Posted January 13, 2013 on AP on Fox
Lockout-shortened seasons, star players showing up late or playing with another team, concerns about an upcoming season and wondering about all the question marks. Goaltender Martin Broduer has seen it all in leading the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups and two other finals, including last year's loss to the Los Angeles Kings. So he was not concerned that either Ilya Kovalchuk missed the team's first post-lockout practice or that team captain Zach Parise will be playing with Minnesota this season or that young playoff star Adam Henrique is going miss the first few weeks of the season with a thumb injury. That's hockey. Players get hurt and things change. ''There is no doubt, even though someone is going to tell you we won't miss Zach, come on. We're going to miss him. He is unbelievable and he's the reason why Minnesota gave half the state to him,'' Brodeur said. ''You can't replace a guy like that. But we've faced that before losing some key players, with the Niedermayers, Rafalskis, Gomer and Bobby and a lot of guys. This is no different. It's about guys stepping up and getting it done.'' This season should be no different. The nucleus of the team that lost to the Kings in six games is back. Besides Parise (31 goals), the notable exception is Petr Sykora. General manager Lou Lamoriello decided not to re-sign him, giving younger players a chance. ''This team always took pride in keep going, no matter who left,'' veteran forward Patrik Elias said. ''It is a team effort out there and a team sport. Some guys are going to have a bigger role and will have to step into it. '' Lamoriello said that Swedes Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedendy have played well in recent weeks at Albany of the AHL and that young defenseman Adam Larsson, the Devils' top pick in June 2011, has taken strides. ''That's professional sports,'' coach Peter DeBoer said of Parise leaving. ''Every year you clean the slate and you coach the group you have. Parise was a great New Jersey Devil, a great captain but we've moved forward and so has he.'' Neither Lamoriello nor DeBoer were concerned that Kovalchuk, who played in 36 games in the KHL during the four-month lockout, would not be getting back from Russia until Tuesday. The Devils' leading scorer last season played in the KHL All-Star game on Sunday and will not practice until Wednesday. The season opens on Saturday at the New York Islanders. ''I'm very comfortable with this situation,'' Lamoriello said. ''There is no penalty involved. There's no disrespect involved. I've talked to him and I feel comfortable where we're at. We're anxious to get him back here and get him in the lineup with all the rest of the people and there will be no repercussions.'' Kovalchuk will miss the team's first three practices, something DeBoer considered a non-issue for him or the players. ''I can't wait to get him back here,'' DeBoer said. ''He's been playing and I have no issues about his conditioning or anything that he'll miss here in the first 48 hours because he's ahead of curve here.'' Brodeur, who played a lot of golf during the lockout and had a hole-in-one in Florida, laughed when asked if Kovalchuk missing practice was a concern, saying Kovalchuk wanted to stay in Russia couple of extra days as a way to say thank you. ''He felt he needed to finish what he started,'' Brodeur said of playing in the All-Star game. ''They let him do it, or he did it. Fine. Kovy is the type of player, he doesn't need to be here for seven days. If it was important for him and he stays happy - good.'' Left wing Mathiew Darche, a veteran role player and penalty killer, is in the Devils training camp for a tryout. He was with Montreal last season. Stefan Matteau, the Devils' top draft pick, has left his junior team and will participate in training camp. Lamoriello said the move is more a look-see to determine his talent level. DeBoer spoke with former Devils coach Jacques Lemaire and former NHL coach Paul Maurice about preparing for a short season, along with Brodeur and Elias. ''This challenge is to be prepared to get up to game speed and get your structure back in place without getting injured,'' DeBoer said. ''That's the fine line you walk with a five or six-day camp.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Ilya Kovalchuk figure skates during KHL skills competition (VIDEO)

Before New Jersey Devils sniper Ilya Kovalchuk left Russia to return to the States for the beginning of the NHL season, he had to get something out of his system.  During the KHL skills competition, the two time fifty-goal scorer went Brian Boitano on the Ruskies and figure skated in  full hockey gear. Early word out of Gary Bettman’s office is that Kovalchuk will spend the first...

