Well, we know what a lot of players have been asking Santa Claus for this Christmas, and that's a trade out of New Jersey. Many won't say it publicly, but why would they? This is 2010 (almost 2011) and the media is pointless if you're trying to get anything out of players...then again, so was ex-Devils coach John MacLean...
Anyway, here's my list of Christmas gifts I would be handing out to the Devils today and tomorrow. Hope you enjoy.
Pierre-Luc LeBlond - I'll start with PL3, whose NHL season lasted less than two games after he got ejected from the Washington game on the season's second night and was suspended, placed on waivers and never to be heard from again.
His gift: more bus tickets, because he'll sure need them.
Zach Parise - Reports this morning say he could be done for the year, but seriously, it doesn't matter at this point. He's got restricted free agency looming, and this guy needs to stay. He's the captain of this team next season.
His gift[s]: First, a Ruslan Fedetenko bobblehead, because he says on the side, he truly hates him. Second, I would give him a brand new Sharpie, a red one, so he can sign his name on a new contract with the Devils.
Jason Arnott - Jason Arnott deserves better than this. His former team, the Nashville Predators is having a great season, and his new/old team is in the basement of the league. Arnott, however, leads the Devils in goals. That doesn't mean anything, considering he's the only Devil on pace for 25 goals right now.
His gift: a lollypop. Lollypops make everything better. Maybe a new shotgun. He's a hunter. Just keep him out of the locker room with it...for many reasons.
Colin White - I could be crazy here, but Colin White has probably been the Devils' best defenseman game in and game out this year. Still, he's one of many that could be shipped out by March.
His gift: A vacation to either Colorado, Toronto, Tampa Bay, or another city that could be a good trade destination.
Johan Hedberg - Johan "Moose" Hedberg has been a bright spot this season, but you wouldn't know that because he never gets played anymore. His 3.07 goals against average is misleading, but it's still better than the Devils' starting goalie. Is there a goalie controversy in New Jersey?
His gift: a warrior helmet. He wasn't supposed to keep losing AFTER he left Atlanta...
Mattias Tedenby - He and fellow Swede Hedberg have been shining stars in the demise of the Devils this year. Former first rounder has shown why he should have been drafted higher.
His gift: Fake teeth, because he needs them, and keys to the city.
Andy Greene - Well, the past two seasons have been a roller coaster for Greene. He's had career years both ways, one good, one horrible. His personal goal should be to not finish the year at a -20 rating.
His gift: A new head coach, maybe a guy like Jacques Lemaire...oh well isn't he in luck?
Jamie Langenbrunner - Ah, yes, oh captain my captain. A year ago, he was coming off of his best offensive season ever and en route to captaincy for the U.S. Olympic hockey team. This year, he's come back down to Earth in a big way.
His gift: A box of tissues and a Jacques Lemaire bobblehead. Maybe a can of paint too. Lemaire and Langenbrunner don't exactly see eye-to-eye, and it's not because one is really short, either.
Patrik Elias - Still leads his team in points. All-time. Actually this year and all-time.
His gift: Diapers. Not because he's a crybaby, he's not, but because his wife recently gave birth.
Martin Brodeur - The winningest goalie of all-time is approaching George Hainsworth's record for most all-time losses. For this season, anyway, he might break the single-season loss record for a goalie. He's not getting old at all, though.
His gift: Bigger pads. Much bigger pads and maybe a couch. He'll need them for the beer league he'll be in shortly. Maybe he could also use a head start on that 401K?
Ilya Kovalchuk - Oh, boy, where do we start with Kovy? Maybe the new year will bring new luck to Kovalchuk. One can only hope, at least.
His gift: a copy of NHL 11. He can play as himself and learn how to score again.
Lou Lamoriello - The past six months or so have been a humbling experience for Lou. Usuaully, if Lou wants something, Lou gets it. Nothing has been easy for him lately.
His gift: A Staples Easy Button and/or a "Mulligan" button.
John MacLean - Finally, we get to John MacLean, the former coach of this team. His tenure was an absolute nightmare, but luckily for everyone, it is over.
His gift: a brown paper bag and a check from the unemployment agency.
Any other NJ Devil either deserves coal or nothing. Seriously, what would you give them?
Maybe the team needs a ladder or something, because they all fell head first into the basement.
*Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's to all readers. Be sure to follow Down Goes Avery so you never miss a post! Also, remember to follow me on Twitter (@DownGoesAvery). Next post will be close to or past New Year's.