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Discussion Starter #1
Well no time like the present to start talking about this..pending a comeback tonight ( gm5 ott Nj )

2 noteables who may be leaving are Brain Rafalski and Gomez. I kinda gotta say let them both go. Unless lou can find a way to lower his price for the points gomer does put up..wouldnt justify the pay. Rafalski i'm up in the air about i know he's been here a while and seems like he bleeds devils red. He just isnt the same player anymore he's alot more sloppy with the puck and his shot from the point isnt what it once was.

if we let gomer and rafalski go we should save roughly 8.5 million. First target i put on that list..Former Devil Sheldon Souray. A soild D man with a wicked shot. He could really help the power play. Who will fill gomers role? could be alot of people. Danny Briere and Dury are both free agents and there are some fast young players out west coming up on free agentcy.. a couple of moves and we can keep our Defencive style but up the offence...sadly the NHL has suceeded in elminating devils hockey. Its time to catch up to the times and start putting pucks in the net.

fantasy lines for next yr

Patty,?,Gio
Parise,Zajac,Langenbrunner
Brylin,Madden,Pando
Bergfors( i really wanna see what this kid has) Dowd, Rassmussen

If you noticed the 4th line is focused a lil more on offence

Souray,Martin
Lukowhich,White
Green, Matvichuck ( if he comes back..if not odyua)

Brodeur,Doyle
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Rich just said it best. A big shot from the point.
 

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Like you mentioned, the two big decisions on Lou's hands this offseason are Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski. While I would hate to lose Gomez, let's face the facts. The Devils need more offensive depth up front. Tying 5+ million up in one forward, when you've got two others at 4+ million already doesn't help much depthwise. And really going after guys like Drury or Briere doesn't help, because they'll be big contracts as well. I'd say concentrate the money set for Gomez to getting a relatively cheap replacement and maybe adding some offensive punch on the lower two lines.

As for Rafalski, I like him and what he brings, but if he's not willing to take a paycut to about 3 milllion I'd say let him go. The Devils need somebody with a heavy shot from the point, and nobody on the roster now really has that. If you have to let Rafalski go to go after a guy like Souray, who I think would be a perfect fit for the Devils needs, then so be it.

The time has come for the Devils to seriously take a look at themselves and their future. They have made a living off the patient defensive game in the past, but in the post-lockout world they have a pair of 5 game defeats in the second round to show for it. The roster as it is lacks the offensive depth to win a championship, and it showed against the Sens.

Defensively, I don't think that many changes are really necessary. Martin, Lukowich, Matvichuk, White, and Greene should all stay. Greene will replace Rafalski rather quickly, and Martin needs to develop the offensive touch many believed he had coming into the league. Time to start being that poor man's Scott Niedermayer the Devils hope he is. White, Lukowich, and Matvichuk are good enough in their defensive roles, although their mobility might be an issue.

Another thing I'd suggest is getting a backup capable of starting 10-15 games for the Devils, because I think the time has come to start giving Marty some more rest during the regular season. While I don't think the "Marty is wearing down" argument is necessarily true, let's be honest here. Marty is not getting any younger, and it's only a matter of time until his workload becomes an issue. Rather than waiting and being reactive, it's time to be proactive.

This is going to be a very important offseason for Lou and the Devils. They've got a new arena opening next year, they've got UFA issues, they've got cap issues, they're facing the reality of two unsuccessful playoffs in a row, and have some serious thinking to do about this team's future.
 

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Well i made some post in the playoff thread that could of gone here just as well.

First thing like i mentioned in other thread before. Also stated by N.Y hockey analyst Stan Fischler is marty needs rest. imo get a decent proven backup one that can give you a 17-10 record. marty is not getting younger like i said. he does thrive playing more dont get me wrong. but i dont see how rest cant help. playoffs are not the same as regular season games. mentally there is no one beter to up this challenge then marty. if someone of his magnatude thrives on playing more then he will do just as fine with rest.

Chico Resch also stated 2 names as possibiltys as coach. ron wilson and john maclean. had some other names also but would not state them.

As for gomez they made a good point. let him go sign elswhere and they can move zach to the #1 center position and fill in the 2nd line center at a cheaper method. imo they need a true #1 bone crushing stevens like defensman again (could be said for much of the NHL'S teams) but with money saved from gomez maybe it be possible to trade or sign for one. not sure whats avaible on the FA market in ways of defense.

My final thoughts on the devils are not many changes have to be made.

1-3 players moving is not that much of a major overhaul even if its losing gomez.
 

