Monday, July 30, 2007

NHL/ESPN in talks?

Sports Business Daily is reporting that the NHL and ESPN are in talks to bring the league back to ESPN2 by 2008-09.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

WTG, Dustin!

Congrats to our own graphic master, Dustin for creating the new banner for Battle of California. It's as awesome as ours is.

Now, if only Earl would respond to my E-mails, we'd have perfect harmony in this here blogosphere!

Just kidding, Earl.

Help Wanted

Hey, unfortunately one of our Ranger bloggers had to leave us, so thanks Alex for the short, but sweet work he did for us.

If anyone's interested in blogging about the Rangers day-to-day, please E-mail me at SMLepore@comcast.net

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The First Ever Battle of New York Podcast!

We're gonna toy around with the podcast, and see if we can make it easier tonight. Check in throughout tomorrow.

BoNY - in Podcast form?

It could be. I'm going to be experimenting this week with making a podcast. Probably just myself solo the first time around, but then we'll attempt to bring the rest of the Battle roster, as well as folks from 2MA and around the NHL.

Ah, how great a hiatus can be.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Simon Signs

The NHLPA reports that the Islanders have signed Chris Simon for $475,000 next season. No word as to whether the contract is for longer than one year.

In other news, where is the signing of a solid D-man? I'm waiting..........

Friday, July 20, 2007

I hear Russia is quite lovely in the winter...

So long and good riddance Mr. Yashin. I really hope signing in mother Russia works out for you, NOT! The key to this deal, "No out clause." If Alexei has a change of heart(I know he has no heart)...Ok, if he changes his mind he still can't come back to the NHL for this year. I am sure Yashin and ex-Islander Randy Robitaille are going to rip up the Russian league for years to come playing together for the Yaroslavl Locomotiv.

Yashin's agent Todd Diamond sounded eagerly optimistic about the signing,
"Right now the city(Yaroslavl) is electric, everyone is excited, the arena will be packed and Alexei will play hard." Sounds like this Todd Diamond has a wonderful sense of humor and is still enjoying the commission money he is getting paid from Alexei's Islander contract.


Arbour Back Behind th Bench for #1500

Thats right folks, Al Arbour is returning behind the bench to coach his 1500 game(with the Islanders that is). Oh, and Campoli got signed for 3 more years. Gotta love off season Islander news!

Its nice to see Ted Nolan pay homage to Al like this, but honestly couldn't have Teddy picked a less formidable opponent? I'd like to see Arbour make game number 1500 a big W, but going up against the Penguins is a daunting task. Maybe the Isles could've tried to squeeze in this PR move when Phoenix was in town or maybe its just that Al likes a challenge, I don't know. Either way it'll be a good trip down memory lane and it'll be sure to stir up some of those memories of when the Islanders were, you know, good and stuff.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pen(dulous)s New Threads

Quick Hiatus Break for new jerseys:

Pens
img101/1273/newawayjerseyao5.jpg

img401/4742/newhomejerseycs6.jpg


Predators
IPB Image


Canes are available at NHL08.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Rock Files - Part 1

From KK

Over the Summer, diehard Devils fan, Battle of NY blogger, and Kukla’s Korner “broadcast contributor” Steve Lepore will chronicle his trips to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ during it’s ongoing construction, on target for a grande opening on October 25th (for a Bon Jovi Concert) and a Devils opening October 27th (against the Senators).
______________________

By Steve Lepore

Sure, it can be a daunting place to visit. Once in a while, you’ll be propositioned by a man selling cheap roses for Valentine’s Day (even though it’s the middle of July) and the supposed “Newark Boys & Girls Clubs” selling M & M’s. But there’s something that’s a little lost in all the perception and the supposed “evil” that comes out of New Jersey’s second most dangerous city (#1 is Camden, which is basically a suburb of Philly, but no one complains about Flyers games being in a bad neighborhood).

image

Newark has some stunningly beautiful scenery. The architechture of the buildings, many constructed in the 1960s and 70s, fits the “Brick City” moniker Newark has embraced. The arena will be no different, and add to a beautiful Newark skyline that includes the Prudential building and the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, deemed it’s name by John Paul II in a late 90’s visit that was attended by President Clinton. The perception of Newark as a city of renissance is long gone, but the business and the architechture they started back then are still here.

That’s why, as I headed down toward the Prudential Center on the corner of Broad and Market (Broad Street Bullies? Cam Janssen will have something to say about the moniker) I realized: boy, this place could be something. This is coming from someone who worked for New Jersey’s largets city’s other professional sports franchise: The Newark Bears. Okay, they’re sort of a “minor league” team. But they’re independent of the majors, so who’s to say if their pros or not. What I’m trying to say is that Newark could become a sports town, united by Jeff Vanderbeek’s vision of a sports and entertainment destination for everyone. Remember, the Devils are coming here to be the anchor tenant, but there’s also Seton Hall hoops - in a location much closer to the West Orange main campus than the Meadowlands is - and a Major Indoor Soccer League franchise, while Vanderbeek claims “the usual suspects” (AFL, NLL, etc.) are also in talks to bring clubs here. Hopefully, the Devils are building something.

So after a short visit, and some pictures (I didn’t get as close as these guys, but I tried) I headed home. As I drove back to my suburban home, I saw a huge billboard on the way. It was in big, bold, black letters on a white background and said:

“Stop the Newark Killings! From the Newark Teachers Union.”

It reminded me that there’s a long way to go. In both promoting the sport in the city, and in the teacher’s union’s long fight with the city itself.

But it’ll be a journey that Devils fans will no doubt enjoy.

Campoli Returns

Chris Campoli has signed a 3-year deal with the Isles.

Grant Marshall Returns

As has been discussed on many a Devils forum this weekend, the Devils have re-signed Grant Marshall for one year, $475,000.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wa2AnzAM79c

Enjoy that great memory. Good luck in Lowell this year Grant.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Hiatus Day

July 16th is now the night of the new hiatus.

I sort of overloaded myself on this place, and for now, I need a break to concentrate on making a concerted effort in college.

I have a couple of SFM articles on the backburner that I will promote when Greg gets around to posting them. Other than that, I'm taking a break.

New bloggers Dustin, Frank and Alex will be given this chance to break news and give their opinions, so the site will still be kept regular, but for now, I am in deep need of a break, and with most free agents signed and the Devs with a new coach, this felt like great timing.

Battle of New York will return from hiatus on Monday, September 3rd and go back to the machine it was prior to it's hiatus. It'll include reports from Devils training camp, more columns, my daily NHL Team Preview series, and much, much, more.

Thank you for supporting us, but it's time for a break.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend, and see you again on September 4th.

I'd still love to hire 1 or 2 more bloggers. One "Neutral" voice, who could comment on the three teams without bias, to talk about them every week (Chyea, right). And one guy to do a national, weekly column.

Battle of NY is already better than before, and I'm glad we did our makeover pre-hiatus.

I promise the material will match the window dressing when I come back.

IM me at Incudude530 to chat it up while im not blogging.

Sincerely,
Steve Lepore
Battle of New York

New Lightning Logo Leaked

Here it is:
OLD NEW

Cam Will Be Back!



According to Tom Gulitti of the Record, Cam Janssen signed a 3-year contract with the Devils.

I think the nickname "Brick City Bullies" will become commonplace with guys like Cam, Vishnevsky, Whitey, etc.

The New York Hockey Schedule: 2007-08 Edition

Here it is, all 3 teams. Comprised into one, easy-to-read docket. Plan your trips and whatnot. Have a good rest of the night!

