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Eight waived, three assigned to Albany

Finalized roster expected Wednesday

Monday, 10.3.2011 / 4:33 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Eight waived, three assigned to Albany
Sykora hoping to make 2011-12 club. (Getty/NHL Images)
Petr Sykora’s future in New Jersey may still be unclear, but he should have a better idea by Wednesday.

Devils’ President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello made official several moves Monday, assigning three players to Albany (AHL), and placing eight on waivers. But no decision has been made on Sykora, who made a strong impression at camp as a tryout.

“You kind of want to know what’s going to happen,” Sykora said after Monday’s practice. “You want to know what the future’s going to be. But I’m still here, that’s what counts.”

Lamoriello had only positive feedback for Sykora's performance at camp. The Devils' first-round pick, 18th overall, in 1995, he tied for the team lead in preseason goals (2) and points (3).

“There’s no question he’s played well and he’s done everything asked of him,” Lamoriello said. “I think both he and [Anton] Stralman have shown that they’re pros and they’ve shown why they’ve played in the league so long.”

Defensemen Matt Taormina and Alex Urbom, and goaltender Keith Kinkaid were assigned to Albany. Those put on waivers were forwards Stephane Veilleux, Vladimir Zharkov, Tim Sestito, and Rod Pelley; and defensemen Jay Leach, Peter Harrold, Matt Corrente and Mark Fraser.

Lamoriello said no decisions have been made on where players would be assigned should they clear waivers, but expected to have his roster finalized by Wednesday. The Devils host Philadelphia to open the regular season on Saturday.

Pro tryout Steve Bernier was not offered a contract.

“Bernier we talked to today and mentioned we would not be signing at this point,” Lamoriello said.

He was pleased with Bernier’s camp, indicating that the move came down to roster space.

“I was very happy with him,” Lamoriello said. “He’s a veteran, he knows how to play the game. It’s a question of the forwards that we do have, and the young kids who are very close.”

One youngster whose spot appears all but set is Adam Larsson. The fourth-overall pick at this year’s Draft had three assists and an even rating in four preseason games.

“I think you’ll see Adam Larsson on the team at this point,” Lamoriello said. “There’s no reason to think he won’t be with the way he’s played. We’ll just see how he handles it once the rosters become full. He’ll be given a chance, without question. He deserves it the way he’s played in preseason.”

The young Swede has shown the patience and poise of a seasoned veteran.

“He certainly hasn’t played as an 18-year-old,” Lamoriello said. “I think that the two years prior to him coming here, playing in the [Swedish] Elite League with men, it shows. He’s handled himself very well both offensively and defensively.”

Notes and quotes
Lamoriello on Zharkov:
“He just did not have a good camp. I don’t think he’ll disagree with that. I don’t think we’ve seen the Zharky that we’ve saw a couple of years ago. We talked about that. He’s certainly not out of the picture. He’ll just have to go to Albany and play well, and work his way back.”

…on Pelley:
"With the addition of Boulton and Janssen, right now he’s not penciled in to play at this time. Where his contract is at and giving him an opportunity somewhere else if another team sees fit, I think is in his best interest at this point. Rod can still play and I’ll be surprised if he is not picked up simply because of what he brings to a team."

• One of the new looks at Monday's practice had Dainius Zubrus centering Ilya Kovalchuk and Nick Palmieri. Jacob Josefson, who had been centering Kovalchuk for much of camp, was moved to the third line with Adam Henrique and David Clarkson.

"We’re going to try some different combinations," said coach Peter DeBoer. "I think you’re going to see that all year. I’m not really married to line combinations unless they work and they work consistently. It’s no secret we had three goals the last two games, so we’re going to keep shuffling guys around until we find some real good chemistry."

DeBoer would like to see Zubrus use his size to create scoring opportunities for Kovalchuk.

"With Zubrus, we’re hopeful he can get in on the forecheck – he’s a big body – and draw some people to him, maybe open up a little bit of room for Kovy," DeBoer said. "He’s done that before with Parise and Elias, so that’s the hope."

Monday's lines:
Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Petr Sykora
Ilya Kovalchuk - Dainius Zubrus - Nick Palmieri
Adam Henrique - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Brad Mills - Mattias Tedenby

Defense: Anton Volchenkov, Mark Fraser, Anton Stralman, Henrik Tallinder, Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Mark Fayne, Matt Taormina, Adam Larsson




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81