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15 марта 2000 года.
Devils go for the goal, acquiring Mogilny 

By Rich Chere 

The Devils got their sniper. 

Tired of coming up short in the playoffs the past three springs and intent on winning another Stanley Cup before the team is sold, general manager Lou Lamoriello yesterday acquired former 76-goal-scorer Alexander Mogilny in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for centers Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson. 

Mogilny, 31, who appears to have fully overcome a shoulder injury that sidelined him earlier this season, gives the Devils a true game-breaker without upsetting the team's salary structure. The Canucks will pay a portion, estimated at $1 million, of the right winger's $5.2 million salary next season. 

Hit submit to cast your vote and see how others voted. But the move was made to give the Devils a much-improved chance of winning now. It is reminiscent of the Dallas Stars, who visit Continental Airlines Arena tonight, acquiring Brett Hull before last season to score some big goals. He did, including the goal that clinched the Stanley Cup. 

"This is the type of player we were definitely looking at, someone who is explosive and can break a game open at any time," Lamoriello said. "This gives us a proven goal-scorer who will complement other players. We're excited to be able to put this type of player in our lineup." 

Mogilny, who flew to New Jersey from the West Coast last night, was unavailable for comment. Lamoriello indicated that the YankeeNets, potential buyers of the Devils from John McMullen, had nothing to do with the trade. 

It has been seven years since he scored 76 goals for the Buffalo Sabres in 1992-93 and four years since he scored 55 for the Canucks in 1995-96, but Mogilny has played very well of late. He had 21 goals with 17 assists in 47 games for the Canucks this season and figures be motivated with a legitimate chance to win his first Stanley Cup. 

"He hasn't had an opportunity to have a serious run with a contender in many, many years, if ever," Devils right winger Claude Lemieux said. "Alex's past numbers show his potential. Hopefully he can get back to those days. 

"We belong to the same club in California and we've spent some time playing golf. He's shown me he wants to get back to where he can be. Unfortunately, he's been on a team that has had its downs instead of ups. He'll have a lot of freedom, like Patty (Elias) and Petr (Sykora) have, to get back to his game." 

Although Mogilny is a natural right winger, the Devils did not reveal where they intend to use him. One speculation is with center Bobby Holik. When right winger Randy McKay returns from an ankle injury, he could be moved to the left side. 

"I think Macky could play both wings. I don't think it would matter," Holik said. "I think it would be a big switch for a guy like Mogilny to move to left wing. 

"I think the trade is very good," Holik said. "We want to play that transition game with speed and this guy is really going to help us. We need wings badly and he's quite a talent. If he wants to be, he can be a dangerous player." 

Mogilny becomes the fourth Russian-born player on the Devils' roster, along with defenseman Vladimir Malakhov, winger Sergei Brylin and center Sergei Nemchinov. Malakhov and Mogilny both were acquired in trades this month and arrived with reputations as highly skilled players capable of dominating if they are healthy and motivated. 

The Devils believe Mogilny is both. 

"We saw him play against us (11 days ago) and have been following him. He'll be given a physical (today) and we'll decide when he plays," Lamoriello said. "He's excited. He's a player."

Born in Khabarovsk, Russia, Mogilny defected to the U.S. at the age of 20 in May of 1989. As a member of the Soviet national team, he got word to the Buffalo Sabres, who had selected him 89th overall in the 1988 draft, that he was prepared to defect while in Stockholm for the 1989 world championships. 

He defected after meeting with former Sabres GM Gerry Meehan in a Stockholm hotel room. The following season, the one in which Viacheslav Fetisov and Sergei Starikov made their historic debuts for the Devils, Mogilny began his career with the Sabres. He spent six seasons in Buffalo before being traded to the Canucks in the Michael Peca deal.

Mogilny has scored 30 or more goals six times in 10 seasons -- nine if you discount the lockout-shortened 1994-95 campaign. 

"We are going to miss Alex's knockout punch, at times," Canucks GM Brian Burke said yesterday. 

To get Mogilny, the Devils gave up Morrison, who had asked to be traded after nasty contract negotiations at the start of this season, and Pederson, whose rise in the organization was derailed by injuries.

Pederson, 24, had 3-2-5 in 35 games. Morrison, also 24, had 5-21-26 in 44 games. 

