Getting To Know: Jim Thomson

Jim Thomson (http://www.jimthomsonsdreams.com/)

Status: NHL right wing from 1986-1993 with Hartford, Washington, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Ottawa.

DOB: December 30, 1965 In: Edmonton, Alberta

First Hockey Memory: “I borrowed a pair of skates. I grew up in a mobile house park, Westview Village in Winterburn, Alberta. I was six years old and one of my friends lent me his dad’s skates. They were too big but I skated around and couldn’t stop. I fell in love with it.” Read more

Are the Isles for real? Also: for real, Rangers?

Adam Proteau
John Tavares (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Try getting this to make sense in your head: the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers have lost three of their first four games and their superstar goalie has surrendered 12 goals in his two most recent games – and their cross-town counterparts, the New York Islanders, as hard-luck and bad-news of an operation as has existed in recent memory, are basically unstoppable.

I’m not saying either ever was out of the realm of possibility. I’m just saying that any NHL fan in the Manhattan area has grown accustomed to a certain pecking order of late: the Rangers on the heap’s top, bankrolled by owner James Dolan’s fortune and steered by GM Glen Sather’s whims on the free agent and trade market; in the middle, the New Jersey Devils, a.k.a. the little engine that almost always could qualify for the playoffs (and, on occasion, a deep post-season run) despite existing on an internal budget and a revolving door of talent; and at the bottom, the Isles, consistently flailing in the obscurity of decrepit Nassau Coliseum, newsmakers almost exclusively for their errors and economic soap operas.

For now, at least, the Devils remain the same – they’re essentially the cast of Cocoon on the cheap, yet they lead the Metropolitan Division with three wins in their first three games – but, as evidenced by the Isles’ 6-3 romp over the Rangers Tuesday, the Blueshirts and Islanders have traded places. Read more

Watch Philly’s Wayne Simmonds score twice in less than a minute

Adam Proteau
Wayne Simmonds (Getty Images)

Wayne Simmonds’ Flyers team may be an ice-cold 0-2 to start the 2014-15 NHL season, but the Philadelphia right winger had his game catch fire Thursday as he scored twice in less than a minute against Cory Schneider and the New Jersey Devils.

Simmonds gets his first of the season by showing some serious patience before wristing the puck past Schneider late in the second period in Philadelphia. And 56 seconds later, he pushes to the front of the Devils’ net and taps in an excellent feed from Vincent Lecavalier to beat the buzzer signalling the end of the period: Read more

Could potential Coyotes sale be a precursor to a move to Las Vegas?

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images Sport)

So let’s say you’re in the market to buy a new car. You walk into a dealership and talk to the sales guy, take one for a spin and agree on the price. You seal the deal with a handshake. When you come in a few days later to complete the paper work, the salesman tells you that not only has the price of the car has gone up dramatically, it’s being sold to someone else. You sue the sales guy for breach of contract.

Would you then be inclined to walk into the same dealership less than two months later to begin the process of buying a car from another salesman there? Read more

Can Devils win with a lineup of senior citizens?

Ken Campbell
The New Jersey Devils, led by Jaromir Jagr. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

There is no truth to the rumor that the New Jersey Devils had extra defibrillators on hand when their players showed up for fitness testing on the first day of training camp today. But you can understand how these things get started.

When the Devils opened camp, they did so with a decidedly older bent to their roster of hopefuls. Among those who are in Devils camp this fall on tryouts are defensemen Tomas Kaberle and Mike Komisarek, center Scott Gomez, right winger Jordin Tootoo and left winger Ruslan Fedotenko. Combined number of NHL games last season: 89. Combined age: 171 years and 93 days. Read more

It’s time for Martin Brodeur to retire

Martin Brodeur. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If Martin Brodeur returns to the NHL this season, no one should complain and no one, except Sean Avery, is going to boo him. At some point, almost everyone will tune in to see the all-time great wearing whatever non-Devils jersey he’s wearing. He’s still a draw as he chases 700 wins (he’s currently at 688) and he’ll always be an all-time great NHLer.

Brodeur has earned the right to officially end his career whenever he wants to announce it. But for fans and onlookers, this is getting hard to watch.

Last week, QMI Agency had a story on Brodeur, who said he was 80 percent sure he’d be back for the 2014-15 NHL season. He also talked about signing with Montreal as a backup: Read more

Rumor Roundup: What will the Senators do with Bobby Ryan & Marc Methot?

Bobby Ryan (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Contract talks between the Ottawa Senators and defenseman Marc Methot have apparently reached a stalemate. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports Methot, whose current annual cap hit is $3 million, is believed to be seeking a deal comparable to Brooks Orpik, who earlier this summer inked a five-year deal worth $5.5-million annually with the Washington Capitals.

Methot, 29, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Up until now the Senators have had success re-signing several key free agents. They recently re-upped goaltenders Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, along with wingers Milan Michalek and Clarke MacArthur.

Garrioch notes the Senators currently have seven defensemen under one-way contracts. He speculates they could trade Methot if unable to reach agreement on a new deal before the season begins.

If Methot is shopped the asking price could be a scoring winger. Garrioch reports the Senators seek a top-nine forward. Given the lack of available talent via free agency, they could go the trade route. Garrioch cites sources claiming Carolina’s Alexander Semin, New Jersey’s Damien Brunner and Buffalo wingers Drew Stafford and Chris Stewart might be available. Read more

THN’s 2014-15 NHL season preview: New Jersey Devils

The Hockey News
The New Jersey Devils, led by Jaromir Jagr. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

2013-14 record: 35-29-18

Acquisitions: Scott Clemmensen, Mike Cammalleri, Martin Havlat

Departures: Anton Volchenkov, Mark Fayne

Top five fantasy players: Jaromir Jagr, Patrik Elias, Mike Cammalleri, Travis Zajac, Adam Henrique

Boom, Bust and Bottom Line: The best, worst and most likely scenario
Boom: By all accounts, the Devils should have been a playoff team last season. They were one of the NHL’s best puck possession teams but lost all 13 of their shootouts and got sub-par goaltending from Martin Brodeur. By the time Cory Schneider was given full reign of the crease, it was too late. Brodeur is now gone, and it’s virtually impossible for New Jersey to pooch the shootout so badly again. Read more