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News Source: New York Post

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September 28, 2013
Time to marvel at Brodeur, while we can
There will be one more emotional sendoff, though even the grand goodbye that awaits Derek Jeter might not carry the emotional weight of Mariano Rivera’s remarkable Bronx farewell. But we have another special athlete who may very well be on his final tour and who deserves the love as much as his legendary brothers in pinstripes. Nobody has been here longer than Martin Brodeur, who first showed up in New Jersey in the spring of 1992 before returning to stay in the autumn of 1993, almost two years before Jeter and Rivera (and Andy Pettitte) became Yankees. Nobody has had a more distinguished career than Brodeur, who has played to a level of excellence over the past two decades achieved by few for even a single season, and nobody ever has been more identifiable with his team than this Devils’ goaltender. He is a Devil the way Mantle was a Yankee, the way Reed was a Knick, the way Gifford was a Giant and Seaver a Met, Namath a Jet, Potvin an Islander, Gilbert a Ranger. If he played in Manhattan, he would have a candy bar named after him. Across the Hudson, he has his name on the Stanley Cup three times and scrawled all over the NHL record book. You’ve got to be pretty darn special for a league’s governing body to create a rule in order to negate a strength. The NCAA instituted a no-dunk rule (later, of course, dunked itself) in the ’60s in order to cut the then-named Lew Alcindor down to size. The trapezoid on NHL rinks is an invention first contemplated in order to neutralize Brodeur’s puck-moving skills. This is a time of sadness for Brodeur, his family and friends as they mourn the passing of his father, Denis Brodeur. It was always a pleasure to interact with the elder Brodeur, the great sports photographer and goaltender on Canada’s 1952 Silver Medal winning Olympic Team, and it always was impossible to tell who was more proud of the other, the father or the son. Martin Brodeur, the French Canadian who became Marty Brodeur along the Turnpike to immortality, has not said this will be his final season. He may not know and he may not divulge his decision even when he makes it. And so we don’t know. We don’t know how many more chances we’re going to get to watch him, enjoy him and revel in this singular athlete who has played more years for the Devils than anyone else ever has played for any one of our teams. There will be no appreciation tour across the NHL’s landscape to mimic baseball’s unprecedented six-month recognition of Rivera. But it will be your loss if you fail to appreciate Brodeur, who plays as a 41-year-old with the same zeal and joy he did at half that age. We have become accustomed to having legends in our midst. Now we are becoming accustomed to bidding them farewell. Icons: They come and they go. We don’t know if this will be it for Brodeur, but we do know time is growing short and growing near, and there is no time like the present to pay homage to the kind of a sports landmark you get once in a lifetime. *** Mark the NHLPA as a co-conspirator in last week’s Sabres-Maple Leafs gong show in Toronto for its continued support of the small segment of sluggos in the population at the expense of the more skilled athletes whose roster spots they are claiming. What code? And how about the NHL fining Buffalo coach Ron Rolston for “team conduct and player selection” for sending John Scott onto the ice before the slow-footed enforcer jumped Phil Kessel? Honestly, where was the league on the issue of player selection when John Tortorella had Derek Dorsett, Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley, Steve Eminger and Roman Hamrlik on the ice as a five-man unit with the score tied 1-1 — but not for long — in last year’s elimination Game 5 in Boston? We only kid the ones we love. *** The Stampede’s second annual Kenny Cup will be played at 4:30 on Oct. 5 in Bridgeport prior to the AHL Sound Tigers’ opener against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Proceeds from the charity event go to research at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in the memory of Ken Dressler. *** Cory Schneider, meanwhile, who will be the Devils’ co-No. 1 with Brodeur, is the most important offseason acquisition in the NHL, and yes, that includes the Panthers’ signing of free agent Scott Gomez. PA executive director Don Fehr — you all remember him? — informed membership last week “to expect little or no return” on last season’s 16.26-percent escrow deduction. This means the players wound up with approximately 49 cents on the dollar for their work last season, already having lost a large chunk of dough to the 48-game season. So we received a press release about Proskauer-Rose’s role in the sale of the Panthers, and we can all rest easy knowing the new ownership will be the first to know the details of the next lockout.  
September 26, 2013
Brodeur missing Devils game to visit sick father
Goalie Martin Brodeur was supposed to start for the Devils in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Flyers at the Prudential Center in Newark, but instead the 41-year-old to-be Hall of Famer is off to Montreal to see his ailing father. “I’m OK,” Brodeur said after the morning skate. “I have to go to Montreal to see my father.” Brodeur has played just two periods this preseason, giving up four goals on 13 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Islanders back on Sept. 20. He is in the last year of his contract, and coach Pete DeBoer said that missing this start will be “no issue” concerning Brodeur’s readiness to start the season on Oct. 3 in Pittsburgh. Getting the start in place of Brodeur will be Cory Schneider, who has been outstanding this preseason in giving one goal (while the other team had six skaters on the ice) in almost eight full periods. “They told me yesterday chance I’d play today,” said Schneider, who was obtained in a draft-day trade with the Canucks. “I don’t think it was really part of the plan, but just something that come up here short notice.” Although Schneider has been outstanding, DeBoer said it hasn’t changed anything concerning his plan of how he is going to split up the starts once the regular season begins. “We knew what we were getting,” DeBoer said. “He’s come as advertised. I don’t think there is any surprise. He’s had an excellent preseason, but we knew we were getting a world-class goalie, so it hasn’t changed anything for me.” Backing up Schneider will be Keith Kinkaid, biding his time before being sent down to AHL Albany. * Jaromir Jagr (lower-body) participated in the morning skate, but will not play and will finish the preseason without playing in a game. Both he and DeBoer said he could have played if it was the regular season, but there was no need to push it. “You have to look at the big picture,” said the 41-year-old Jagr. “Everybody wants to be good in the [season] opener, but you want to be as good in Game 20 as in Game 1. It’s still worth two points.”
