Bad News x 2…

Both Jay Pandolfo (shoulder) and Paul Martin (forearm) are expected to miss 4-6 weeks after suffering what Jacques Lemaire termed ‘scary’ injuries in the Devils 4-1 win in Pittsburgh on Saturday night. Cory Murphy, who was banished to Lowell last week, was recalled to take Martin’s place.

In other news, Brendan Shanahan is rumored to possibly sign with the Flyers.

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Shanny’s a Goner…

The Devils announced this morning that Brendan Shanahan is no longer on the team and they will either trade, release or put him on waivers; or he could accept a position within the organization. GM Lou Lamoriello said it was a mutual decision and that he has the utmost respect for Shanahan. It hasn’t been announced yet, but I assume this has something to do with last week’s signing of Rob Niedermayer, which likely knocked the 40-year-old Shanahan out of the team’s top-nine forwards. I liked what Shanny brought to the team, but he is not irreplaceable, and it gives some of the younger players a chance to get quality ice-time. I trust that the Devils management made the right choice here.

Almost time for training camp…

With the open of training camp on September 13, many of the Devils players have started to make their way to New Jersey for some scrimmages and workout sessions. Here’s whats been going on according to the Fire & Ice blog by Tom Gulitti:

Brendan Shanahan will now wear no. 14 which was vacated when Brian Gionta signed with Montreal; Shanny previously wore 14 in Detroit and with the NY Rangers. He is also experimenting with wearing a visor for the first time in his career.

Jay Pandolfo became a first-time dad when his wife gave birth to a baby boy on July 2, the day after his longtime linemate John Madden signed with Chicago. He admitted it will be weird not seeing Madden when camp opens, but is looking forward to playing for coach Jacques Lemaire again. Pando is one of only four current Devils (Brian Rolston, Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias) that has played for Lemaire in New Jersey.

Ilkka Pikkarainen is wearing no. 17 which was last worn by Mike Rupp who’s now in Pittsburgh.

Zach Parise took batting practice with his hometown Minnesota Twins last week and almost hit a home run to right field, falling just short of the wall which is 340 feet away from home plate.

Elias won the Czech player-of-the-year award, had successful surgery on his hip in June and obtained his level B coaching license from the Czech Ice Hockey Federation according to his website.

Jacques Speaks

Jacques Lemaire spoke with the Bergen Record in his first one-on-one interview since being named the new Devils coach last month. Here are some of the highlights of what the new bench boss had to say:

He said he’s not familiar with the younger players and prospects, but is eager to see and evaluate them once camp opens on September 8.

The only player on the current roster he’s spoken to about anything team-related was Brendan Shanahan.

Unlike when Brent Sutter immediately stripped Patrik Elias of the captaincy, Lemaire has no plans do the same to current captain Jamie Langenbrunner: “I talked a little bit to Lou about it and Jamie will stay as the captain. I’ve heard a lot of great things about him, the great leadership that he has, the work ethic that he has. I think he has all the tools to be a captain”

Brian Rolston who had three consecutive 30-goal seasons under Lemaire in Minnesota playing left wing, will likely play on the wing again, unlike last season when Rolston played center and netted a disappointing 15 goals in 64 games.

He isn’t familiar with either backup goalie — Yann Danis or Jeff Frazee, saying that “I’ll use training camp to look at them.”

Here’s my take:

Good move moving Rolston back to the wing, but it also brings to light the fact that the Devils need at least one more center before camp opens. Right now the centers are: Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus and Rod Pelley.

Great move leaving Langenbrunner as team captain. He is very well-respected in the locker room and although he can be soft spoken at times, he leads by example on the ice and that’s the main ingredient of a leader. Expect Elias and Colin White to remain as assistant captains.

Shanny re-signs, Roenick retires…

According to Tsn.ca and The Bergen Record, Brendan Shanahan and the Devils have agreed on a new one-year contract that will keep the 40-year-old in red & black. As I’ve stated before, I like this move and look forward to a full season with Shanny on the team.

In other notable NHL news, one of the league’s most recognizable voices/faces, Jeremy Roenick is calling it quits after 20 NHL seasons. Roenick, like Brett Hull, never met a quote — or a microphone — that he didn’t like. I’ll miss JR; I wish I had the opportunity to talk more with one of the game’s best characters and I wish he could’ve won the Stanley Cup at least once…

Lamoriello: It’s Shanahan’s Decision…

The Devils want Brendan Shanahan, but does he want them? GM Lou Lamoriello admitted today that his team is interested in the 40-year-old winger, but will let him make the final decision which they expect to come by the end of next week.

Personally I liked what Shanny brought to NJ last season and think he would continue to be an asset in the room and some of the younger players could learn from his tenacity, and his willingness to put the team first.

I’m aware he has lost a step, but mentally he makes up for it by positioning himself in the right spots, and he could help the Devs’ PP which always seems to shoot itself in the foot.

Maybe he’ll even go old school and wear his old no. 11 now that John Madden signed with Chicago.