"I'm in a little bit of shock. The Devils saw it as an opportunity to better their team and maybe fulfill a need. I'm sure it was tough to part with two young guys," said Morrison, who was born in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. 

"I just did what I felt was right. Some people disagreed with what I did and some people agreed. I still have no regrets. I always think of what could have been, but this is part of the business. This is a good opportunity for me." 

And a good opportunity for the Devils, who can only protect nine forwards in the upcoming expansion draft and therefore helped themselves twofold. 

"I definitely think we could use some scoring. Obviously, the guy is gifted," captain Scott Stevens said of Mogilny. "He's played well on a not-so-great team. He can scoot and he's got a good shot. You don't score 70 goals as a fluke. Hopefully, he can score some big goals for us." 

Notes: Lamoriello said he had not heard from the league regarding any action against Malakhov, who received a game misconduct penalty and a five-minute major for kneeing Pittsburgh forward Alexei Morozov Monday night. 

16 марта 2000 года.
Devils: Mogilny's goal: Fit in, have fun 


The 76 goals Alexander Mogilny scored seven years ago for the Buffalo Sabres will forever be the standard by which the Russian right winger is judged. 

It does not seem to matter that no one -- not Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull or Jaromir Jagr -- has come close to matching the figure since both Mogilny and Teemu Selanne scored in that 1992-93 season. And when Mogilny scored 55 goals three years later for the Vancouver Canucks to become one of the highest-paid players in the game, anything less than 50 or 60 goals was grounds for criticism. 

Before making his Devils debut last night at Continental Airlines Arena against Dallas, Mogilny spoke of high expectations and the realization that he is viewed as the final missing piece to the team's Stanley Cup puzzle. 

"I had two great years, but I've always been a 30-goal scorer," Mogilny said. "Everybody thinks I should score 55-60 goals every year. Maybe they raised the bar for me too high. I feel no pressure. This is a solid hockey club, exactly what I need. I just want to have some fun and play hockey." 

Mogilny, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for centers Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson, said he believes he can score 40 or 50 goals again for a team like the Devils. 

But for this season, in which he has 21 goals and has recovered from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss playing time, Mogilny is looking only to regain his confidence, take some pressure off others and contribute to a lengthy playoff run. 

"When you don't make the playoffs, you start doubting yourself and you start asking yourself whether you are good enough," he said. "Lately I've been feeling better and better. I've been putting the puck in the net. I had lost my confidence and that was a big part of it. The mind is a powerful thing. 

"I'm a goal-scorer, but I'm not a guy who is going to take it from behind the net, beat three or four guys and take it in. I'm a finisher." 

That is exactly what the Devils needed. 

They already had the goaltending and a defense that ranked among the league's best. All they believed was missing was a sniper who could make the difference and give them what they lacked in the playoffs the past three springs. 

"That's definitely what we were missing in '97 against the Rangers, and last year the series against the Penguins could have been decided with a goal or two," center Bobby Holik said. "He's that type of player." 

In between those two early round playoff exits, the Devils were eliminated in 1998 by the Ottawa Senators. They scored one goal in three of their four losses that year. 

"No doubt he's a really good goal-scorer. In my first playoffs against Buffalo (1994), he was amazing," goalie Martin Brodeur said. "He knows where the net is. He's an explosive player."

Mogilny arrived home in Vancouver at 3 a.m. on Tuesday following a seven-day, four-game road trip with the Canucks. After the trade, he flew across the continent to New Jersey and did not get to bed until 4 a.m. 

"I'm exhausted," said Mogilny, who couldn't convert on his three shots on goal and a near-miss that would have tied the game in the final seconds last night. "It's going to take some time to adjust. It's a little culture shock for me right now. It's a new, exciting beginning again. It's going to take some time, but I'm looking forward to it." 

Might fellow Russians Vladimir Malakhov, Sergei Nemchinov, Sergei Brylin and assistant coach Viacheslav Fetisov make the adjustment easier? 

"I'm a big boy. I've been playing 11 years and I'm used to changes," Mogilny said. "It's not Slava or Vladdy or Sergei. It's a change of everything, the color of the uniforms, traditions, the mentality of the hockey club, everything. I have to get used to it. I have to totally readjust myself, but this is good for me." 

20 апреля 2000 года.
Devils: More or less, Mogilny shoots to win 

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Alexander Mogilny used to be somebody. 