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I'd like to throw this in as well. A lot of the Devils problems in this series were their $7.5 million captain having his head in the clouds, and the other 2/3 of the EGG line not having a very good series. Credit has to go to the Sens for keeping them in check, but still they underachieved in this series (and on the season). If Elias and Gionta can return to form next year and stay healthy, losing Gomez wouldn't be such a big deal. The talent is there for the Devils to be a more offensive team, but I'd still like to see them add some players to the fourth line that can play a more regular role and chip in offensively. I like Rupp, Rasmussen, Dowd, Janssen, and that whole group but they just don't bring much in terms of offense. They're all good utility players, but that's pretty much all they are.

I don't by any means think the Devils need to blow it all up and start over, but they do need to take a long, hard look at the future this offseason. They've got a lot of long-term money wrapped up in Brodeur, Elias, Langenbrunner, Gionta, and White (20.8 million combined against the cap next year). Signing Gomez to a deal worth 5+ million a year would mean 25+ million committed to 6 players, which is why I think he'll probably be gone. A lot of that depends on where the cap is next year, so they might have enough room to make it all work yet.
 

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I don't by any means think the Devils need to blow it all up and start over, but they do need to take a long, hard look at the future this offseason. They've got a lot of long-term money wrapped up in Brodeur, Elias, Langenbrunner, Gionta, and White (20.8 million combined against the cap next year). Signing Gomez to a deal worth 5+ million a year would mean 25+ million committed to 6 players, which is why I think he'll probably be gone. A lot of that depends on where the cap is next year, so they might have enough room to make it all work yet.
They might be able to get it done depending on what new ticket sale's in newark brings them in. its gona be a tough call on gomez for sure.

Im still wondering what gomez would produce in a more offensive system.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have the strangest feeling if gomer does leave he will head to somewhere like columbus..just a gut feeling but i wonder what him and Nash could do together.
 

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I have the strangest feeling if gomer does leave he will head to somewhere like columbus..just a gut feeling but i wonder what him and Nash could do together.
I do think Gomez will probably end up in the West if he leaves. For some reason Anaheim and Los Angeles strike me as possibilites. He'd be closer to home (if that's a factor in his decision), and I think both have the cap room to make the move work. Wouldn't surprise me if Brian Burke finds a way to get yet another former Devil out there in Anaheim...

There will be a lot of teams interested in Gomez this offseason, so where he ends up is anybody's guess. I really do like Gomez and don't want to see him go, but I'm also realistic enough to accept that he's probably as good as gone. It'll be the third straight offseason the Devils could lose a key player to free agency.:frown:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I do like Gomer to but in the Devils system he just really doesnt fit..well..doesnt put up the stats for 5+ mill like he wants. If/when gomer does go if he ends up in a team with alotta offensive premise it will be interstering to see his point totals
 

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I do think Gomez will probably end up in the West if he leaves. For some reason Anaheim and Los Angeles strike me as possibilites. He'd be closer to home (if that's a factor in his decision), and I think both have the cap room to make the move work. Wouldn't surprise me if Brian Burke finds a way to get yet another former Devil out there in Anaheim...

There will be a lot of teams interested in Gomez this offseason, so where he ends up is anybody's guess. I really do like Gomez and don't want to see him go, but I'm also realistic enough to accept that he's probably as good as gone. It'll be the third straight offseason the Devils could lose a key player to free agency.:frown:

keep in mind about gomez one of his old coaches in brandon dubinksys father. there could be some family bonding there if the rangers decide to go after gomez. one of the elite 3 with briere and drury. he does love playing in msg also. but i doubt it happen but who knows stranger stuff has happened in sports.
 

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keep in mind about gomez one of his old coaches in brandon dubinksys father. there could be some family bonding there if the rangers decide to go after gomez. one of the elite 3 with briere and drury. he does love playing in msg also. but i doubt it happen but who knows stranger stuff has happened in sports.
If Gomez ever signs with the Rangers I will wish nothing but bad things upon him for the rest of his days. I don't see Gomez going across the river, unless he feels the need to stick it to Lou for some reason. But then again that traitorous bastard Holik did it...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gomez wouldnt go over the river unless the Rangers offered a absurd amount of money. He seemed very saddened in his interview about letting the fans down with the teams preformence.. I really think he has a heavy heart with new jersey and if he does leave it will be strictly money.
 

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Speaking of Sykora, I see that he's due to become a free agent this offseason if the Oilers don't resign him. Not that Lou would bring him back, but you never know.