Oct. 4

FLA vs. NYR, 7PM
NJ vs. TB, 7:30PM

Oct. 5

NYI vs. BUF, 7:30PM

Oct. 6

NYR vs. OTT, 7PM
BUF vs. NYI, 7PM
NJ vs. FLA, 7PM

Oct. 8

WSH vs. NYI, 2PM
NJ vs. OTT, 3PM

Oct. 10

NYR vs. NYI, 7PM

Oct. 11

NYI vs. TOR, 7PM
NJ vs. FLA, 7:30PM


Oct. 12

WSH vs. NYR, 7PM

Oct. 13

OTT vs. NYR, 7PM
NYI vs. PHI, 7PM

NJ vs. ATL, 7PM

Oct. 17

NJ vs. PIT, 7:30PM

Oct. 18

NJ vs. PHI, 7:00PM
NYI vs. WSH, 7PM
NYR vs. ATL, 7PM


Oct. 20

NJ vs. NYI, 7PM
NYR vs. BOS, 7PM

Oct. 23

NYR vs. PIT, 7PM

Oct. 25

NJ vs. NYR, 7PM

Oct. 27

OTT vs. NJ, 7PM
CAR vs. NYI, 7PM
TOR vs. NYR, 7PM

Oct. 29

TB vs. NYR, 7PM

Oct. 31

TB vs. NJ, 7PM

Nov. 1

TB vs. NYI, 7PM
WSH vs. NYR, 7PM

Nov. 2

TOR vs. NJ, 7PM

Nov. 3

PIT vs. NYI, 7PM
NJ vs. NYR, 7PM

Nov. 5

PIT vs. NJ, 7PM
PHI vs. NYR, 7PM

Nov. 6

NYR vs. NYI, 7PM

Nov. 8

PHI vs. NJ, 7PM
PIT vs. NYR, 7PM

Nov. 10

NYR vs. TOR, 7PM
NJ vs. NYI, 7PM

Nov. 12

NYI vs. PHI, 7PM
NJ vs. PIT, 7PM

Nov. 14

NYR vs. NJ, 7PM

Nov. 15

NYR vs. PHI, 7PM
NYI vs. PIT, 7:30PM

Nov. 16

NYI vs. NJ, 7PM

Nov. 17

NJ vs. PHI, 7PM
NYR vs. PIT, 7:30PM

Nov. 19

NYI vs. NYR, 7PM

Nov. 21

MTL vs. NYI, 7PM

NJ vs. PIT, 7:30 PM

NYR vs. TB, 7:30 PM

Nov. 23

NYI vs. BOS, 12:00 PM
NJ vs. ATL, 7:30 PM
NYR vs. FLA, 7:30 PM

Nov. 24

BOS vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
NJ vs. TB, 7:30 PM

Nov. 25

DAL vs. NYR, 1:00 PM

Nov. 26

DAL vs. NYI, 7PM


Nov. 28

DAL vs. NJ, 7PM

OTT vs. NYI, 7PM

Nov. 29

NYI vs. NYR, 7PM

Nov. 30

MTL vs. NJ, 7PM

Dec. 1

NYR vs. OTT, 3PM
ATL vs. NYI, 7PM

Dec. 2

ATL vs. NJ, 5PM

Dec. 3

BOS vs. NYI, 7PM
CAR vs. NYR, 7PM

Dec. 5

BOS vs. NJ, 7PM
NYI vs. ATL, 7PM

Dec. 6

TOR vs. NYR, 7PM

Dec. 7

WSH vs. NJ, 7PM
NYR vs. ATL, 7:30 PM
NYI vs. FLA, 7:30PM

Dec. 8

NYI vs. TB, 7:30 PM

Dec. 9

NJ vs. NYR, 5PM

Dec. 10

NJ vs. WSH, 7PM

Dec. 12

NYI vs. BUF, 7PM
NYR vs. WSH, 7PM


Dec. 13

NJ vs. BOS, 7PM
PHX vs. NYI, 7PM

Dec. 15

PHX vs. NJ, 7PM
PIT vs. NYI, 7PM

Dec. 16

PHI vs. NJ, 7PM
PHX vs. NYR, 7PM

Dec. 18

PIT vs. NYR, 7PM
NJ vs. VAN, 10PM

Dec. 19

BUF vs. NYI, 7PM

Dec. 20

NYR vs. MIN, 8PM

Dec. 21

NYI vs. PIT, 7:30 PM
NYR vs. COL, 9PM
NJ vs. EDM, 9PM

Dec. 22

WSH vs. NYI, 7PM

Dec. 23

OTT vs. NYR, 7PM
NJ vs. CGY, 8PM

Dec. 26

TOR vs. NYI, 7PM
CAR vs. NYR, 7PM

Dec. 27

NYI vs. OTT, 7:30 PM

Dec. 28

BUF vs. NJ, 7PM


Dec. 29

NJ vs. NYI, 7PM

Dec. 30

MTL vs. NYR, 7PM

Dec. 31

NYI vs. CAR, 8PM

Jan. 2

FLA vs. NJ, 7PM

NYR vs. CGY, 9PM

Jan. 3

FLA vs. NYI, 7PM

NYR vs. VAN, 10PM

Jan. 4

PHI vs. NJ, 7PM

Jan. 5

NJ vs. BOS, 7PM
NYI vs. COL, 9PM
NYR vs. EDM, 10PM

Jan. 7

NYI vs. EDM, 9PM

Jan. 8

BUF vs. NJ, 7PM
TB vs. NYR, 7PM

NYI vs. VAN, 10PM

Jan. 10

PHI vs. NYR, 7PM
NJ vs. CAR, 7PM

Jan. 11

NYI vs. CGY, 9PM

Jan. 12

NJ vs. BUF, 7PM
MTL vs. NYR, 7PM


Jan. 13

NYI vs. OTT, 7PM

Jan. 14

NYR vs. PIT, 7PM

Jan. 15

MTL vs. NYI, 7PM

Jan. 16

NYI vs. NJ, 7PM
BUF vs. NYR, 7PM

Jan. 18

FLA vs. NJ, 7PM

Jan. 19

NYR vs. BOS, 1PM
PHI vs. NYI, 7PM

Jan. 20

BOS vs. NYR, 1:30PM
TOR vs. NJ, 5PM

Jan. 21

CAR vs. NYI, 7PM

Jan. 22

NJ vs. PHI, 7PM
ATL vs. NYR, 7PM
NYI vs. CAR, 7PM

Jan. 24

NYI vs. BOS, 7PM
MTL vs. NJ, 7PM
ATL vs. NYR, 7PM

Jan. 29

PIT vs. NJ, 7PM
OTT vs. NYI, 7PM
NYR vs. CAR, 7PM

Jan. 31

LA vs. NYI, 7PM
NYR vs. PHI, 7PM

Feb. 1

NYR vs. NJ, 7PM

Feb. 2

NYI vs. MTL, 2PM
LA vs. NJ, 7PM

Feb. 3

NYR vs. MTL, 2PM

Feb. 5

ANA vs. NYI, 7PM
LA vs. NYR, 7PM

Feb. 6

NJ vs. BUF, 7PM

Feb. 7

ANA vs. NYR, 7PM
NYI vs. PIT, 7:30PM

Feb. 8

ANA vs. NJ, 7PM

Feb. 9

NYR vs. PHI, 1PM
NYI vs. MIN, 6PM
CAR vs. NJ, 7PM

Feb. 10

NYR vs. WSH, 1PM

Feb. 12

PHI vs. NYI, 7PM

Feb. 13

OTT vs. NJ, 7PM

Feb. 14
NYI vs. TOR, 7:30PM

Feb. 15

ATL vs. NJ, 7PM



Feb. 16
BUF vs. NYR, 1PM
NJ vs. OTT, 7PM
ATL vs. NYI, 7PM

Feb. 17

SJ vs. NYR, 1PM

Feb. 18

CAR vs. NJ, 1PM
SJ vs. NYI, 2PM

Feb. 19

NYR vs. MTL, 7PM

Feb. 20

SJ vs. NJ, 7PM
NYI vs. WSH, 7PM

Feb. 21

TB vs. NYI, 7PM

Feb. 23

NYI vs. NJ, 1PM
NYR vs. BUF, 7PM

Feb. 24

NJ vs. WSH, 3PM
FLA vs. NYR, 7PM

Feb.26

PIT vs. NYI, 7PM
NJ vs. CAR, 7PM

Feb. 28

NYR vs. CAR, 7PM
NYI vs. ATL, 7PM

Feb. 29

WSH vs. NJ, 7PM

Mar. 1

PHI vs. NYI, 2PM
NJ vs. MTL, 7PM


Mar. 2
PHI vs. NYR, 3PM
FLA vs. NYI, 3PM

Mar. 4

NYI vs. NYR, 7PM
NJ vs. TOR, 7:30PM

Mar. 6

NYR vs. NYI, 7PM

Mar. 7

TB vs. NJ, 7PM

Mar. 8

NJ vs. TOR, 7PM
NYI vs. PHI, 7PM

Mar. 9

BOS vs. NYR, 3PM

Mar. 10

NYR vs. BUF, 7PM

Mar. 11

NJ vs. MTL, 7:30PM
NYI vs. TB, 7:30PM

Mar. 12

NYI vs. FLA, 7:30PM

Mar. 13

NJ vs. MIN, 8PM

Mar. 14

NYR vs. FLA, 7:30PM

Mar. 15

NJ vs. COL, 3PM
NYI vs. MTL, 7PM
NYR vs. TB, 7:30PM

Mar. 18

TOR vs. NYI, 7PM
PIT vs. NYR, 7PM

Mar. 19

NYR vs. NJ, 7PM

Mar. 21

NYI vs. NJ, 7PM
NYR vs. PHI, 7PM

Mar. 22

NJ vs. PIT, 7:30PM

Mar. 23

NYI vs. PHI, 7PM

Mar. 24

PIT vs. NYI, 7PM

Mar. 25

PHI vs. NYR, 7PM
PIT vs. NJ, 7PM

Mar. 27

NJ vs. NYR, 7PM
NYI vs. PIT, 7:30PM

Mar. 28

PHI vs. NJ, 7PM

Mar. 29

PHI vs. NYI, 7PM

Mar. 30

NYR vs. PIT, 3PM

Mar. 31

PIT vs. NYR, 7PM

Apr. 1

NJ vs. NYI, 7PM

Apr. 2

BOS vs. NJ, 7PM


Apr. 3

NYR vs. NYI, 7PM

Apr. 4

NYI vs. NYR, 7PM
NJ vs. PHI, 7PM

Apr. 6

NYR vs. NJ, 3PM

Thursday, July 12, 2007

MORE BREAKING NEWS: NEW SHARKS LOGO

Not as important as Sutter, but check out the new Sharkies crest-dwellers:

BREAKING NEWS: Sutter to Be Introduced Tomorrow Afternoon

Battle of NY will be liveblogging Sutter's Press Conference at 1:00 PM, provided that Stan Fischler and others at the local TV stations (MSG, SNY, FSN) will cover the event.