September 25, 2013
Devils demote Matteau to AHL
Former first-round draft pick Stefan Matteau was among eight players sent to Albany of the AHL by the New Jersey Devils. President and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced the moves on Wednesday, eight days before the season opener at Pittsburgh. Matteau was the Devils’ top pick in 2012 and was on the final roster to start last season. He played in 17 games for New Jersey and had a goal and two assists. He is the son of Rangers icon Stephane Matteau. Also assigned to Albany were: goaltender Scott Wedgewood; defensemen Brandon Burlon, Eric Gelinas and Jon Merrill; and forwards Rod Pelley, Tim Sestito and Mike Sislo. Defenseman Damon Severson was returned to Kelowna of the WHL. The Devils have 28 players on their roster.
Sislo’s goal carries Devils past Flyers
PHILADELPHIA — Mike Sislo scored the winner at 7:34 of the third period in the New Jersey Devils’ 2-1 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky opened the scoring at 6:37 of the first period, dancing around Flyers defenseman Erik Gustafsson and evading goalie Ray Emery before backhanding the puck in from behind the goal line. Sislo scored a similar goal when he beat Andrej Meszaros and beat Emery low on his stick side. The Flyers got with 2-1 when defenseman Kimmo Timonen scored on the power play at 18:29 of the third period. Emery had 17 saves and Cory Schneider stopped 21 shots for New Jersey. The teams will complete the home-and-home series Thursday night in Newark.
September 24, 2013
Devils lose to Canadiens
MONTREAL — Ryan White scored the winner at 16:08 of the third period to send the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils in a preseason game Monday night. Max Pacioretty scored two power-play goals for the Canadiens and Carey Price made 19 saves. Michael Ryder and Adam Larsson scored for the Devils, while Martin Brodeur stopped 22 shots. Montreal went 2 for 4 on the power play, while New Jersey failed to score on three chances with the man advantage. Pacioretty beat Brodeur on the glove-side 2:22 into the second and Ryder tied it 1:43 later with a high floater from the blue-line that went off Price and in. Pacioretty got his second goal when he beat Brodeur with a backhander at 8:32 of the middle frame. Larsson tied it again on a deflected shot from the point with 3:23 left in the second. White deflected Jarred Tinordi’s shot past Brodeur for the winner.
September 20, 2013
Devils’ Clowe hurt, but likely OK
The Devils’ biggest free agent signing, former Ranger forward Ryane Clowe, left Thursday’s preseason game against the Islanders early in the first period with what coach Pete DeBoer described as “a charley-horse type injury.” He played just 2:01 on three shifts. “I don’t believe it’s serious,” DeBoer said after the Devils fell, 5-3. Clowe, 30, signed a five-year, $24.25 million contract this offseason. *** Martin Brodeur played the first two periods of his preseason, allowing four goals on 13 shots through two periods. He was replaced by rookie Scott Wedgewood, who gave up one goal on four shots. The coveted combination of Brodeur with his son, Anthony, on the ice together is still yet to happen. The Devils drafted Anthony in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, and the two have yet to even practice on the same ice. Anthony, 18, likely will be sent back to his junior team in the QMJHL soon. *** After just two practices with the team, Damien Brunner made his Devils debut. Playing on a Professional Tryout (PTO), Brunner played on a line with talented forward Rostislav Olesz and Travis Zajac and finished with one shot and a minus-2 rating in 20:49 of ice time. “I thought he gave us some jump,” DeBoer said. “He made some plays, he’s got some skill. We were disjointed as a group tonight, so I’m not sure if it was a fair game to assess anybody.” Brunner, 27, played five seasons in the Swiss Elite League before joining the Red Wings last season, for whom he had 12 goals and 26 points in 44 games, as well as five goals and nine points in 14 playoff games. *** The Devils have made it clear that a group of their young defensemen have distinct chances at making the team, and Jon Merrill made his case on Thursday. In the first period, Merrill took a hard shot from the point on a power play that was deflected in by Olesz to cut the Islanders lead to 2-1. Midway through the second, Merrill skated the puck to just above the left circle and fired a low, hard wrist shot through traffic that beat Poulin to the far post, getting the Devils back to a one-goal deficit, 4-3. “I thought the kids were OK,” DeBoer said when asked specifically about Merrill. The coach went on to lament about team turnovers, pointing out again it wasn’t a very good game to evaluate players.
