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Pluses and minuses from around the NHL

New Jersey Devils retire Scott Niedermayer's jersey number; Jacques Martin is the fall guy for Montreal Canadiens' woes.

December 19, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • Scott Niedermayer, who won four Stanley Cups during his career with the New Jersey Devils and Ducks, speaks during his jersey retirement ceremony in New Jersey on Friday.
Scott Niedermayer, who won four Stanley Cups during his career with the… (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images )

+ The New Jersey Devils retired Scott Niedermayer's jersey number last week in a classy ceremony. Niedermayer won three Stanley Cup championships with them before leaving to join brother Rob in Anaheim and win the Cup together in 2007.

+ The latest HBO "24/7" series focusing on the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers should be as entertaining as last year's edition, which featured the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. But wouldn't it help promote the league to expand the participants beyond a select few Eastern teams?

+ The reaction in Winnipeg to Teemu Selanne's return there Saturday after a 15-year-absence was heartwarming. No one is likely to touch the rookie records of 76 goals and 132 points he set in 1992-93. Which is more remarkable: that he's still playing or that the NHL came back to the 'Peg?

- This could be a weekly note: What is going through the head of Montreal General Manager Pierre Gauthier? He fired Coach Jacques Martin on Saturday, and though Martin was hardly Mr. Excitement, he did what he could with a small team and weak defense that was built poorly by Gauthier.

- The Capitals' coaching change from Bruce Boudreau to Dale Hunter hasn't exactly opened the floodgates for their offense. As noted in Sunday's Washington Post, the Capitals have scored only one goal in each of their last three games and have been held to one goal in nine of their last 16. Who do they think they are, the Kings?

- The Flyers announced defenseman Chris Pronger will sit out the rest of the season and the playoffs because of post-concussion syndrome. It must be severe to prompt that kind of statement instead of leaving his return open-ended. Love him or hate him, he's an impact player with a big personality, and he will be missed.

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