According to Tom Gulitti's Blog, the Devils will hold a PC in Newark to introduce the now former Red Deer Rebels (WHL) Coach.

Click on to Battle of NY around 1PM for all the action.

Souray to Edmonton

According to TSN, he's agreed on a contract.

Armstrong Resigns in Pittsburgh

The Pens have re-signed Colby Armstrong to a 2-year deal.

Battle of New York Poll

Vote in the new poll feature on the left side of your screen on how long you think Brent Sutter lasts in Jersey.

Brent Sutter

My feelings on the subject are mixed. I'd love to see Johnny Mac or Pat Burns take over this team. But frankly, I don't want to worry about Burnsy's health all the time, and while Sutter has no NHL experience, Johnny Mac doesn't have any head coaching experience. Besides, look at some of the NHL talent he's developed:

-Colby Armstrong
-Martin Erat
-Cam Ward
-Jim Vandermeer

and a little guy named "Phaneuf". I think he's perfect for what looks like a disjointed Devils team that finally has shed some age off. This is a much younger team than it was lat year with the departure of Rafalski, Lukowich, Dowd and likely Rasmussen, and frankly, I think Sutter's the guy to handle this club.

Lazy Days of Summer

It’s a slow week. The Islanders made news on Monday and after that press conference there isn't much noteworthy news to report on the Island. The schedule for 2007-'08 came out and it's not like the NFL schedule where only 16 games are played and you can break all of the games down. It is nice to see the Isles will face the new look Rangers on the 10th of October. The new guys on the Island will get their first taste of the bitter battle of these rival franchises and hopefully that will be a good way to set the tone for the rest of the year.

And then there is the always ridiculous trade rumors being floated around. Some "experts" and their "reliable sources" say the Isles are in the market to acquire a defensemen, whether it be Ed Jovonaski, Pavel Kubina, or Bryan McCabe, all of which will never happen. Personally, I think that for the next couple of weeks Islanders fans can kind of sit back and relax. I'm going to enjoy the rest of the summer, maybe take a few shots at the Rangers and their growing salary cap problems or wonder why in the world Brent Sutter would ever leave western Canada to coach for Crazy Lou in the swamp. It's nice to see the other two local teams with problems of their own, makes us Islander fans kind of feel normal. You know, as normal as you a fan can feel when the team owner is insane and our former backup goalie is GM.

Report: Sutter to Coach the Devils

That's right, TSN is reporting that tomorrow Sutter will step down from his post as Coach and GM of the Western Hockey League's Red Deer Rebels.

They're saying it's because he's been named the new coach of our boys from Jersey.

I like this hire. Hopefully his reputation will continue here, he will have some task.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Vote For Sidney

Make Sid the Kid "Who's Now" at ESPN

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/sportsnation/whosnow

The Battle of New York Schedule

Here's when all the teams shall meet.

10/10/07 - NYR vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
10/20/07 - NJD vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
10/25/07 - NJD vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
11/03/07 - NJD vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
11/06/07 - NYR vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
11/10/07 - NJD vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
11/14/07 - NYR vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
11/16/07 - NYI vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
11/19/07 - NYI vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
11/29/07 - NYI vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
12/09/07 - NJD vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
12/29/07 - NJD vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
01/16/08 - NYI vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
02/01/08 - NYR vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
02/23/08 - NYI vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
03/04/08 - NYI vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
03/06/08 - NYR vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
03/19/08 - NYR vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
03/21/08 - NYI vs. NJD, 7:00 PM
03/27/08 - NJD vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
04/01/08 - NJD vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
04/03/08 - NYR vs. NYI, 7:00 PM
04/04/08 - NYI vs. NYR, 7:00 PM
04/06/08 - NYR vs. NJD, 3:00 PM

My Thoughts on the Devils Schedule

The 82 Games that will comprise the New Jersey Devils 26th season of play in the National League of Hockey since moving to the Garden State from Denver, Colorado will be an interesting one. It will start off with a team-record nine game road-trip, featuring six of nine against 2007 playoff teams, and three more against the rebuilt and ready-to-contend Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers.

It would do the Devils a favor to be over .500 when this trip ends. That is when they will officially move in to their new digs, the 17,625-seated for hockey Prudential Center - also known as "The Rock" - in the Brick City known as Newark, New Jersey. They open their 2007-2008 home schedule against last year's playoff nemesis, and the team that eliminated them from the Quest For the Cup in five games of a second round series, the Ottawa Senators.

Following that likely sold out opener, the Devils will play host to four more of their next five games. The Penguins and Flyers will make their first trips to The Rock during this stand. After two more on the road, the Devils welcome Jaromir Jagr, Chris Drury, Henrik Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan, and some dude named "Gomez" and the New York Rangers to Broad St. for the first time on November 14th. The atmosphere will likely be unmatched of any Devil-Ranger regular season game ever played in the Garden State.

Two days after, the Devils welcome their division rival New York Islanders to The Rock for the first time, and go on a four-game road trip. Their first Western Conference opponent visits them following that swing, as the Dallas Stars visit the New Jersey for the first time since 2002. This will open up a five-game home state for the red-and-black, capped off with Alexander Ovechkin's Capitals' first visit on December 7. After a three-game road-trip, the Devils will play their first matinee at The Rock on December 15, as Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes visit for the first time since 2002. A Sunday-evening game with the Flyers follows.

Then, the Devils make their first trip out west of the season, as they face the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames in the span of five days, leading up to the NHL's Christmas sabattical and roster freeze. They return to action December 28th against Ryan Miller's Buffalo Sabres.

Dates of note in the new year include a stretch in January and February where the Devils will play a ridiculous 16 of 21 games on home ice. Other Western Conference visitors will include the LA Kings (Feb. 2), the San Jose Sharks (Feb. 20) and Scott Niedermayer's Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks for their first trip on February 8th.

In March, the Devils make a brief, two-game trip to the rest of the Northwest Divsion, taking on Jacques Lemaire's Minnesota Wild (Mar. 13) and Joe Sakic's Colorado Avalanche (Mar. 15). This will be the Devils last trip away from the Atlantic Division's three states (NY, NJ, PA).

The Devils close out the season with seven out of eight against their four rivals, with the team's home finale on Sunday, April 6th against the Rangers, which will be in contention to be chosen by NBC for their "Game of the Week" program, or will otherwise be moved to another time of the day.

It will be a long year, but in the end, these players and we as fans will probably find it to be one of the more entertaining years in the history of New Jersey Devils Hockey.

Coming Soon...




NHL On NBC

Here's the flex schedule for 2008.

They'll pick one game each week

NBC Flex Schedule
Jan. 1
1:00 Penguins vs. Sabres

Jan. 20
1:30 Ducks vs. Stars
1:30 Bruins vs. Rangers

Feb. 10
1:00 Flyers vs. Penguins
1:00 Rangers vs. Capitals
1:00 Ducks vs. Red Wings
Feb. 17
1:00 Avalanche vs. Blackhawks
1:00 Red Wings vs. Stars
1:00 Penguins vs. Sabres
1:00 Sharks vs. Rangers

Mar. 2
3:00 Panthers vs. Islanders
3:00 Red Wings vs. Sabres
3:00 Flyers vs. Rangers
3:00 Thrashers vs. Penguins

Mar. 9
3:00 Bruins vs. Rangers
3:00 Penguins vs. Capitals
3:00 Predators vs. Red Wings
3:00 Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

Mar. 16
3:00 Flyers vs. Penguins
3:00 Bruins vs. Capitals
3:00 Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets

Mar. 30
3:00 Bruins vs. Sabres
3:00 Rangers vs. Penguins
3:00 Predators vs. Red Wings

Apr. 6
3:00 Wild vs. Avalanche
3:00 Sharks vs. Stars
3:00 Rangers vs. Devils
3:00 Penguins vs. Flyers
3:00 Blackhawks vs. Red Wings3:00 Blues vs. Blue Jackets

