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NJD Preview: What to look for in 2008-09

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Brodeur's 2008-09 season will include a shot at the league's record for all-time victories and shutouts. –
The new NHL campaign is underway, and the Devils’ second year at Newark’s Prudential Center should be one to remember.

With the puck set to drop Friday on a 26th season of New Jersey Devils hockey, here’s a rundown of what to look out for in 2008-09:

Martin Brodeur enters the new season needing 13 wins to tie Patrick Roy’s NHL record of 551 career victories, and seven shutouts to tie Terry Sawchuk’s league mark of 103 career shutouts.
The four-time Vezina Trophy winner is 32 appearances away from reaching the 1,000 games-played mark, and 61 shy of Roy’s all-time record of 1,029.

With 13 consecutive opening night starts as a Devil, Brodeur is tied with Tony Esposito for the most all-time with the same team. Provided Brodeur gets the nod for the Devils’ opener against the Islanders, he will take over sole possession of the league’s record.

Centers Bobby Holik and Brian Rolston have joined the ranks of players to return to the Devils. Previously, 13 players had come back for second stints with New Jersey, including Tommy Albelin, Jim Dowd, Claude Lemieux, Vladimir Malakhov, Gary McAdam, Alexander Mogilny, Krzysztof Oliwa, Pascal Rheaume, Stephane Richer, Mike Rupp, Corey Schwab, Ken Sutton and Chris Terreri.


The Devils finished with a a record of 46-29-7 (99 pts.) in 2007-08, good for second in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Holik’s 724 games played with the Devils rank first among New Jersey’s reacquisitions, and ninth in franchise history. His 198 goals are third, 265 assists 10th and 463 points fifth.

Left wing Patrik Elias finished ‘07-08 tied with former Devil defenseman Scott Niedermayer for the most assists in franchise history (364). He ranks eighth in team history with 745 games played, and can pass Randy McKay (760) and Sergei Brylin (765) for sixth place.

Larry Robinson, in his 12th season with the Devils, will now serve as special assignment coach, after spending the last campaign as an assistant coach. He joins Scott Stevens, Pat Burns, Jacques Laperriere and Chris Terreri.

Stevens, a Hall-of-Fame defenseman and three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Devils, previously served as consulting coach. Terreri has worked as a goaltending coach with the Devils' AHL affiliate in Lowell, and Burns and Laperriere as special assignment scouts.

After opening against the Islanders, the Devils hit the road for four games. They take on Pittsburgh (Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.), NY Rangers (Oct. 13, 7 p.m.), Atlanta (Oct. 16, 7 p.m.), and Washington (Oct. 18, 7 p.m.).

Upcoming promotions
New Jersey returns to Prudential Center to host Dallas on Oct. 22, when the Devils will take part in Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night. On Oct. 24, all fans in attendance to see the Devils battle Philadelphia will receive a Devils team calendar, courtesy of Modell's Sporting Goods.

The rest of the Devils' promotional schedule is as follows:

Sat Washington  Youth Poster 13 & Under
Thu Florida Food Drive Donation
Fri NY Islanders Hockey Puck All
Wed Pittsburgh Toys for Tots Donation
Fri Montreal Ski Cap All
Sun Ottawa Coat Drive Donation
Fri Boston Valentine’s Day Promo  
Sun San Jose Baseball Cap All
Sun Philadelphia Youth Jersey 13 & Under
Tues Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Promo  
Sat Carolina Fan Appreciation All

Larionov headed for the Hall; Emrick to receive Foster Hewitt Award
Former Devils’ forward Igor Larionov will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 10 in Toronto. Devils’ TV play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick will receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.

Coverage on MSG Networks
For the 23rd straight season, MSG will provide local TV coverage of most Devils games over MSG Plus. The club's 76-game local television broadcast schedule includes 55 games on MSG Plus, 12 on MSG Plus 2, and nine on MSG. For the first time, all Devils telecasts on MSG Networks will be broadcast in high-definition.

Brand-new for this season on MSG Plus will be half-hour pre- an post-game coverage, devoted exclusively to Jersey's Team. Fans can also expect to see home telecasts anchored from Prudential Center's Bud Light Goal Bar.

Critical Dates
8 – Hockey Hall of Fame Game (Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs)

1 – NHL Winter Classic 2009, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Ill. (Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks)

18 – NHL on NBC Game of the Week coverage begins

22-26 – All-Star break (no games played)

24 – NHL SuperSkills competition (Bell Centre, Montreal, Que.)

25 – 57th NHL All-Star Game


13-15 – Hockey Weekend Across America (USA Hockey)

3 – Trade deadline (3 p.m. ET)

12 – Last day of 2008-09 regular season
15 – Stanley Cup playoffs begin

15 – Last possible day for 2009 Stanley Cup Finals

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