Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mogilny back with Devils, Carter a Canuck, and Cujo a desert-dog?

Alexander Mogilny, the right winger who earned a Stanley Cup ring with New Jersey, signed a $7-million US, two-year contract Tuesday night to return to the Devils.
Mogilny came to the Devils late in the 1999-00 season and helped New Jersey to its second championship with four goals and three assists in the playoffs.
He came back strong the following season and had the third best offensive year of his career, posting 43 goals and 83 points in 75 games. But he left in the off-season, signing a free agent deal with Toronto where he spent the last three seasons.
Mogilny had other options this time around in the free-agent market, but jumped at the chance to return to the Devils.
"New Jersey has always been a front-runner for me and I always wanted to come back," he said Tuesday night from California.
Mogilny was limited to just 37 games during the 2003-04 regular season following a second operation on his arthritic left hip. There were reports that he might quit playing, but the 36-year-old said he never considered retirement.
He has been skating all summer in Russia and Los Angeles and convinced Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello that he has completely healed.
"We're 100 per cent comfortable that he is 100 per cent healthy," Lamoriello said.
Mogilny spent his first six NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres and had a breakout year in 1992-93 when he netted an NHL-best 76 goals and set up 51 others. He then had 55 goals and 52 assists during the 1995-96 season - his first of four-plus with the Vancouver Canucks.
"If there's any one player capable of breaking a game open at any given time, he certainly is that. His skating certainly is exceptional. We know what he can bring as far as making other people better."
Mogilny worked very well with young forward Scott Gomez during his first stint with the Devils and will now provide offensive insurance should Patrik Elias be out for any length of time following a bout with hepatitis A.
Elias is believed to have fallen ill while playing in Russia during the NHL lockout. He lost 30 pounds and was hospitalized in the Czech Republic for almost a month earlier this year.
"We all know what he has and we all know what the time frame is," Lamoriello said. "It could be short, it could be a little longer. ... It's the doctors' call, not our call."
Mogilny has 461 goals and 1,007 points in 956 NHL games.
"We're a better hockey team today with him in the lineup than we are without him," Lamoriello said.
The signing puts the Devils over the $39-million US salary cap, but less than the 10 per cent maximum. Lamoriello said the club will be back under the threshold before the Oct. 1 deadline.
New Jersey still has room to re-sign captain Scott Stevens should he decide to come back following concussion problems that cut short his last season.

Curtis Joseph is about to be taken off the list of available NHL free agents, as TSN has learned that the netminder is close to reaching terms on a one-year contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.
The deal, which includes incentives for the 15-year veteran, could be announced as early as Wednesday.
The 2003-04 season was a turmultuous one for Joseph, as he went from being the odd-man out to being the man in the net for the Detroit Red Wings.
Joseph, 38, began the year hoping to silence the critics who blamed him for the defending Stanley Cup champions being swept out of the 2003 playoffs by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Dominik Hasek's decision to come out of retirement also put Joseph's future with the Red Wings in question.
There was talk of trading Joseph, but his hefty contract and off-season ankle surgery made a deal difficult. The goaltending situation worsened when Hasek then got hurt and the team temporarily changed its plans to deal Joseph.
Injuries took their toll again as Joseph sprained his right ankle in February of 2004 and missed a month of action. He returned to play in five games before re-injuring his ankle during warmups March 23 at San Jose.
The Red Wings put him on waivers twice during the regular season, and he finished the year with a 16-10-3 record.
Joseph broke into the league with the St. Louis Blues back in the 1989-90 season. He spent three years in Edmonton, then joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1998.
He took the Leafs to within one win of the Stanley Cup final in 2002, and the Red Wings signed Joseph to a three-year, $24 million US contract that summer after Hasek retired.
In 15 NHL seasons, Joseph has a 396-289-90 record with 43 shutouts and a 2.75 goals-against average.

The Vancouver Canucks are expected to sign winger Anson Carter to a $1-million, one-year deal, sources told The Canadian Press on Tuesday night.
Carter, 31, has 158 goals and 180 assists in eight NHL seasons with Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Edmonton and the New York Rangers.
He scored 15 goals and 28 points over 77 games in 2003-2004 with the New York Rangers, Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings.
His biggest career highlight came two summers ago, when he scored the winning goal in the gold-medal game for Canada at the 2003 World Hockey Championship.
Carter was traded by Edmonton, along with Ales Pisa, to New York in March 2003 for forward Radek Dvorak and defenseman Cory Cross. At the time of the deal, he led the Oilers with 25 goals and 55 points. Carter was dealt twice in 2004, as the Capitals acquired him from New York for Jaromir Jagr and later shipped him to the Kings for Jared Aulin

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