Devils 2007-08 Schedule

Oct. 4 at Lightning, 7:30 PM
Oct. 6 at Panthers, 7:00 PM
Oct. 8 at Senators, 2:00 PM
Oct. 11 at Panthers, 7:30 PM
Oct. 13 at Thrashers, 7:00 PM
Oct. 17 at Penguins, 7:30 PM
Oct. 18 at Flyers, 7:00 PM
Oct. 20 at Islanders, 7:00 PM
Oct. 25 at Rangers, 7:00 PM
Oct. 27 HOME OPENER vs. Senators, 7:00 PM
Oct. 31 vs. Lightning, 7:00 PM
Nov. 2 vs. Maple Leafs, 7:00 PM
Nov. 3 at Rangers, 7:00 PM
Nov. 5 vs. Penguins, 7:00 PM
Nov. 8 vs. Flyers, 7:00 PM
Nov. 10 at Islanders, 7:00 PM
Nov. 12 at Penguins, 7:30 PM
Nov. 14 VS. RANGERS, 7:00 PM
Nov. 16 VS. Islanders, 7:00 PM
Nov. 17 at Flyers, 7:00 PM
Nov. 21 at Penguins, 7:30 PM
Nov. 23 at Thrashers, 7:30 PM
Nov. 24 at Lightning, 7:30 PM
Nov. 28 vs. Stars, 7:00 PM
Nov. 30 vs. Canadiens, 7:00 PM
Dec. 2 vs. Thrashers, 5:00 PM
Dec. 5 vs. Bruins, 7:00 PM
Dec. 7 vs. Capitals, 7:00 PM
Dec. 9 at Rangers, 5:00 PM
Dec. 10 at Capitals, 7:00 PM
Dec. 13 at Bruins, 7:00 PM
Dec. 15 vs. Coyotes, 1:00 PM
Dec. 16 vs. Flyers, 5:00 PM
Dec. 18 at Canucks, 10:00 PM
Dec. 21 at Oilers, 9:00 PM
Dec. 23 at Flames, 8:00 PM
Dec. 28 vs. Sabres, 7:00 PM
Dec. 29 at Islanders, 7:00 PM
Jan. 2 vs. Panthers, 7:00 PM
Jan. 4 vs. Flyers, 7:00 PM
Jan. 5 at Bruins, 7:00 PM
Jan. 8 vs. Sabres, 7:00 PM
Jan. 10 at Hurricanes, 7:00 PM
Jan. 12 at Sabres, 7:00 PM
Jan. 16 vs. Islanders, 7:00 PM
Jan. 18 vs. Panthers, 7:00 PM
Jan. 20 vs. Maple Leafs, 5:00 PM
Jan. 22 at Flyers, 7:00 PM
Jan. 24 vs. Canadiens, 7:00 PM
Jan. 29 vs. Penguins, 7:00 PM
Feb. 1 vs. Rangers, 7:00 PM
Feb. 2 vs. Kings, 7:00 PM
Feb. 4 vs. Penguins, 7:00 PM
Feb. 6 at Sabres, 7:00 PM
Feb. 8 VS. DUCKS, 7:00 PM
Feb. 9 vs. Hurricanes, 7:00 PM
Feb. 13 vs. Senators, 7:00 PM
Feb. 15 vs. Thrashers, 7:00 PM
Feb. 16 at Senators, 7:00 PM
Feb. 18 vs. Hurricanes, 1:00 PM (HOLIDAY)
Feb. 20 vs. Sharks, 7:00 PM
Feb. 23 vs. Islanders, 1:00 PM
Feb. 24 at Capitals, 3:00 PM
Feb. 26 at Hurricanes, 7:00 PM
Feb. 29 vs. Capitals, 7:00 PM
Mar. 1 at Canadiens, 7:00 PM
Mar. 4 at Maple Leafs, 7:30 PM
Mar. 7 vs. Lightning, 7:00 PM
Mar. 8 at Maple Leafs, 7:00 PM
Mar. 11 at Canadiens, 7:30 PM
Mar. 14 at Wild, 8:00 PM
Mar. 15 at Avalanche, 3:00 PM
Mar. 19 vs. Rangers, 7:00 PM
Mar. 21 vs. Islanders, 7:00 PM
Mar. 22 at Penguins, 7:30 PM
Mar. 25 vs. Penguins, 7:00 PM
Mar. 27 at Rangers, 7:00 PM
Mar. 28 vs. Flyers, 7:00 PM
Apr. 1 at Islanders, 7:00 PM
Apr. 2 vs. Bruins, 7:00 PM
Apr. 4 at Flyers, 7:00 PM
Apr. 6 vs. Rangers, 3:00 PM (Possible NBC Game)

NHL Schedule Details

From NHL.com

Here it is: The 2007-08 NHL Schedule

Individual Teams coming up next.

Rangers Re-Sign The King

Henrik Lundqvist is back to the Rangers. 1 Year, $4.25 Mill.

He could've gotten a lot more from another team, had he been a free agent.

37 Minutes to The NHL Schedule

Kings Lock Up Their Best D-Man

Lubomir Visnovsky is being extended by the LA Kings for the next five years. He can help along Jack "JMFJ" Johnson and be the leader of a mostly young team once Rob Blake retires.

NHL Schedule in 45 minutes.

Rangers Sign Lundquist to 1 Year Deal

Franchise goaltender, Henrik Lundquist, has agreed to a one year $4.25 Million contract. This signing ended up being a compromise for both sides - allowing the Ranger a little more cap room for this year than a long term $5 Million+ contract would have provided. It is also probably more than Lundquist would have received in arbitraton, which obviously both parties preferred to avoid. It is expected that the two sides will hammer out a long term extention after January 1, which will not effect this year's cap.

The Blueshirts can probably now avoid arbitration hearings by signing Avery and Hossa and still stay under the pre-season limit of $55.33 Million. But even under the assumption that Kasparaitis is sent to Hartford at the beginning of training camp, they will almost certainly have to shed some more salary by trading or demoting at least one more player, in order to stay below the regular season upper cap limit of $50.3 Million. The most tradable player right now is Matt Cullen, whose $2.8 Million cap hit, could do the job nicely. This is assuming that the Rangers feel that Dubinsky, Pyatt or Anisimov are ready to step up now.

Rangers Home Opener

October 4th versus the Panthers.

It'll be LA-ANA in London on 9/29 - 9/30, then regular opening night on 10/3, which will feature Leafs-Sens and likely an American doubleheader for Versus, and everybody's in action 10/4.

Devils will likely open in the south, because their 2nd game will be 10/6 at Florida.

Philadelphia opens up in the northwest at Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

The Rock will be open for Hockey on...

October 27th, versus playoff knocker-outers the Ottawa Senators.

I will be there if I have to beg for tix.

Welcome to the er...Black Parade!

I hope you enjoy the new look, Underdog will be our new Devils columnist/graphic wizard/Professional Expert, and he's earned it. I hope he leaves his contact info in a post, because based on this, all of you should be giving him a call.

Back to regular business (and the new schedule) tomorrow.

Thanks again to UdX.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The New Look Is Coming

Battle of NY will have spanking new logos, provided by our new contributor/graphic master Underdog.

They will be coming soon, so stay tuned. You'll be impressed. I know I am.
Vote everybody.

Go down the left side to vote for us at the Blogger's Choice Awards!

Done Deal: Shanny Remains a Ranger

Heart and soul winger, Brendan Shanahan, signed a one year deal with the Rangers for a base of $2.5 million and bonuses that could amount to an additional $1.5 million. The Blueshirts, who are obviously making a Stanley Cup push this year, might have to "pay the piper" next year for parts of today's Shanahan signing. Depending on how much of the bonus money is earned by Shanahan and how close the Rangers keep themselves from the upper cap limit this year, their 2008-2009 upper cap limit could be reduced as a result of this deal.

Did I mention we're also naming you captain?

Through the innovation that is Islander TV, I was able to see the presser where Billy Guerin was given his brand new jersey complete with number 13 and the captains "C" to boot. I was surprised with the appointment and apparently Guerin was too. In his introduction speech Guerin mentioned that Garth Snow informed him of the decision at lunch yesterday, but Guerin was still "completely surprised, but thrilled about this tremendous honor." Honor indeed. Guerin will follow the lineage of former great Isles captains like Bryan McCabe, Trevor Linden, Kenny Jonsson, and of course Alexei Yashin.

Of course I've never played in the show and I am sure there is a certain equation when a captain is named to an NHL squad, but is it just me or should've Snow and Nolan maybe waited until training camp to see how Guerin interacts with his teammates before giving him the leadership role? Let's look at some other candidates for the captaincy that could have been chosen instead. Mike Sillinger wore the "A" last year and is a veteran player, but he's bounced around a lot and probably has a spare suitcase already packed just in case Garth calls him up and says he's been traded for the 6,391st time. So Sillinger fits in as a good choice for the "A" but not the "C." Next up is Brendan Witt who also wore the "A" last year. He's served as a captain before in Washington, but he also wears number 32 to honor the player he looked up to in Washington, Dale Hunter. As an Isles fan, I'm gonna have to pass on the Witt as captain campaign. After that its slim pickings in the veteran leadership department, maybe Trent Hunter but he doesn't exactly have a captain-esque resume but for the future he could mature into an NHL captain.

With that being said, I guess Bill Guerin as captain makes sense, there really is no other quality choice. Guerin's a veteran in the league, well respected, and puts up good numbers. Now his playoff performances leave a lot to be desired but before we discuss those merits, well the Islanders will need to make the post season first.

Shanny on the Verge of Re-Signing. Souray to Follow?

Larry Brooks of the Post reports:


The Rangers and Brendan Shanahan are on the verge of completing a one-year
deal, with the club seeking league approval on the structure of the bonuses that
will be included in the 38-year-old winger's contract, The Post has learned.

