New York Hockey Journal - August 2016 - 6
The Maven remembers
'Leapin' Louie' Fontinato
WHAT THEY NEEDED A
Met Area welcomes talents
Grabner, Chimera, Ladd
here's no Christmas in July unless you're
thinking about the 1940 movie starring
Ellen Drew and Dick Powell.
And there's no Christmas in August
or September unless you happen to be
on Christmas Island located off Australia in the Indian
To put it another way, nobody in the National Hockey League is giving away presents during these hot
weather months, and that goes for
our Met Area locals, the Rangers,
Islanders and Devils.
While respective bosses Jeff
Gorton, Garth Snow and Ray Shero are not seeking offseason gifts,
they currently are looking backward at what they had when their
club's campaigns ended and what
they've hoped to achieve since
In Shero's case, when he succeeded Lou Lamoriello in 2015, Ray candidly stated
that rebuilding would be the order of the day, month
and, perhaps, years at the Rock in Newark.
That his Devils remained a playoff contender for
three-quarters of this past season positively was
a stunner. Full credit to Reliable Ray for that
"But we did miss the postseason," Shero
conceded, "and there was more work to be done."
While Shero went back to work, the Rangers still had
their long-range eyes on the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, Sidney Crosby & Co. put the blinders on them and
the Blueshirts were out faster than you can say, "Onetwo-three-four-five games."
Gorton could have alibied that his Blueshirts lost to
Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel
and former Harvard player Jimmy
Vesey hit the ice at Foxboro Sports
Center rink in Foxboro, Mass., for
a pro league game in June. Could
New York State be a future home
for Hobey Baker winner Vesey?
the eventual champs, but he's a smarter dude than that
and realized that there was a reason his club was less
than pleasin' last April.
"We have things to do to get us where we want to
go," Gorton opined as spring gave way to summer.
True to his word, the Rangers GM made moves, although not the blockbuster acquisition of Steven Stamkos as had been hoped for up and down Seventh Avenue.
On the other side of the spectrum - or East River, if
you may - Garth Snow got right to work after his club
won its first round against Florida but then bowed out
in five to the Lightning,
Snow saw that his team's blood was thinning and
that change was necessary to take the next step on the
ladder leading to the Cup.
He received one healthy boost right after his sextet
was eliminated by Tampa Bay; Garth's premier defenseman, Travis Hamonic, unequivocally, rescinded his
early season request to be traded and insisted that he
wants to remain an Islander.
Hamonic's decision was almost as good as Snow
finding a diamond in a haystack on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues.
Now it's time to take a look at what the Met teams
hoped to achieve at the end of the past season and how
much they've accomplished so far.
6 New YORK HOCKEY JOURNAL August 2016
It was very clear last year that Shero's bunch was missing one important intangible to be successful: offense. After drafting some very talented
prospects for the top nine, Shero still saw writing on the wall that more
was needed now to speed up the Devs' rebuild.
He wasted no time getting stud winger Taylor Hall from Edmonton
for Adam Larsson. This was one of those "You have to give something to
get something" situations, and what Shero got, many believers believe
amounted to the steal of the summer. Larsson is good, to be sure, but Hall's
ammunition was too impressive to reject.
Shero didn't stop there, as he ponied up the dough to bring back
underrated forward Devante Smith-Pelly and signed promising scorer Beau
Bennett as well as bottom-six bull Vernon Fiddler and the underappreciated Ben Lovejoy. Lovejoy is a D-man, but he has the ability to provide
offense when unexpected.
No doubt one of the most important decisions was getting Jersey boy
Kyle Palmieri's John Hancock on a five-year contract extension. Coming off
a career year, Palmieri loves the Devils as much as he does the Garden State
and made that clear in a media scrum.
Meanwhile, Shero has plenty of chores remaining on his calendar.
Prime among them will be deciding Patrik Elias' fate. The oft-injured
lifetime Devil has indicated he'd like to return, but that's contingent on a
couple of questions: 1. Will he be healthy enough to remain a regular? 2.
Does the GM want an aging veteran pushing a promising kid away from a
"We're monitoring Patty's situation in the Czech Republic to see how
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of New York Hockey Journal - August 2016
NEHJ August 2016
Our Starting Lineup
Around the Region
Bruins Beat: Ryan Donato
NHL New England
NHL New England Digital Directory
BONUS: Comm Ave Charity Classic gallery
NEHJ Skate Guide: Brand Loyalty
NEHJ Skate Guide: Sharpening 101
NEHJ Skate Guide: Buyer's Guide
Prep/High School Guide
NEHJ TV EPISODES
The Goalie Guru
The Hockey Mom
Summer Camp Directory
Hangin' Out With …
New York Hockey Journal - August 2016
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