Devils Disappointments – The Good & Bad

Sorry for the delay with the Inside Hockey column. I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I’ve been in bed/on the couch sick (and sleeping) for most of the weekend. Regardless, I had a column to write and here it is: The Irony Of It All

What is the Devils world talking about right now?

Rob Niedermayer – signed with the New Jersey Devils on Friday. He has officially joined the team on the ice today.

Rich Chere reports that Rob will make his first appearance as a Devil in tomorrow’s preseason game.

Coach Lemaire is working the Devils hard to get them into “game shape.” He also spoke about the lack of chemistry on the team that had a lot of us in a bit of a shock on Saturday after the game (see IH column). BUT in all fairness, he’s right.

Tom Gulitti talks about Sunday’s practice after the Devils 1-0 win over the Flyers on Saturday. Looks like the whole team had to run skating drills on Sunday.

In reality, that is a good thing. It may look harsh from the outside, but I admire a coach that will run his team hard. This isn’t Coach Sutter behind the bench anymore. This is Coach Jacques Lemaire…and he’s getting this team in shape for the finals. It starts now.

Mike Mottau has returned to practice after suffering an upper body injury during the preseason game against the Flyers last Thursday.

The Devils also cut four players on Sunday (see IH column).

In other hockey news…

Allan Walsh (@walsha), sports agent, has been tweeting some interesting stuff this morning. “A new trend in NHL – watch for clubs to keep only 20-21 players on roster to stay below upper limit. This means less NHL jobs for players and more 1 way contracts in the AHL.”

Seeing that comment confirms what I’ve been sensing has been going on in the NHL all summer long…less NHL jobs, more hockey players out of work or working on minor league teams or on European/KHL teams.

For many players, this also means forced retirements.

It’s the economy of our times.

PuckCentral.net has the official Twitter list to follow in the hockey realm. So fans, if you’re not on Twitter, you should get an account for all of your latest hockey news…practically up to the minute news! You’ll even find a few hockey players (current and alumni) tweeting as well.

With regards to the DirecTV/Versus controversy, NHL.com has posted this on its website: OPEN LETTER TO DIRECTV. Personally, I’ve been without cable for about two years now, but I know how important Versus is to the hockey populace. It is upsetting that DirecTV has cut Versus from its lineup. The costs implied are nothing based on what I’ve seen. Hopefully all of this will be resolved soon.

Also, I know that I have not spoken about Wayne Gretzky’s resignation as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. A few fans have asked me why I think it happened. There are a few factors: 1) the Phoenix Coyotes are in limbo, 2) Money was an issue for Gretzky…as in…will he even get a paycheck, and 3) if he did receive a paycheck, who would be cutting those checks to him?

I expected the resignation after Gretzky didn’t show up to work when training camp started. That was a clear indication that Gretzky no longer worked for the Phoenix Coyotes.

As for Theo Fleury’s comeback? He officially retired as a Calgary Flame today.

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