It is believed that Shanahan, who told The Post on June 20 he would
work with the Blueshirts in order to grant the team as much cap maneuverability
as possible, will sign for a base of approximately $2.5M with an additional
$1.5-2.5M in readily attainable bonuses.

"Glen [Sather] has been really good in communicating with me while he
was dealing with the [Henrik Lundqvist and Sean Avery] arbitration issues,"
Shanahan told The Post on Saturday. "I said all along I had no desire to test
the market or accept other offers."

This is leaving less cap room to resign Lundquist, Avery, Hossa, and possibly the still unsigned UFA Sheldon Souray. The Devils signing of Vitaly Vishenevski would seem to indicate that the Rangers may have won the Sheldon Souray Sweepstakes, which could only come about by clearing a significant amount of cap space. The only way the Rangers can do so at this time of the year is via trades, which is what I'm seeing as a stronger possibility each day.

As for the Sidney Crosby contract extension, I guess that prayers and pin dolls weren't enough to keep him out of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. Looking at the bright side, at least we get to watch the superstar display his breathtaking skills all season for at least 6 more years - even if some of it is at the expense of the Rangers point totals.

NHLPA: Vishnevski's a Devil

So it's indeed true. The Devils have added Defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski to compete with a bunch for spots on their 2007-08 Roster.

Right now, you have to assume that the Top 3 is White, Martin and Matvichuk.

The last 3 will be filled out by either Rachunek, Greene, Oduya, Vishnevski, or Corrente. There's a case to be made for any of them.

Speaking of Sidney

He signed a 5-year extension with the Penguins today, somewhere in the area of $9 Million a season. It'll kick in for 08-09.

Good for the Pens.

Sidney and the Sabres will Take it Outside

Reportedly, the Penguins will be in Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium for an outdoor game on January 1st, tentatively titled "The Ice Bowl".

Remember, the official schedule is released tomorrow, so we'll find out if it's true.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Devils Land Vishnevski?

According to...sigh...Eklund.

I usually wouldn't give this any thought, but it's an (e5), or for those who don't know, likely a done deal.

Yet, usually his (e5)'s don't come through until' after TFP or TSN announces it.

Ranger Tradewinds: A Hurricane or a Bunch of Hot Air?

On another slow news day for the Rangers, I offer up this speculative tidbit.

With Carolina reportedly seeking a third line center and former Hurricane, Matt Cullen, one of the three most likely Rangers to be traded (along with Marek Malik and Paul Mara) in order to free up cap space, could Cullen be headed back to Carolina? There are no specific rumors out there (other than this one) regarding this potential trade, but depending upon the priorities of GMs Glen Sather and Jim Rutherford (who apparently is shopping a defenseman to acquire the center), it could make sense for both of them.

Sam Weinman, the Rangers beat reporter for The Journal News, expects the Rangers “to close in on something fairly soon”. However, it remains anyone’s guess as to which one of the known “somethings” is closed first.

Dallas adds The Fridge

Todd Fedouruk has signed a 1 year, $875K contract with the Stars.

Meanwhile, the Canucks deal with Aaron Miller was announced at 1 year, $1.5 Mill.

Miller's a Canuck

Former King Aaron Miller signed a deal with the 'Nucks. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Interesting.

You Tell Us...Who are Your Favorite Bloggers

No no no...we're not proposing a calendar of America's best hockey bloggers (although...).

We'd like to know who you consider must read every day.

For me personally, Eric McErlain, Paul Kukla and James Mirtle are 3 people who's sites you absolutely cannot ignore if you are a serious hockey fan.

2 Man Advantage is easily the best Devils blog out there. (Yes, I'm hoping to get quoted).

Also, Mike Chen's (Seprate from BoC) blog is good.

Of course, BoC, BoA and BoO are great.

What do you guys like to read?

Coyotes Ink Mike York

Mike York signed a 1 Year, $1 Million deal with Phoenix today.

Oh boy.

Guerin New Islanders Captain

Isles TV just had the presser to introduce all of the Islander signings. In a suprise (a suprise to him as well), Billy Guerin is the new captain.

I am gonna let this sink in a little before I give my $.02 cents.

Opening Night Doubleheader

If your VERSUS, based on what's happened in free agency and whatnot, what two games do you use to open the season?

My pick:

7:00 Anaheim vs. Pittsburgh
10:00 Detroit vs. San Jose

What do you guys think? Comment it.

Dallas is in Detroit

Dallas Drake has signed a deal with the Red Wings. Likely a 1-year deal, he'll be a great fit on their fourth line.

Also, Kevin Bieksa has signed an extension with the Canucks.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sather's Game: Musical Chairs or the Old Rabbit Out of the Hat Trick?

As this is my first post, I will start with a brief introduction. I’ve been a “die hard” Ranger fan long before Bruce Willis borrowed the term for his movie titles. I’m old enough to have seen Rod Gilbert on TV playing in a Rangers’ uniform, but too young to remember any of the details. The pinnacle, of course, was in 1994, but unfortunately that great triumph is fading more and more into history, so let’s move on the present.

Although today has been a slow one around the NHL and for the Rangers, the month of July so far has been a roller coaster ride for the Rangers with no end in sight. Obviously, the most exciting part of the ride has been the free-agent acquisitions of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. Despite the hefty price tags, partially due to the precedent set earlier in the day by Philadelphia with the Briere signing, these were great acquisitions by the Rangers. They added speed, offense and defensive skills, good face-off men, leadership, character, Stanley Cup championship experience, and much more. It was tough to see Michael Nylander leave, but Scott Gomez is a great playmaker himself and a better two-way player - not to mention being seven years younger.

These two great acquisitions, however, did not come without an enormous cost, which in a sense, the Rangers will be paying off all year long. I'm talking, of course, about the deadly tight-rope walk that Glen Sather will be doing all season with the salary cap.

Before getting into the details of whom the Rangers still need to sign and for how much, it is important to take a quick look at a salary cap itself. Having looked at the salary cap rules from every angle, the simplest way to summarize it is that it is very complicated. For openers, there are different rules for the off-season than for the regular season. In the off-season, right up until opening night, a team can exceed the upper cap limit by 10%. However, many signed players, whose contracts you might never expect to count against the cap, actually do – either partially or completely. Once the season starts, teams must be below the upper cap limit, which is recalculated on a daily basis. If a team stays below the upper cap limit during the season, they can actually accrue additional cap space that can be used later in the season.

One of the more common misconceptions is that the cap value for a year is equal to the salary paid for that year. This is incorrect - the cap value for each year in a contract is the total value of the contract divided by the number of years of the contract. Therefore, neither front loading nor back loading a contract does anything to affect the cap value for each year. Another common misconception is that the bonus part of a bonus-laden contract given to a player over 35 years old does not have any cap implications. This also is not true - any bonus money that is earned by the player in the current year counts against the team's upper cap limit for the current year, but allows the team to exceed the cap by up to 7.5% for the year. However, the amount that the upper cap limit is exceeded in the current year due to this bonus, will be subtracted from team's upper cap limit for the following year - regardless of whether the player has retired. This just scratches the surface of the cap rules. For more detailed information go to: http://www.nhlscap.com/ .

Now back to the Rangers’ situation. If you ask 10 different experts on exactly where the Rangers currently stand in terms of their cap space, you will get 10 different answers. So we might as well go with Larry Brooks’ number from today, which is that the Rangers have $9 million left to sign Henrik Lundquist, Sean Avery, Marcel Hossa, and Brendan Shanahan. It’s not clear whether this number accounts for the extra two or three players needed to round out a 23 man roster, or even the $1 million or so “wiggle room” needed during the season to deal with unforeseen events. Regardless, it is clear that Rangers have left themselves with little to no chance of keeping all their players by opening night. Unless Sather can “pull a rabbit out of his hat”, at least one player (in addition to Kasparaitis), whose cap value this year is over $2 million, will have to go via trade or demotion to Hartford - or in the case of Brendan Shanahan may not be signed at all.

In order to get resolution and/or regroup for further negotiations, Avery’s, Hossa’s and Lundquist’s cases have been filed for arbitration. In Lundquist’s case it was the team that filed, partially in order to ward off any potential RFA poachers. Lundquist’s salary for this year would seem to hold the key. If he makes the $5 million or so that he is requesting, and probably deserves, it will be impossible to keep everyone. If, as Larry Brooks suggests, the Rangers actually do take Lundquist to arbitration, they will be looking for a salary in line with Cam Ward’s and Ryan Miller’s $2 million to $2.5 million. Should this happen, they might just squeeze under the cap with Avery getting about $2 million, Hossa getting about $1 million, and Shanahan getting about $2 million in base plus bonuses.

However, arbitration is a very risky business, and pissing off Avery and Lundquist could end up backfiring in the nastiest of ways. There are many possibilities, including settling all three contracts before arbitration. In the event that the Rangers can't ultimately fit under the cap, speculation is that the most likely candidates to go would be Marek Malik, Paul Mara, or Matt Cullen. This would probably be settled in training camp, depending on the readiness of their young defensemen and centers.

Needless to say, with this mess so unsettled, you can almost certainly forget about Sheldon Souray. The Rangers would practically have to move mountains in order to sign him. With the pros and cons, as well as the plus/minus involved with Souray, it's probably just as well. By the same token you can probably forget about any other free-agent signings. There's just nothing left with which to sign them.

