With One Legendary Czech Career Potentially Coming To An End, Another One Will Begin In New Jersey On Saturday
Listen, the last thing I am trying to do is prematurely bury the career of Patrik Elias. I don't think anyone - including himself - knows what fate awaits him this offseason. However, it would be negligent to avoid acknowledging the fact that Saturday could very well be his last game in a Devils uniform (or any other uniform for that matter). The Devils are getting younger, and it goes without saying that Patrik Elias is getting older. Could he return on a cheap contract to provide veteran leadership to a locker room that's in dire need of it? I don't see why not, but I am certainly not going to head into the last game of the season acting as if that is some sort of foregone conclusion. Tomorrow night's game has the potential to be as bittersweet as a completely meaningless game to close out a non-playoff season could possibly be, and the likely departure of the one of the greatest New Jersey Devils of all time would unquestionably provide the bitterness.
Now on to the inevitable sweetness. I think it's safe to assume we are getting our first official Pavel Zacha sighting on Saturday. It's either that or Ray Shero and the boys are planning on sending me into the offseason with a case of blue balls that could very well require medical attention. Pu-pu-pu-pleaaaaase don't do that to me. If we are saying goodbye to one Czech legend for the final time, I am going to need the immediate presence of the beautiful Czech prospect that's half his age to fill the championship-sized hole in my heart. If you're going to have me leaving the stadium for the final time this season crying then you better be prepared to give me something to smile about beforehand. That something is the most highly touted player this franchise has called it's own since Adam Larsson. I don't know what Pavel Zacha's future holds, but I know he could learn or two from his fellow countryman as their careers cross paths in the most poetic of ways. In the all encompassing words of Semisonic, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. Let's just hope Pavel Zacha can recreate the success that Patrik Elias had in between. No pressure or anything...