The New Jersey Devils as a franchise went to Montreal Monday to attend the funeral of their former Head Coach Pat Burns, who died Nov. 19 after a long fight with cancer. The Devils, usually known for their class as an organization, had their entire team attend. Even though there are only four players left on their current roster (Patrik Elias, Martin Brodeur, Jamie Langenbrunner and Colin White) that actually played for Burns in 2003, the Devils wanted to show the proper respect towards one of their own.
It didn't hurt that the NHL schedule allowed for it as the Devils are in the midst of four days off, but even if it had not coincided with some time off, you can bet the Devils would have been well represented as an organization. It's the kind of thing that has come to be expected from the type of class organization the Devils have been, especially under the leadership of GM Lou Lamoriello.
And while the team took a lot of heat for its handling of the signing Ilya Kovalchuk this past off-season, it is a franchise that generally is known for doing the right thing. The Devils used to do the right thing sometimes in the shadows or darkness and out of the limelight. Unfortunately, in light of what took place with the Ilya Kovalchuk signing this past off-season, it has put the Devils into the limelight, a place they are not used to being. You can't overlook this fact that has impacted the team this year, as a small part of their struggles.
As classy as the Devils franchise is, you always run into people who are just the opposite. How someone(s) can have the audacity to steal from a widow at her husband's funeral is unfathomable. It is good to see that teams and people have stepped up to help out and I'm sure the Devils are somehow involved, even if it hasn't been presented in the media.
With the Devils in the midst of four days off, the actual team news has hit a bit of a lull, but with three games in the next five days, against the Canadiens, Flyers and Penguins, you can sure things will heat up one way or the other. Expect Jamie Langenbrunner and possibly Matthew Corrente to return to the lineup tomorrow night against Montreal, as the Devils look for their fifth straight win at home.
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