In other Ranger news this week, to show that not every thing is in stagnation, the Rangers did manage to sign Peter Prucha to a 2 year $3.2 million deal. There is also speculation, although I haven't seen confirmation, that the Rangers signed highly touted Russian prospect Artem Anisimov to a 3 year $2.55 million deal. Despite rumors that the Rangers are going to buy out Alexei Cherepanov’s Omsk contract, so that he can play for the Rangers this year, I highly doubt that this is going to happen. By his own admission, Cherepanov is not physically ready for the daily rigors of the NHL - he needs a year to strengthen up. It would be great if he could get acclimated to playing in North America by playing this year in Hartford, which is where I think he would end up if the Rangers do miraculously get him out of Omsk this year.

The Rangers Prospects Camp recently concluded with a number of youngsters who were impressive enough to get a good look from the coaches at the Rangers upcoming training camp this year. The Prospects Camp was a difficult environment to judge exactly where each prospect stands, especially Cherepanov, who wasn't even able to play with his own equipment. There were even two Japanese cultural exchange-type players at the camp, but don't worry, they do not count against the salary cap this year. It is rumored that the only thing they were counting was how many hot dogs 6 time defending champion, Takeru Kobayashi, would eat on Nathan’s July 4th Contest (for the record - 63 in a second-place effort).

The one thing that was clear to those who observed the Prospects Camp – Marc Staal is looking more and more like the stud we all thought he would be, and it seems very likely that he will make the team this year.

I will continue to keep you posted as all these stories unfold. And fear not, future posts will not be this verbose. It's been a busy couple of weeks, and we had a lot of catching up to do.

Another New Blogger

Please welcome our new Rangers blogger, Alex.

Alex will be talking blueshirts on a daily basis, while Derek scales back to the role of "Weekly, scotch-drinking, editorialist".

Alex is a good guy and a smart hockey fan, so you should enjoy reading his well-written posts soon.

One More Upgrade

I decide to Upgrade the blog's template. We should be getting our fresh new logo soon as well. The blog it is a changin'!

Live Earth: A review

Here are my thoughts of the LIVE EARTH New Jersey performances, as I attended on Saturday. Back to hockey as soon as we get some freakin' news!


So here's the breakdown of the day:

-Kenna came out first and got everyone in the crowd dancing, and for someone we'd never heard of before, he was really enjoyable.

-KT Tunstall was next, and honest to God she was the big surprise of the day. Only 2 songs but she really captured the crowd in her hands and was very impressive.

-Taking Back Sunday's singer was barely audible, which really took the momentum out of their performance.

-Keith Urban wasn't bad, but it's not really my style of music.

-Ludacris was the first artist since Tunstall to really get the crowd into his set. He was really enjoying himself and his set was as tight as anyone elses.

-AFI had another one of those sets where the crowd just meandered around going "What the fvck is this?", until they finally busted out "Miss Murder" which wasn't bad, and a surprisingly good cover of "Ziggy Stardust". It wasn't their crowd and they kind of knew it, but they did the best with what they had.

-Fall Out Boy, for what people (including me) have said about them, we're extremely tight, and had most of the younger crowd going with them.

-I took my break during Akon.

-John Mayer had a decent set, and probably had the first song that had anything close to doing with the cause ("Waiting on the World to Change").

-Melissa Etheridge had the most poignant set of the night, with her song from An Inconvienient Truth. Al G. came out for a second time after she performed.

-Alicia Keys was up next, someone whom I've maybe heard one song of in my lifetime. She probably made a better impression on me than anyone in that whole show. She did a Rolling Stones cover that really had the crowd going.

-Dave Matthews Band came out, played "Don't Drink the Water" and jammed around it for about 10 minutes. They weren't bad, I can see why so many people love their live show.

-Kelly Clarkson was good. She has a great voice, but frankly, I'm getting a little tired of her, and the crowd didn't really respond till she got to "Since U Been Gone".

-Kanye had a solid performance, and probably made the most of the 20 minutes each artist had. He had a weird looking orchestra, in silver suits. Again, wasn't his crowd, but he tried real hard, and probably won over a few fans yesterday.

-About 75% of the crowd was there for Bon Jovi. They could've taken a sh!t on stage and gotten huge cheers. Other than "Wanted Dead or Alive", I was left largely annoyed with their arrogance and self-love.

-The Smashing Pumpkins were next. Er, Billy Corgan and some bastardized, 17-member version of the Pumpkins if you watched the videos. Anyway, there were only 4 of them here, and they sounded really good. "United States", 8 minutes long, is still a great new song. They were very good.

-Next was Roger Waters, whom I anticipated the most for that night and didn't disappoint me. I yelled at people who left during "Another Brick in the Wall". Probably the best act of the night.

-The Police came out and sounded really great, but Sting, he just was either horse, or didn't have the pipes. They jam like kings though, and Kanye West and John Mayer on "Message in a Bottle" was a great cap to the night.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Today

I will be working at LiveEarth at the Meadowlands today, so I'll be out all day. If there's any news, I'm sure someone else will post it.

Rangers Head to Arbitration

with Henrik Lundqvist. Should be interesting.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Report: Souray Deal "All But Announced"

Now NHLLine.ca is reporting those words, and we're going to stick our necks in the ring for them.

We'll make it fun. If Souray signs here, we'll link NHL Line to the site.

If he doesn't, we'll ban any reports that come from them from being posted on our site.

Let's see what happens.

Clemmer signs in T.O.

A 2-way contract with the Leafs for the goalie who couldn't win to get them into the playoffs.

Happy trails, Clemmer.

Wild Sign Hill

Per Kuklas Korner.

Sean Hill to the Wild. They don't think Sean "Knowingly took any banned performance-enhancing substance. "

Kevin Lowe Can't Win

Made an offer sheet to Thomas Vanek for 7 Years, $50 Mill, but Darcy Regier and the Sabres immediately matched it.

Relax, you guys only play 42 times at the Coliseum.

Normally I'd introduce myself to the faithful Battle of New York readers, but we'll have to save that for another time. Any introduction I could offer would be grossly overshadowed by the huge free agent signings of Bill Guerin and Mike Comrie. As you can see, I am an Islanders fan and a pessimistic one at that.

At first news of these signings I could already hear the snickering from the Ranger fans and the comments from every other hockey know-it-all mocking the Islanders for overpaying to land an aging, past his prime free agent and an under-achieving, diminutive center with attitude problems. I decided to let the dust settle and do some homework before rushing to judge Garth Snow's first free agent signings.

$9 million dollars over 2 years is a lot of money to you and I, and it would probably net you a nice house in Syosset, a Land Rover, and all the Ralph's Italian ice you can eat. To other NHL franchises who don't have the cap room (I'm looking at you Vancouver) this is also a lot of money. But for the Isles who lost 5 of their top point producers from last year and had the money and cap room to spare, it’s a good a deal. No really, that’s not sarcasm, it’s a good deal. Argue all you want about Jason Blake being younger and the Isles losing him for only $500K more and that Guerin is older, but the reality of it is, signing Bill Guerin to this contract is a good deal. The Rangers and Flyers have already gone out and proved that in the "New NHL" teams are going to shell out top dollar to the higher end Free Agents, so the Islanders are just following suit.

Billy Guerin is a solid contributor. He's a goal scorer and is good to light the lamp about 25-30 times a year. I'm leaving out his two 40 goal seasons with the Bruins as I'm pretty sure I could pot about 15 goals in the show if I was playing on a line with Joe Thornton as my center. Even if Guerin is turning 37 in November, he is still durable and his track record will prove he's a shoe in to be in the line up every night. Not to mention if this signing doesn't work out, the San Jose Sharks showed that a team will shell out a prospect and high pick for Guerin's less then stellar playoff services. I actually like what Garth Snow has done here, it's not a quick fix, it's not that long of a contract, and if its not the right fit Guerin can be shipped out for future parts.

Let's move on to Andy Hilbert's one time Michigan Wolverine teammate, Mike Comrie. Once again, everyone is going to focus on his price tag ($3.375-million), his lack of consistent production and games played, his lacking defensive game, and we can't forget his bad attitude. I'm hesitant on liking this pick up, but there is an upside with Ted Nolan who has proven in the past he can get the best out of his players. Is Comrie an ideal first line center? No, Not at all. But was Derek Plante or Brian Holzinger for Buffalo back in '96-'97? I think not. With any luck and Ted Nolan cracking the whip, Comrie may just turn out to be a nice pick up who uses a solid year on the Island only to skip town next summer for a better deal. (Hey, I said I was a pessimistic Islander fan.)

These are baby steps Garth is taking and they are baby steps in the right direction. Both signings have potential and for Islander fans, that’s a lot more potential then we had a few days ago.

Paddock to Coach Sens

John Paddock has been named the new coach of the Otttawa Senators.

This move reeks of Jim Playfair to Calgary last year.

Expect Padock to be gone within a year.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Poll Question

Will Souray sign with the Devils? Yes or No? leave comments.