Looking at the list of Devils UFAs at the end of the season, I think Lou will be cutting some dead wood this offseason. Here's the list of potential UFAs...

Sergei Brylin, (III)
Scott Clemmenson, (III)

Jim Dowd, (III)
Jim Fahey, (III)
Scott Gomez, (III)
Dan Lacouture, (III)
Brad Lukowich, (III)
Grant Marshall, (III)
Dan McGillis, (III)
Alexander Mogilny, (III)
Brian Rafalski, (III)
Erik Rasmussen, (III)

Jason Wiemer, (III)

The players highlighted are ones I'd like to see back with the team next year. Brylin is...well he's Brylin, he belongs in a Devils jersey. Clemmensen is a decent enough backup, although I don't know if he can start 10-15 games and give Marty some more rest. Lukowich overcame his early struggles and looks like he's been a Devil for a long time now. Rasmussen is a versatile player who I think could be utilized a bit more. Gomez and Rafalski I'd obviously like to see back, but I think it's pretty much one or the other.

I guess the question for the Devils is do they think Parise is capable of moving back to center and being their #1 center full-time next season, or do they need to go out and get a replacement if Gomez does indeed leave. Personally I think Parise can handle it, but you never know. One guy I'd like to see them think about is Scott Hartnell from Nashville (sorry Timmy), I think he'd bring more of that physical presence up front the Devils need, and he can score some goals if necessary.

I know there's been some talk of taking a run at Drury or Briere in Buffalo, or Souray in Montreal this offseason, but I just don't see Lou doing it. Can somebody tell me the last time Lou went after another team's big free agents? Souray has his issues defensively, which would worry me, but his shot from the point and physical presence is something the Devils could use. I'd love to see Drury in a Devils uniform, but I just don't see it happening. I think Drury will be gone pretty quickly, whether it's staying in Buffalo or going to a team that doesn't have the same UFA issues the Devils do.

It could be another interesting offseason for the Devils...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well Almo and Malakov were considered "big" and look at that flop..so maybe staying away from the big fa's is the right idea..if gomer does leave all we need to fill is a 2nd line center spot with a soild 70pt scorer..shouldnt have to spend much more than 3 million on that. Jamie ans Travis would do the rest on that line. the 3rd line just leave alone and let them do what they do. and i wouldnt mind seeing a Bergfors,Clarkson,Rassmussen 4th line,
 

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Just some off the wall thinking here, but I wouldn't mind seeing Tkachuk or Shanahan in a Devils jersey if the price was right. The Devils have lacked any kind of power forward since Jason Arnott was traded to Dallas, and it's getting old watching their smaller forwards get pushed around all the time. Ideally I'd like to see a big center like Arnott (not necessarily him, although I'd love to have him back), but there aren't exactly a lot of them available through free agency, which would mean a trade. I know I threw Hartnell's name in there earlier, or maybe they could take a chance on a cheaper reclamation project like Mark Bell. I've always like Bell and would like to see him blossom into the power forward he was projected to be.

Bottom line though is the Devils need a regular physical presence up front and a big body in front of the opposing teams net, not the 5 minutes per game that guys like Rasmussen, Rupp, and Janssen currently provide. Elias, Gionta, Parise, Zajac, Langenbrunner, Pandolfo, Madden, Brylin...none of those guys are very big or regularly play a physical game.

I defended Colin White's contract this last offseason, but now he needs to earn that paycheck. He's making too many mistakes, can't clear his own end to save his life, and too often gets caught out of position going for the hit. I like him and the way he plays, but he's not earning that 3 million per year right now. I think he could be on the move, assuming the Devils can find a team that's willing to take on the other 5 years of his contract. Paul Martin isn't exempt either, he has yet to develop the offensive skills most of us expected from him. He's become very solid in his own end but he needs to start producing offensively and using his speed to his advantage.

Speaking of offense from the back end, the Devils need to give their defensemen the green light a little more often. Guys like Rafalski, Martin, Greene, and Oduya are all good enough skaters to join the rush and still get back defensively. The way it is now the other team can focus on containing the Devils forwards because they know the defense is more than likely not going to join the rush or pinch. They do it occasionally, but not often enough.

It's time to loosen the reigns on the offensive players on this team. They've got talented guys like Elias, Gomez, Gionta, Parise, Zajac, Langenbrunner, Rafalski, Martin, Greene...use them! They don't have to abandon defense entirely, but don't be so damn preoccupied with shutting the other team down. In the pre-lockout NHL the Devils could play that style effectively, but times have changed and the Devils need to as well or they'll get left behind.
 
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