Not long ago, Mogilny was one of the game's top goal-scorers, as dangerous as Pavel Bure at his best. But now, the Devils' forward calls himself "a plumber" and he couldn't be happier. 

With the Devils poised to complete an opening-round sweep of the Florida Panthers tonight at the National Car Rental Center, Mogilny is eager to reach the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for only the second time in his 11-season NHL career. He has gladly traded in his days as a 76-goal scorer for a chance at finally winning something. 

"Have I become a plumber? Basically, yes. I haven't been scoring," Mogilny said yesterday. "I would admit that's a little harsh, but it doesn't bother me. I've scored goals in this league and it got me nice contracts, but it didn't get me anywhere. I haven't won anything in this league." 

The farthest he got was the second round in 1993 with the Vancouver Canucks, but that spring ended when he broke his leg and the Canucks were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings.

Acquired by the Devils in the March 14 trade with Vancouver for promising young forwards Brendan Morrison and Denis Pederson, Mogilny has attempted to blend in and contribute just as he did in Game 3 on Tuesday night when he scored a key power-play goal late in the third period. 

Those are the goals he enjoys scoring these days. He is concentrating on quality rather than volume. 

"The team goal is more important than individual goals at this stage of my career. There should be less worry about personal things than the team," said Mogilny, who has one more season left on his contract at $5.2 million. The Canucks will pay $2 million of that. 

In a sense, Mogilny and the Devils are on the same track. There is only so much time remaining for the heart of this team. 

A sweep of the Panthers would go a long way in burying some of the playoff disappointments in recent years, but they are taking nothing for granted. 

"You've got to win first before you think you're off the hook," right winger Claude Lemieux said. "It's been a tough ride for the guys who have been here. It's a good thing not to feel overly confident. You have to feel nothing is a sure thing. In the playoffs, you can't emphasize enough that you can only look at one game. 

"Being up 3-0 is a great position to be in as long as you keep pounding away and don't give your opponent a chance to get back in it. The way they look at it is they have nothing to lose." 

That can make the fourth game the toughest of all. 

"Nothing is sure, but this would be a big step in the right direction," defenseman Ken Daneyko said. "We have to win another hockey game. We certainly would like to bury them. It would be nice because you get a rest. That's important in a grueling playoff run for survival." 

Mogilny believes the Devils have yet to peak. 

"I believe we can play better, but we're happy with where we are right now," he said. 

The same can be said about Mogilny. The Devils are happy with the way he has played, but they believe he will become a more important player as the playoffs progress. 

"We can't put too much pressure on him right away," assistant coach Viacheslav Fetisov said. "He's definitely a game-breaker, a guy who can score some big goals. I asked him how he scored 76 goals and he said, 'You have to shoot the puck.' Now, he passes more because he's more of a team guy. We want him to shoot the puck more often." 

One more victory over the Panthers and both Mogilny and the Devils will have buried at least some of their past frustrations. 

"This is still early. We have a long way to go. The first few steps we've made are in the right direction," Mogilny said. "This is exciting for me. That's why we play the game. In Russia, I used to play for the Olympics and a world championship. Here, it's to raise the Cup." 

No matter how many goals he scores.

"He's enjoying this," Fetisov said. "Steve Yzerman is a similar example. Yzerman enjoys playing for the team now more than he did scoring 50 or 60 goals. He's probably the biggest leader in hockey right now. 

"I've known (Mogilny) since he was a kid. He always has been a guy who wants to win. Now more than ever."

Страничка Александра Могильного на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


3 ноября. Александр Могильный: "Мой приезд в Турин не исключен" - "Спорт-Экспресс"

20 октября. Mogilny's form returning slowly - Star-Ledger

30 сентября. Форвард «Нью-Джерси» Александр Могильный: Бросьте, какая Олимпиада?! // "Советский Спорт"

24 сентября. Devs` Mogilny takin' his time- New York Post

17 августа. «Дэвилз» вернули в свои ряды Могильного. 

3 мая. Александр Могильный: "Слухи о моей отставке сильно преувеличены" - Спорт-Экспресс

24 марта. Александр Могильный: Тяжело играть на одной ноге! - Советский Спорт

19 марта. Александр Могильный: "Так, как в этом сезоне, пахал лишь 15 лет назад в ЦСКА у Тихонова". - Спорт-Экспресс.



"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года