Still no new news to report other than that it's about money and no-trade clauses and lots of that boring stuff.

Random rant: Anyone noticed how much Islander swag has been showing up in TV shows lately? Eric's Isle hat during the Medeillin shoot was the most obvious. One you may not have noticed is Liz's boyfriend Dean on 30 Rock owning a white Islander jersey. Liz has made references to trying to learn hockey on the show as well.

Good for the Isle.

Red Wings Finally Re-Sign Hasek

1 Year deal, $2 million base salary with incentives.

The Red Wings go back to being first round fodder for a Western Canadian team again.

Isles Sign Comrie

After signing Billy G. hours eariler, the Isles added former Senator/Coyote/Oiler Mike Comrie to the mix, signing him to a 1-year deal.

Also...

Jocelyn Thibault signed in Buffalo, whom also re-signed Andrew Peters.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard re-signed with Minnesota.

Dollar Bill to the Isles

I'm sure Frank will want to talk about this.

The Isles have signed Billy Guerin for 2 years at $4.5 mill per year.

Another Welcome

This one's official, as we welcome our new Isles blogger, Frank!

Welcome Frank, you've been commenting here for a while, so you know the drill.

Frank will be covering the Isles for us on an everyday basis, while Rob will look in at the team weekly as usual.

Hopefully we can set up some "PTI" style debates between them in the near future.

Devils Sign Kevin Weekes

Tom Gulitti is reporting at his Fire & Ice blog that the Devils signed former Ranger goalie/Devil Killer Kevin Weekes to be Marty Brodeur's backup.

Absolutely a smart signing for Lou. My faith in him is rising back. Now give us one more d-man (Souray? Sutton? Anyone?) and we'll be essentially back where we started.

No terms were available at the time of this report.

Prucha Re-Signs

Thanks to our friend Robert for this...

From John dellapina's Rangers blog:

Prucha Gets 2-Year Deal

One more down. Four more to go.

The Rangers have re-signed forward Petr Prucha to a two-year deal worth $1.6 million per.

That leaves Henrik Lundqvist, Brendan Shanahan, Sean Avery and Marcel Hossa left to re-up and the Rangers with $10-11 million worth of cap space to do it.

Of course, there are a couple of wrinkles.

During the offseason, teams can go 10 pecent above the team cap (from $50.3 million to $55.33 million) as long as they get back under the $50.3 million figure by the last day of training camp. But Darius Kasparaitis' $3 million counts in that accounting until he's sent back to the minors at camp.

Players over 35 can sign one-year deals with lower base salaries and easily-attainable bonuses that allow teams to defer cap compliance. By the end of the season, all the bonuses paid will count and any team over the cap will have that much less cap room the next season. In the meantime, though, players can be sent to the minors and traded in order to clear room. Which means that Brendan Shanahan can sign a lower-base, heavy-on-bonuses deal that can get him back to around $4 million for next season without the Rangers having to count all of it until year's end.

As for the unsigned four, Shanahan is on the verge. Lundqvist is hammering out a new deal. Avery is likely to take the Rangers to salary arbitration. Hossa is unlikely to get much more than his qualifying offer.

Nohing New

So far, no big news. Reportedly, the Devils are a few details away from Souray, but I'm still extremely skeptical about the possibility.

If they signed Souray, here's what NJD would look like next year:

Elias-Parise-Gionta
Zubrus-Zajac-Langenbrunner
Pandolfo-Madden-Brylin
Clarkson-Rupp-Janssen

Souray-Matvichuk
White-Martin
Rachunek/Greene/Oduya/Corrente

1st PWR PLAY:
Elias-Parise-Gionta
Langenbrunner-Souray

2nd PWR PLAY:
Zubrus-Zajac-Clarkson
Rachunek-Martin

Important Dates

July 7th: Steve Works at Live Earth
July 11th: NHL Schedule Released
July 12th: Steve's Annual "Predict the NHL on VERSUS and NHL on NBC" Contest For Those with Really Nothing to Do.
July 13th: Steve's Annual "Create a completely new TV Schedule for the NHL to Sell to a Better Network" Extravaganza.

July 20th: Battle of New York goes on hiatus for about 6 Weeks. Only our newest bloggers will be allowed to do occasional posts (i.e. weekly) as a tryout for the new season.

Sept. 1st: Battle of New York makes it's triumphant return to all 7 of it's adoring fans.

Speaking of new bloggers...joining us soon should be our new "Everyday" Isles blogger, Frank. Frank will be keeping up on the torture on the Isle every day, where as Rob will remain restrained to weekly.

Also, in the fall, Derek will be shifting to more weekly duty. We're still looking for an additional Rangers blogger! Remember, SMLepore@comcast.net is the address to go to! We also need a weekly Devils blogger, so e-mail me if interested in joining the team.

Until then, enjoy the speculation! See you for more news and (hopefully) a new Devil!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

New Look

I felt it was time to jazz up the site a little bit.

It's still a blogger template, so it shouldn't be too confusing.

Rumor: Souray to the Devils?

All over the place, rumors are swirling that the Devils are going to sign Souray for somewhere between 5.5-6 million.

July 4th News

Sabres re-signed Teppo Numminen for 1 year, $2.6M.

Oilers signed Matt Greene for 2 years.

Fedotenko signs with the Isles for 1 year, $2.9M

And a Biggie: Slava Kozlov signs a multi-year deal with the Thrash.

Poll Question

Easy: Pick the Best Signing So Far...

My votes would be torn between Ouelett in TB, Lang in CHI, Kariya in STL, and Drury with NYR.

What's your take on this lovely Independence Day?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Various Signings Tonight

Minnesota re-signed Wez Walz for 1 year.

Vancouver signed Curtis Sanford - 1 Year, $600K

Raffi Torres re-signed in Edmonton. 3 Years, $6.75M total.

Kings signed Brad Stuart - 1 Year, $3.5 Mill. Kings continue to build.

Brad Ference is signed with the Red Wings.

Speaking of the Kings, Jason LaBarbera signed a 2-year extension with them. Finally, they can keep him at the NHL level.

Lightning deal Lukowich

He really became irrelevent once Rachunek signed.

Lukowich signs 3 years, $4.7 M per year.

Darren Dreger reports that Sidney Crosby is in talks with Ray Shero and the Penguins on a contract extensions, rumored to be between $7.5-9.5M per year. But Dreger reports that he may take less if Shero promises to surround him.

Brian Smolinski's deal with the Habs kills Yashin's deal there.

Edmonton, Washington maybe interested in him.

Ed Jovonovski may be being shopped around by the Coyotes. He has 4 years left on his contract. He's not crazy about it.

Everything That's Happened So Far

Anaheim Ducks Logo - Primary (2007-Pres)
SIGNED:
Brad May (2 Years, Terms Undisclosed)
Todd Bertuzzi (2 Years, $4M per year)
Matheiu Schnieder (2 Years, $5.625M per year)

RE-SIGNED
Sean O'Donnell (2 Years, $1.25M per year)
Kent Huskins (2 Years, $600K per year)

ANALYSIS: The rich get richer. The Ducks are still the best in the West even if they lose Nieds and Selanne.
Atlanta Thrashers Logo - Primary (2000-Pres)
SIGNED:
Ken Klee (2 Years, Terms Undisclosed)
Eric Perrin (2 Years, $750K per year)
Todd White (4 Years, $2.375M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
Pascal Dupuis (1 Year, $880K)

ANALYSIS: Call me at the end of the year, and compare Todd White and Keith Tkachuk's numbers. The Thrashers are in trouble.
Boston Bruins Logo - Primary (2008-Pres)
SIGNED:
Shawn Thornton (No Terms Disclosed)

ANALYSIS: Another team that was bad last year that failed to improve.

Buffalo Sabres Logo - Primary (2007-Pres)
RE-SIGNED:
Adam Mair (3 Years, $758K per year)
ANALYSIS: Briere and Drury hurts. Their big regret might be not going after Dainius Zubrus. But Buffalo will make the playoffs again next season, they still have enough talent and are stacked in the farm system.

