Marty On Display
While the playoffs have been going strong with the #7 seeded Philadelphia Flyers taking over the Eastern Conference and heading straight to the Finals, the Devils have been keeping busy themselves this off-season.
But before I talk about the Devils latest acquisitions and what Zach Parise has been up to so far this summer, I want to talk about art. Not just any art, but a first NHL painting from the artist BORBAY.
While he was visiting the Stanley Cup recently, one of the keepers of the Cup suggested that BORBAY do a painting of the legend, Martin Brodeur.
To the canvas he went with this new inspiration…and what he created was a masterpiece that only a New York artist could bring to the masses.
On Saturday, BORBAY unveiled “Martin Brodeur Makes A Save With Much On His Mind” in Tribeca. Here, BORBAY describes the process he used to create this unique piece.
BORBAY’s first NHL piece has created a lot of attention from the hockey community. The question is…who will become the new owner of this masterpiece? That is the question.
Devils Focus On Prospects
The Devils haven’t been focusing too much on signing the big names right now (like Ilya Kovalchuk). Their focus has been on the future of the Devils. On May 19, 2010, the Devils announced that they had signed Eric Gelinas, New Jersey’s second choice, and 54th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
They also inked a deal with 21-year old Kitchener Ranger captain Dan Kelly. Like former Kitchener alum David Clarkson, Kelly was not drafted. He will attend his first NHL training camp in September.
On May 14, 2010, both Devils 2008 and 2009 first round draft picks were signed. Mattias Tedenby and Jacob Josefson will both be attending their first NHL training camp in September along with Gelinas and Kelly.
Library Champion Zach Parise Reads to Students
As New Jersey libraries are facing some serious financial cutbacks throughout the state, Library Champion and Team USA’s Silver Medal Olympian Zach Parise (the guy on the side of New Jersey’s state library) has been showing his support. On Tuesday, May 25th, Parise visited the New Jersey State Library and read Jules Feiffer’s “Bark, George” to a group of second through fifth grade children from Katzenbach School for the Deaf in Trenton, New Jersey (using an American Sign Language Interpreter).
Parise also received a special proclamation from New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie for being a New Jersey State Library Champion.
Here is the news release from the New Jersey Devils:
Zach Parise isn’t just the Devils’ leading scorer – he’s also one of New Jersey’s biggest bookworms.
On Tuesday, he visited the state library in Trenton and read aloud to young students as part of the New Jersey Library Champion program, which promotes the importance of reading to students.
The U.S. Olympian and NHL All-Star read Bark, George by Jules Feiffer to children from the Katzenbach School for the Deaf. The story, about a dog having trouble with his bark, was translated by an American Sign Language interpreter.
Parise’s an avid reader who lists James Patterson among his favorite authors. A 30-foot Parise banner has adorned the Trenton library since early this year.
“I think it’s important to stay with reading,” Parise said. “I think it’s the best way to learn different things, and it’s really important from an academic standpoint.”
The star left wing knows pressure on the ice: He scored the tying goal with less than 30 seconds to go in the gold medal game against Canada and has topped 30 goals in four straight seasons with the Devils. At the library, he shined on a different stage for New Jersey’s young fans.
“I was more nervous doing that than playing in front of 18,000 people, I’ll tell you that,” he joked. “That’s a lot easier for me. This was a little more of a challenge.”
Also in attendance was New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie, who received her very own jersey from Devils’ Chairman and Managing Partner Jeff Vanderbeek. She presented Parise with a letter from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie encouraging him to keep spreading the word about the importance of reading.
Vanderbeek said reading programs had a profound impact on his academic career.
“Please try to read as much as you can this summer and throughout your lives,” he told the students. “You’ll be that much better off for it.”
Parise brought his silver medal from the 2010 Vancouver Games and passed it around to the oohs and aahs of both the students and teachers in attendance. He’s one of several local athletes involved with the Library Champion program, and the first to come to Trenton and read to children. Other Library Champions include Devils Alumni Association representative Jim Dowd, as well as Devin Harris of the Nets and A.J. Burnett of the Yankees.
“First of all, he’s the best Library Champion in the world,” said Nancy Dowd, Director of Marketing for the New Jersey State Library. “Having the kids connect with him like this has been so rewarding. These kids, in particular, are heavy readers. Just the idea that they can spread the word out in New Jersey to have all the kids read – kids that like to play hockey, reading – it’s just amazing.”
The NHL Awards
This year, Brodeur is the only New Jersey Devil nominated for an NHL award. He has already received the William M. Jennings Trophy this year, an award which is given “to the goalkeeper(s) having played a minimum of 25 games for the team with the fewest goals scored against it.” This marks the fifth time he has won the award (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2010).
Brodeur is also up for the Vezina Trophy which is “given to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at this position as voted by the general managers of all NHL clubs.”
Of all the years that the Vezina could be the most rewarding in Brodeur’s career, this would be the year. Last season, he became the most winningest goaltender in the history of the NHL. This season, he was named the shutout king, surpassing Terry Sawchuk’s record of 103 career shutouts (Brodeur currently holds the record at 110), created the new record of most games played with 1,076 (beating Patrick Roy’s record of 1,029), most minutes played with 63,519 (beating Roy’s record of 60,225), and he broke the 600 wins mark.
Of any goaltender currently in the NHL, Brodeur deserves to win the Vezina this year acknowledging him as the new goaltending legend. He has broken and set new records over these past two years that will take the other two nominees years to even catch up to him. He deserves this honor one more time.
If he does win the Vezina this year, this will also mark his fifth win (2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008).
The NHL Awards takes place on June 23, 2010 in Las Vegas. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com (a note to ticketholders, please note that in order to attend the after-party, you must be 21 years or older).