Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The '08 Devils Free Agency Push: The Good, The Decent, and the Tough Choice
What sucked for the Devils? Their offense, their power play, and even their shorthanded goals were all turrible last year. And while Rolston isn't exactly the artist formerly known as Sergei Federov (or even the artist currently known as Federov) he does help improve all of the above mentioned areas. Rolston enables the Devils to put forward 2 power play lines with 4 forwards with Langenbrunner and Rolston as the point men. He also gives the Devils a damn good 3rd forward to kill penalties on a line behind the Madden/Pandolfo unit. And lest we forget, he was always really well liked as a Devil-the only reason that Devils Nation (me and my dad) were happy to see him go was because of who came in his place: Claude "God" Lemieux. 8 teams later, he finally returns. As an aside, apparently 17 teams showed interest in Rolston. Apparently there actually is something to the idea that guys like playing in the Jersey swamps. Who knew?
Good to see he hasn't retired yet. This move may help them, this move may not help them. But one thing about signing Marvin the Martian (seriously, have you heard him talk?) to a 1 year deal-there's no way it's going to hurt them. Holik has always been the kind of player who will be a solid asset to any team long into his 30's. (This is good, as I think he'll be turning 38 during the season.) Solid faceoff guy? Check. Big body to put in front of the net (with more skills than Mike Rupp?) Check. Knows how to win in the postseason? Check.
The Tough Call
Welcome back Pandolfo. May Allah be with you, Sergei.
The sad truth is that no matter how much Yinzer and Mahatma rag on Pandolfo, the Devils needed to resign him. It's unfortunate that they have to part ways with Brylin, but according to Lamoriello, Pandolfo and Brylin do too much of the same thing to keep them both in Red and Black. Now it's official: Martin Brodeur is the only Devil to have been a part of all 3 Stanley Cups. Ironically enough, the only 3 current Devils from the '95 team are Marty, Holik, and Rolston.
And while we're talking about Brylin and Rolston, let me just say the main reason I'm happy about our offseason: Back when my dad and I used to have quasi-season Devils tickets, there were two unofficial fanclubs who attended nearly every game:
1.Brylin's Mom-A mother/daughter combo with Brylin jerseys. The daughter was in her mid-upper 30's, unattractive, annoying, and probably living with 5-10 cats. The mother is um, older, smaller, and with a larger moustache than the Giambino
2.The Rolston Girls- This was a group of girls, who wore Rolston jerseys to every game. Age somewhere between 16 and 24. We started to bring binoculars to every game to get a close look at certain parts of the game; we KEPT bringing the binoculars at the insistence of everyone in our row for the Rolston girls. And for the record, when I stared at the teenage Rolston Girls, I was 16. Everyone else in our row? At least 35. Good times.