Calgary Flames Logo - Primary (1995-Pres)
SIGNED:
Owen Nolan (1 Year, $1.75M)
Cory Sarich (5 Years, $3.6M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
David Hale (1 Year, $590K)
Wayne Primeau (3 Years, $1.4 Mill per year)

ANALYSIS:
Now Owen Nolan can play with Tony Amonte on the "You Still Play?" line. It will be an interesting year in Calgary.
Carolina Hurricanes Logo - Primary (1998-Pres)
SIGNED:
Jeff Hamilton (1 Year, $800K)
Wade Brookbank (1 Year)
JD Forrest (1 Year)
Tim Conboy (1 Year)

RE-SIGNED:
Ryan Bayda (1 Year)
ANALYSIS:
They really didn't improve anything. For a team that missed the playoffs a year after winning the Stanley Cup, that's inexcusable.
Chicago Blackhawks Logo - Primary (1965-Pres)
SIGNED:
Yanic Perrault (1 Year, $1.5M)
Robert Lang (2 Years)
ANALYSIS: Maybe the most improved team not called the Rangers. They are now a legit playoff contender. They gotta hope for a lotta' young guys to come thru, but now they have the right mix fo vets and kids.
Colorado Avalanche Logo - Primary (1996-Pres)
SIGNED:
Ryan Smyth (5 Years, $6.25M Per year)
Scott Hannan (4 Years, $4.5M Per year)
ANALYSIS:
Expect the attendence problems in Denver to go away, as Colorado's added the buzz and now has the team to be competitive for the next 5 years. Joe Sakic finally has the team that can take him in to retirement, when he's comfortable doing so.
Columbus Blue Jackets Logo - Primary (2008-Pres)
SIGNED:
Sheldon Brookbank (1 Year)
Jiri Novotny (2 Years)

RE-SIGNED:
Alexander Svitov (2 Years)
Ole-Kristian Tollefson (2 Years)
ANALYSIS:
Columbus has gotta' hope people stay healthy, and Nash finally starts playing like a superstar again. And that Zherdev does as well. And that Adam Foote stays healthy. Lotta' ifs for a team that added nothing.
Dallas Stars Logo - Primary (1994-Pres)
RE-SIGNED:
Sergei Zubov (1 Year, $5.35M)
ANALYSIS:
Dallas is still due for a revamp, and they're pretty much going into the next year with the same team they had last year.
Detroit Red Wings Logo - Primary (1949-Pres)
SIGNED:
Brian Rafalski (5 Years, $6M Per year)
ANALYSIS:
Detroit might be in for a drop this year if they can't find a way to sign a serviceable goaltender.
Edmonton Oilers Logo - Primary (1997-Pres)
SIGNED:
Dick Tarnstrom (1 Year)
Matheiu Garon (2 Year)
RE-SIGNED:
Denis Grebeshkov (1 Year)
ANALYSIS:
Possibly the biggest loser of the frenzy, Kevin Lowe might wanna check the want ads.

Florida Panthers Logo - Primary (1994-Pres)
SIGNED:
Radek Dvorak (2 Years)
Brett McLean (3 Years, $1.7M per year)
Richard Zednik (2 Years, $1.6M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
Jozef Stumpel (2 Years, $2.25M per year)
Craig Anderson (2 Years)

ANALYSIS:
Florida also added Tomas Vokoun via trade, and may finally return to the playoffs for the first time since Pavel Bure led the league in goals.

Los Angeles Kings Logo - Primary (2003-Pres)
SIGNED:
Tom Preissing (4 Years, $2.75M per year)
Kyle Calder (2 Years, $2.75M per year)
Ladislav Nagy (1 Year, $3.75M per year)
Michal Handzus (4 Years, $4M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
Jaroslav Modry (1 Year, $1.2M)

ANALYSIS:
The Kings were really left for dead by many after day one, but they came back roaring on day two. With some pieces in place already, Preissing will fill out a 'D' that already features Modry, Rob Black, and Jack 'JMFJ' Johnson. While Calder, Handzus and Nagy will be playing with the likes of Frolov, Brown, Cammaleri and Kopitar.
Minnesota Wild Logo - Primary (2001-Pres)
SIGNED:
Steve Kelly (1 Year)
Nolan Schaefer (Terms Undisclosed)

RE-SIGNED:
Martin Skoula (Terms Undisclosed)
Mikko Koivu (4 Years, $3.3M per year)

ANALYSIS:
Minnesota will stick to Jacques Lemaire's system and get over 90 points, but is that enough in a crazy Northwest Division where they didn't get better and everyone but Edmonton did?
Montreal Canadiens Logo - Primary (1953-Pres)
SIGNED:
Roman Hamrlik (4 Years, $5.5M per year)
Brian Smolinski (1 Year, $2M)

ANALYSIS:
Biggest losers of the UFA frenzy. They need to find a way to make Montreal a better place to play.
Nashville Predators Logo - Primary (1999-Pres)
SIGNED:
Greg De Vries (2 Years)
Radek Bonk (2 Years)
Jed Ortmeyer (2 Years, $750K)

RE-SIGNED:
Alex Henry (1 Year)
Scott Nichol (2 Years, $750K)
Pekka Rinne (2 Years)
Ville Koistenen (1 Year, $475K)

ANALYSIS:
The Preds are not completely out of playoff contention, with 5 of their top 6 d-men back, a couple of decent offensive lines, and the amazing Alex Radulov, but it'll be a tough sell for what could be the final year in Nashville.
New Jersey Devils Logo - Primary (1993-Pres)
SIGNED:
Dainius Zubrus (6 Years, $3.4M per year)
Karel Rachunek (1 Year, $1.5M)

RE-SIGNED:
Johnny Oduya (Terms Undisclosed)

ANALYSIS: Zubrus and Rachunek are no Gomez and Rafalski, but they'll get this team at least as far as Round 2 of the playoffs, which is where Gomez and Rafalski brought them the last two years. Whether or not Zubrus plays wing or center will determine a lot in how the Devils shape their offense this year.
New York Islanders Logo - Primary (1998-Pres)
SIGNED:
Jon Sim (3 Years, $1M per year)

ANALYSIS: The Islanders are in deep trouble, in more than one way, after letting Smyth and Blake going and replacing them with Jon Sim.
New York Rangers Logo - Primary (1979-Pres)
SIGNED:
Scott Gomez (7 Years, $7.36M per year)
Chris Drury (5 Years, $7.05M per year)

ANALYSIS: I hate to say it, but the Rangers are the early favorite out of the Eastern Conference.

Ottawa Senators Logo - Primary (1998-Pres)
SIGNED:
Matt Carkner (1 Year)

RE-SIGNED:
Danny Bois (2 Years)

ANALYSIS:
Ottawa didn't improve on last year's team. Letting Comrie and Preissing walk will hurt.

Philadelphia Flyers Logo - Primary (1968-Pres)
SIGNED:
Daniel Briere (8 Years, $6.5M per year)

ANALYSIS: Add this to the signing of Timmonen and Hartnell, the trade for Lupul and Smith, and the Flyers are back in the Atlantic Division title contention.
Phoenix Coyotes Logo - Primary (2004-Pres)
NOTHING

ANALYSIS: Same as it ever was in the Valley Of the Sun. New GM, Same Problems. Good luck to Jovo and Doan with this bunch.

Pittsburgh Penguins Logo - Primary (2001-Pres)
SIGNED
Petr Sykora (2 Years)
Darryl Sydor (2 Years, $2.5M)
Danny Sabourin (2 Years, $512K)

RE-SIGNED:
Ryan Whitney (6 Years, $4M per year)

ANALYSIS:
It will be interesting to see how Sykora meshes with the rest of this bunch. Sydor will help with Ryan Whitney's development as a defenseman.
San Jose Sharks Logo - Primary (1992-Pres)
RE-SIGNED:
Joe Thornton (3 Years, $7.2M per year)

ANALYSIS:
Maybe the Sharks will be ready to take the next step this year. Maybe.

St. Louis Blues Logo - Primary (1999-Pres)
SIGNED:
Paul Kariya (3 Years, $6M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
Barrett Jackman (1 Year)
Keith Tkachuk (2 Years, $4M per year)

ANALYSIS:
Kariya is a big "get" for JD and the Blues. They will be a team to contend with this year. Many people forget they finished 10th in the West last year. I have a feeling they'll be a lot closer with Nashville and Detroit dropping in quality and only Chicago improving more.

Tampa Bay Lightning Logo - Primary (1993-Pres)
SIGNED:
David Schneider (1 Year)
Jay Leach (1 Year)
Matheiu Darche (1 Year)
Michel Ouelett (2 Years)

ANALYSIS:
Ouelett will blossom into the sniper he showed signs of becoming in Pittsburgh. Brad Richards point total will increase by double digits.
Toronto Maple Leafs Logo - Primary (1983-Pres)
SIGNED:
Simon Gamache (2 Years)
Jason Blake (5 Years, $4M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
Jay Harrison (1 Year)
Bates Battaglia (2 Years, $650K per year)

ANALYSIS:
After all that, the Leafs aren't that much better. They still need to do more to become a playoff team.


Vancouver Canucks Logo - Primary (1998-Pres)
SIGNED:
Byron Ritchie (TBD, $675K)
Brad Isbister (TBD, $525K)
Greg Classen (Terms Undisclosed)
Lukas Krajicek (2 Years, $1.1M per year)

RE-SIGNED:
Brad Moran (Terms Undisclosed)
Jason Jaffray (Terms Undisclosed)
Jeff Cowan (2 Years)

ANALYSIS:
Whole lotta' nothin' for the Canucks. Some career minor leaguers and career fourth-liners. Krajicek provides depth on the 'D', but overall there wasn't much VanCity could do.

Washington Capitals Logo - Primary (2008-Pres)
SIGNED:
Tom Poti (4 Years, $3.5M Per year)
Michael Nylander (4 Years)
Viktor Kozlov (2 Years, $2.5M per year)

ANALYSIS:
Good character guys for Capitals. With Nylander, Kozlov and Backstrom, they're set down the middle for a while. Nylander and Ovechkin will make each other better players. Poti will make for a dangerous DC power play.

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