in the NHL.

    Don’t count on that happening.

    So instead we’re left to ponder the impact of career cut short. Not what might have been. What was.

    All things considered, he did pretty well for himself over 11 NHL seasons.

    Photo gallery: Ilya Kovalchuk’s NHL Career

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  • Published On Jul 12, 2013


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