The New Jersey Devils biggest supporterWhen it comes to Devils fans, I think we can all agree on one thing and that is that we are used to people talking smack about our team. For years, we've heard it all: NJ plays boring hockey, NJ doesn't care about offense, NJ has no fans, NJ is what killed in the NHL in 2005, NJ is and always will be a trap team, etc etc.... It doesn't usually bother me but I've had read one particular hockey journalist for years and I've finally had enough.
Whenever ESPN's Scott Burnside decides to focus his attention on the NJ Devils you can be guarenteed one thing, that it will be a column full of hatred and facts that have no basis what-so-ever. For the past 6 or 7 years, I've watched Burnside put on paper that this will be the year of the Devils demise. Congratulations Scott, 2010/2011 is FINALLY the year you are correct. It had to happen at some point!! I'm sure journalists wrote for years that this would be the year the Rangers won the cup and finally in 1994 they were right!!
Today, he and fellow ESPN hockey columnist Pierre Lebrun wrote a column debating the ramifications of the Jamie Langenbrunner trade. Let me share some comments made by Scott Burnside..
"Let's start with the Devils, who continue to solidify their place as not just the worst team in the NHL this season, but also maybe the worst team in franchise history. "
I am the first one to admit the Devils product on the ice this season has been complete garbage but to go so far and say its possibly the worst team in franchise history is a bit much. Please do some research and use your brain. Those teams in 1983, 84 and 85 to start the franchise were certainly worse, especially given the high quality of talent existing in today's NHL compared to back then. If Parise were healthy, he alone would have helped NJ win at least 5 or 6 games which would currently have them in an outside shot of making the playoffs this season.
"I thought it pretty funny when you asked Lamoriello if Martin Brodeur might be approached about a move. The GM simply answered: "No."
Why would that be funny?? Can't argue with what Marty has done for this team in the past and many believe he still has something left and everyone is entitled to a bad season. He has one year left on his contract and after embarrasing himself this season, you don't think he'll want a season of redemption? You probably wrote Tim Thomas off after last season as well but look at him now.
"Moving Langenbrunner, and any other pieces of driftwood from the Devils' lineup, does open up some salary-cap space that could allow Lamoriello to re-sign restricted free agent Zach Parise."
Please check your facts. Langenbrunner was due to be an UFA this summer so Jamie doesn't even factor into the equation when it comes to Zach Parise. Yes other players or "driftwood" as you so nicely phrase it will need to go in order to give Parise the contract he deserves.
"It’s hard to imagine he would want to, given the sorry state of the franchise."
This was in reference to Parise resigning in NJ. I guess one bad year after making the playoffs every year from 1997-2010 including 2 cups and another Finals appearence certainly justifies this quote. The Peguins who you write nothing but wonderful things about were a joke for a long time. The Flyers were just as bad as the Devils are just a few years ago but found their way to the Finals last season. Should I keep going?
If it were just this article, I wouldn't be writing this post but if you look at his archive, you'll see the hatred his spews about NJ on a regular basis. Part of me says I shouldn't even address the things this guy says because a) it just shows that I read his crap, which causes him to write more and continue being emplpoyed by ESPN and b) he works for ESPN who. honestly, doesn't really care about the NHL. Anyone significant in my book left that network when the dumped this league in 2005. If he were a real hockey journalist, he'd write for someone more involved in the NHL.