Kovalchuk finally rejoins Devils

Superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk is back with the New Jersey Devils. The high-scoring Russian participated in a scrimmage against the Devils' top minor league team on Wednesday, scoring a goal and adding an assist less than 24 hours after landing in the United States following a flight from Russia. While there was much speculation whether Kovalchuk would return to the Devils...

As short season nears, Devils search for offense

The lockout-shortened 48-game season hasn't started and the New Jersey Devils are already looking goals. Not the type a team sets before the season. The Devils need the ones that cross the line, ripple the nets and get fans out of their seats. Truth be told, they don't know who is going to produce them. Much of the concern has to do with the loss of former captain Zach...

Devils expect Kovalchuk to practice Wednesday

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Sunday that forward Ilya Kovalchuk will be back in the United States on Tuesday, and he's expected to be on the ice Wednesday. Kovalchuk is traveling back from Russia, where he played in the KHL All-Star Game on Sunday, and will not be fined for his absence. Lamoriello said he did not violate the terms of his contract by missing three...

No Kovy, No Parise, no problem for Devils

Lockout-shortened seasons, star players showing up late or playing with another team, concerns about an upcoming season and wondering about all the question marks. Goaltender Martin Broduer has seen it all in leading the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups and two other finals, including last year's loss to the Los Angeles Kings. So he was not concerned that either Ilya...

Roster Spots - Thoughts From Camp

  Training camp officially opened yesterday but due to the lockout, this isn’t your normal training camp. Decisions have to be made quickly on players trying to make the team and all the other roster moves that need to be made. The Devils open the season Saturday night in Long Island so you can see that there isn’t a lot of time for decisions to be made. Here...

Todd Cordell: New Jersey Devils Invite Mathieu Darche To Camp + A-Devils Top Sharks

The New Jersey Devils have made their first bit of news since the lockout officially ended, bringing in veteran forward Mathieu Darche to training camp on a tryout basis. Darche brings a lot of experience, leadership and is versatile on where he can play in the lineup. If not anything else, he'll push the young guys such as Bobby Butler and Mattias Tedenby to earn their potential...

Lamoriello never worried about Kovalchuk return

New Jersey Devils leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk will be back in the United States Tuesday and practice with the Eastern Conference champions Wednesday. Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced Kovalchuk's plans Sunday, just minutes before the Devils took the ice for their first practice ahead of the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Lamoriello said he spoke...

Todd Cordell: New Jersey Devils Release 2013 Regular Season Schedule

With news that a collective bargaining agreement has been agreed upon, ratified and a memorandum of understanding has been signed, hockey is officially back after 119 days. With that news, the New Jersey Devils have released their 2013 regular season schedule. The Devils will open their season on the road January 19th against the New York Islanders. They'll then return...

Todd Cordell: Are The New Jersey Devils Interested In Ales Hemsky?

With an abundance of young forwards with star potential in Edmonton, veteran forward Ales Hemsky could find himself on the way out sooner than later. According to a report from TheFourthPeriod.com, the New Jersey Devils are among several teams looking to add a playmaking winger to their roster and they could be targeting Oilers forward Ales Hemsky TheFourthPeriod cited that...

KHL’s Jori Lehterä scored this sick penalty shot goal without actually shooting the puck

Jori Lehterä might just be a wizard. The KHL held its annual All-Star game this past Sunday in Chelyabinsk, and as is the case with any all-star game where defense is but an afterthought, their was a multitude of scoring.  In all 29 goals were scored (Team East, led by Ilya Kovalchuk won 18-11), the finest of which might have been the penalty shot goal scored by Finnish player...

Yeo: ''This is where it starts''

ST. PAUL, Minn. All of last week, Mike Yeo had to sit in the stands as a spectator as the Minnesota Wild players took part in unofficial team skates. Since the NHL lockout was not officially over, Minnesota's second-year coach still couldn't be on the ice with his team until everything was signed, sealed and delivered. That moment finally came for Yeo on Sunday, the first...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.