Albany Home To Devils…Again

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

The city of Albany will once again host the Devils AHL affiliate.

The Devils will officially move their AHL affiliate to Albany, beginning in the 2010-2011 season.

The team will be named the Albany Devils and will play their home games at the Times Union Center. The move has been expected since the team submitted a letter of intent to lease the Times Union Center for five years in late April. On May 10, the Albany County Legislature voted to approve a $1.6 million bond to improve the arena as part of the movement plan.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello shared his excitement over the move with Tom Gulliti of the Bergen Record.

“We are all looking forward to bringing our AHL team back to the Capital District area,” Lamoriello said. “The support we previously received from the fans in Albany was tremendous.”

Albany hosted the Devils AHL affiliate for 13 years before the team moved to Lowell in 2006-2007. The team won the Calder Cup as the Albany River Rats in 1995.

The team’s lease with the Times Union Center is for five years.

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Devils News and Notes: Monday June 7th

Written by Darren S. on .

Madden's Comments

So apparently John Madden is getting some press in the great state of NJ over the last couple of days because he mentioned that his Blackhawks team that he is currently a member of and currently one win away from the Stanley Cup is the best team in which he has ever been associated with.

I'll admit, over the last 10 years, John Madden was certainly one of my favorites that played for the Devils. I'm not sure I entirely agree with his statements but I also do not entirely disagree with his statements. As for disagreeing, the 2000 cup winner was a very deep and talented team with 2 Hall of Famers and 1 future Hall of Famer and overcame a lot that spring to win the cup. As for agreeing with what he said, the Blackhawks are a quick and speedy team with a lot of talented scorers up front. I'm not going to be too hard on Madden's comments because the Blackhawks sign his checks and as a member of that team you can't make comments like "Yes, we are good, just not as good as other teams I've been on." If Chicago wins the cup this year, ask Madden in 20 years which was the best team and we shall find out the real answer in his heart.

Coaching Rumors

Rumors are circulating that the Devils have offered Michel Therrien a 3 year contract, and rumor that Lou Lamoriello has denied this morning. "There has been no decision on anything yet. There are reasons for that." It is thought the reason might be that Lou would like to talk to Blackhawks assistant, Mike Haviland.

At this point, this seems to be the list of candidates that Lou is probably looking at.

1. Therrien - Lou wants experience and Therrien has it.
2. Johnny Mac - But one has to wonder if he was the guy, wouldn't he be the guy already?
3. Mike Haviland - It has come up during the Finals that the Devils want to talk with him.
4. Kirk Muller - It is know he wants the job in NJ but has never held a head coaching job in the NHL or AHL which is a big negative.
5. Ken Hitchcock - The longshot for the job.

More on Mottau

After I wrote on this site last week that a rumor about Mottau and the Devils was hitting the airways, that rumor was shot down by Mottau himself by saying any claim that he is close to signing a new deal with the Devils is pure fiction. Like I said, I hate reporting rumors but Devils news at this point is a little slow so rumors are all we have.

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Lemaire Defends Decisions This Past Season

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

After the Devils loss to the Flyers this postseason, the team searched for answers to explain yet another first round exit. Jamie Langenbrunner came out to the media, criticizing former coach Jacques Lemaire for his decisions throughout the season. Even Brian Gionta, a former Devil, weighed in with his opinion.

In an article by Star-Ledger beat reporter Rich Chere, Lemaire defended his decisions during the regular season and playoffs this season. There were many things the coach addressed, but I’d like to take a look at a few quotes relating to several posts I’ve wrote about on the blog the past few weeks.

Issue 1: Line Juggling

One of the criticisms leveled at Lemaire this past season was his constant line-juggling. I addressed the coach’s decision to break up the ZZ Pops line, but Lemaire juggled more lines than the ZZ Pops line. Lemaire moved several players around, working for the optimal lineup against a given team. As Lemaire said in the article

“I look at the teams still in the playoffs right now. They match lines. I don’t see why we would be so special that we don’t have to match lines,” Lemaire said.

“As far as switching the players on lines, Scotty Bowman has been known as a great coach and he moved players around a lot. There are a lot of coaches who move players around when things aren’t going well or playing against certain teams. I’ve done it my whole career. I don’t think it’s an issue. It could be an issue if you’re not good enough and you need to play with certain guys to get better. Then, for that particular guy, it would be an issue.”

Hockey coaches have to switch lines. In year’s past, Brent Sutter would use the Devils’ third line to match against the team’s first line. If a coach doesn’t change lines and match up with the other team, they don’t give themselves the optimal lineup out on the ice. But I don’t agree with the constant line-juggling this season. The coach had a dynamite first line, one that could easily lead the team in scoring. They also brought energy and talent to the ice. By breaking them up, Lemaire eliminated one of better scoring lines in the entire league.

When asked about the decision to break up the ZZ Pops line, Lemaire said

“I try to get the best out of players. Sometimes, yes, I did put guys with certain other guys so they play better,” Lemaire said, “but I have to think about the team and what is good for the team. I’m happy with the way I’ve done things. No regrets. I’ve always done this and the success was there.”

I understand Lemaire’s idea here – spread the scoring, maybe allow for some other players to get going. But when the team needed offense or a spark, the ZZ Pops line should have played together. There was no need to continually switch those players around. We all know they played well together, and I believe the line should have been kept together, giving the Devils their best offensive line (and one of the better defensive lines as well).