September 16, 2013
Devils’ backup Schneider patient for chance
Cory Schneider is taking nothing for granted. A man with a bigger head and bigger ego could have rolled into Newark with his eyes set on a throne that is not yet his — that of Hall of Famer-to-be Martin Brodeur, the only goaltender the Devils have known in two decades. Instead, Schneider has entered his new home on an even keel and not looking too far ahead, even in the wake of what was the franchise’s clear intent to secure a solid replacement for the 41-year-old Brodeur. “I don’t know what’s going to unfold this season, or next year or the next few years,” Schneider said before stopping all 22 shots while playing the first two periods in Monday night’s 2-1 victory over the Rangers in both teams’ preseason opener at Prudential Center. “[Brodeur] is obviously the best goalie of our generation, if not all time; he’s still got a lot of game left. I’m not going to coming in here assuming something is going to happen. He’s going to get his starts, and hopefully I’m going to get some and we’ll go from there.” On draft day in June, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello traded the No. 9-overall pick to the Canucks for the goaltender, and Brodeur, with one more year left on his contract, was one of the first to send Schneider, 27, a congratulatory text. When Schneider got to camp, Brodeur encouraged him to ask questions often, and the new guy in town has taken the incumbent up on that offer. What doesn’t have to be questioned is Schneider’s talent, apparent when he jumped from post to post to stop a Brad Richards doorstep chance in the first period. “I got a good vision on it and sometimes your glove is just in the right spot,” Schneider said about the save, which prompted the first “Cor-y, Cor-y” chants from the Newark faithful. “It’s a good sign [for me] to be tracking the puck there.” After spending the first part of his career consistently in the shadow of Roberto Luongo in Vancouver — and then in the midst of a tumultuous cycle of trade rumors — Schneider finally has some solid ground underfoot. “It’s kind of fresh at the moment,” said Schneider, who is from Salem, Mass., and knows all about the rivalries up and down the East coast. “I think it’s still pretty early to tell what’s going to happen with my career.” Coach Pete DeBoer’s team will play a league-high 22 back-to-back games this season, and if both goaltenders can stay healthy, that will ease his pain quite a bit. “It gives us a great luxury as a coaching staff,” DeBoer said. “I think the teams that are able to roll two goalies — two elite goalies — have an advantage this year.” So even though Schneider’s future might be as a stalwart between the Devils pipes, for now he is just going to stay humble and let things play out. “There are worse things that can happen than to have two good goalies,” Schneider said, “and I think that’s what we’ll have here.” * Veteran forwards Jaromir Jagr (lower-body soreness), Patrik Elias (maintenance), and Dainius Zubrus (rest) all sat out. … The Devils brought in forward Damien Brunner for a professional tryout. Brunner, 27, played five years in the Swiss Elite League before joining the Red Wings last season, with whom he scored 12 goals and 26 points in 44 games, then scored five goals and nine points in 14 playoff games. Brunner will skate with the team on Tuesday.
September 11, 2013
Hedberg gets Rangers tryout with Biron absent
The Rangers opened camp on Wednesday not only without center Derek Stepan, who remains at home in Wisconsin as an unsigned restricted free agent, but also without backup goaltender Martin Biron, who has returned to his home in Buffalo for what the club called “a personal situation.” Absent a time frame regarding Biron’s potential return, the Blueshirts reached an agreement with Johan Hedberg to attend camp on a Professional Try Out. Hedberg, who turned 40 in May, spent the last three seasons in New Jersey before becoming a compliance buyout in July following the Devils’ acquisition of Cory Schneider. Biron, who started only five out of the club’s 48 games last season, participated in Monday’s informal scrimmage at the Rangers’ practice facility but was not on the ice for Tuesday’s scrimmage. The 36-year-old netminder is entering the second and final year of his contract that carries a relatively pricey cap hit of $1.3 million. “I’m not exactly sure what the time frame is on this,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Marty is dealing right now with a personal situation.” As the club’s players went through physical exams that will precede Wednesday night’s team meeting, the matter of Stepan’s negotiations remained status quo, with no evident progress having been made over the last 24 hours toward settling the standoff. The Rangers are attempting to sign Stepan to a two-year ‘bridge contract” coming out of Entry Level just as Nazem Kadri signed with the Maple Leafs on Tuesday and P.K. Subban signed with the Canadiens last year. Kadri, who recorded the same number of goals, assists and points (18-26=44) as did Stepan last season but whose career numbers don’t match the Ranger center’s (26-37=63 in 99 games vs. 56-84=140 in 212) signed for $2.9 million per. The Blueshirts are believed to have offered less than that to Stepan. “It would be better if he were here, no doubt about that, but that being said, the situation is not in my control,” Vigneault said. “I talked to Derek a couple of times over the summer and he knows contracts are not part of my responsibility. “I know he wants to be here and management wants him to be here. I look forward to being his coach when he gets here. Everything will be fine,” he said. “I will take him with open arms.”

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