Madden Speaks Out in Chicago

Our old friend John Madden recently talked to the Chicago Tribune and it can be found here:

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/players-only/2009/10/john-madden-blackhawks-fans-have-been-great.html

Quite a difference from the John Madden that I used to talk to in the Devils’ locker room, but I am glad he is enjoying himself with the young, up-and-coming Blackhawks.

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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.

What’s your number?

Have a favorite player who changed teams this offseason and you want to be the first on your block to sport his new number and jersey? Well I did a little research and came up with this little list of old faces in new places (with some new numbers):

Scott Gomez # 91, Montreal
Brian Gionta # 21, Montreal

Saku Koivu # 11, Anaheim
Jay Bouwmeester # 4, Calgary
John Madden # 11, Chicago
Marian Hossa # 81, Chicago
Nikolai Khabibulin # 35, Edmonton
Ryan Smyth # 94, Los Angeles
Rob Scuderi # 7, Los Angeles
Martin Havlat # 14 Minnesota
John Tavares # 91, NY Islanders
Marian Gaborik # 10, NY Rangers
Chris Higgins # 21, NY Rangers
Donald Brashear # 87, NY Rangers
Alex Kovalev # 27, Ottawa
Chris Pronger # 20, Philadelphia
Ray Emery # 29, Philadelphia
Mike Rupp # 17, Pittsburgh
Brendan Morrison # 9, Washington
Mike Knuble # 22, Washington

So head on over to your favorite team’s site or NHL.com and order your new jersey for the 2009-10 season today!

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.

Devils Sign Zajac to 4-year extension…

The New Jersey Devils and Travis Zajac agreed on a new 4-year, $15.55 million deal on Wednesday, avoiding a potentially ugly arbitration hearing that was scheduled for Friday. This is a great move to secure their no. 1 center and Zach Parise’s setup-man, for the next four years, and Parise is locked up for the next three. The next move is to add some more depth up front by possibly re-signing Brendan Shanahan and perhaps adding free agent Michael Peca — both on one-year deals. GM Lou Lamoriello has already stated that Rod Pelley will take over John Madden’s role next season, but if he can ink Peca to a one-year deal for say, a million, he should do it and allow Pelley to develop a little more, perhaps as the 4th line center. Then the lines could potentially look like this:

Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner
Elias-Rolston-Zubrus
Shanahan-Peca-Clarkson
Pikkarainen-Pelley-Pandolfo

That’s not bad, and could be better with another player added for depth or if a well-constructed trade can be worked out with a team like San Jose (Patrick Marleau, Jonathan Cheechoo) or Boston (Phil Kessel).