For the rest of my reaction to the article, continue reading after the jump!

 

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Albany Clears Way For Devils AHL Affiliate

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

The Albany County Legislature voted Monday night to approve a proposed $1.6 million dollar bond to improve the Times Union Center, which would clear the path for the Devils to move their AHL affiliate back to New York’s capital.

The bond, which included funding for a new scoreboard and rink-side advertising, was approved by a 35-2 vote.

The Devils, in their desire to move their affiliate back to Albany, stipulated that the improvements were necessary to facilitate the move. The Devils, who submitted a letter of intent for a five-year lease, expect to announce the move soon.

The organization’s AHL affiliate played in the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts for the past for seasons, but the lease ends June 30. The Devils’ AHL team played in Albany from 1993-1994 and 2005-2006.

Last season, Albany hosted the Carolina Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate. The team will move to Charlottesville, North Carolina for next season.

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Devils' TV Ratings Jump This Past Season

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

The Devils enjoyed a spike in their television ratings this past season, according to a report from Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record.

Ratings on MSG Plus among viewers 24-54 jumped 78 percent from their totals in 2008-2009. Among all viewers, ratings increased by 48 percent. This was the Devils highest household rating in a decade.

The Devils’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 12 drew a 1.06 rating, the highest viewership ever for a non-metro New York matchup (the Devils versus the Islanders or Rangers).

Despite the team’s lackluster playoff appearance, the Devils ratings continued to jump. Their television ratings jumped 129 percent from the regular season. Among the 24-54 group, the ratings jumped 170 percent.

The Devils now rank seventh in the NHL for average number of American households.

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The Devils' Sports Page: Friday, April 30, 2010

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

In an effort to bring you the latest Devils' news and notes from the local media outlets covering the team, we here at Running With The Devils are starting a new feature: The Devils' Sports Page. This daily or every-other-day segment will provide you with links from around the web about the Devils.

It's a little slow right now, so there aren't many links today. But check these out for some more Devils' news:

Ken Hitchcock could be the perfect choice for Devils coach (nj.com)

Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek focused on ending playoff failures (nj.com)

Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has more on plate besides search for coach (nj.com)

Devils defenseman Andy Greene added to U.S. roster for World Championships (Fire and Ice blog)

Devils’ job still coveted by coaches (The Bergen Record)

Kovalchuk noncommittal about future with Devils (The Bergen Record)

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Flyers - Devils First Round Series Games Announced

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

The N.H.L. released the schedule for the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New Jersey Devils. The schedule is as follows:

Game 1: Wednesday, April 14 at the Prudential Center - 7:30 p.m.

Game 2: Friday, April 16 at the Prudential Center - 7:30 p.m.

Game 3: Sunday, April 18 at the Wachovia Center - 6 p.m.

Game 4: Tuesday, April 20 at the Wachovia Center - 7:30 p.m.

Game 5: Thursday, April 22 at the Prudential Center - 7 p.m. (if necessary)

Game 6: Sunday, April 25 at the Wachovia Center - TBD (if necessary)

Game 7: Tuesday, April 27 at the Prudential Center - 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)

The T.V. and radio broadcast schedules have yet to be announced.

***************

Keep checking Running With The Devils for a complete look at the series. Here's a rough schedule of what you can expect in the next few days:

Today:

1. A Look Back - The 1995 Eastern Conference Finals

2. Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Preview: Devils forwards vs. Flyers forwards

Tuesday:

1. A Look Back - The 2000 Eastern Conference Finals

2.Eastern Conference quarterfinals preview: Devils defense vs. Flyers defense

Wednesday:

1. A Look Back - The 2004 Eastern Conference quarterfinals

2. Eastern Conference quarterfinals preview: Martin Brodeur vs. Brian Boucher

3. Game 1 Preview

4. Game 1 Live Game Blog

5. Game 1 Recap

Make sure you continue to check Running With The Devils for all of your Devils' playoff information!

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Devils' Notes: Team Continues To Work Powerplay Before Road Trip

Written by AJ Manderichio on .

The Devils continued to work on their powerplay during today’s practice, their last before leaving New Jersey for a two-game road trip.

After going 3-for-6 with the man advantage Tuesday night against Columbus, the Devils went 0-for-3 on Thursday night against the Rangers.

The team worked a 4-on-3 powerplay, using Ilya Kovalchuk, Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise. They eventually moved to a full ice 5-on-4. The team ended with a 5-on-0 passing drill in the offensive zone.

The Devils left Friday afternoon for Montreal, where they face off against the Canadians (7 p.m., MSG Plus).

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The 334 Club

Written by Darren S. on .

Seems like every season that there is a large snow storm to hit NJ the day of a Devils game, it's a guarantee that the announcers that night will mention the famous game between the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils back in 1987. 334 fans braved the weather and 20+ inches of snow to watch the Devils beat the Flames 7-5.Can you imagine a rink with only 334 fans watching the game? The stadium seemed empty last night and there were of 5,000 that showed up.

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Chat with Ken Daneyko

Written by Darren S. on .

The Devils are doing an online chat with Ken Daneyko, today at 2pm EST. You can follow the chat right here and ask Ken your questions.

 

 

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