Rumors and a Bit of Gossip!

Hurricane Sergei coming?

Will it be Wesleaf or Wesleygone?

A broken Wing leaving this summer.

Hamrlik a goner?

And…..Martin Brodeur IS the devil himself!From Spector’s Rumors:

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Detroit Red Wings apparently aren’t confident about their chances of re-signing impending UFA forward Sergei Fedorov, who earlier this season rejected a five-year, $50 million US offer. Brooks claims the Carolina Hurricanes, who had Fedorov signed to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent in 1998 before the Wings matched the offer, may pursue Fedorov in the UFA market. Brooks cites the ‘Canes previous attempt to sign Fedorov, as well as the antagonism between Hurricanes owner Peter Karmonos and Red Wings owner Mike Illich, adding Karmonos would do this signing not only to improve his club, but to get back at Illich.

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke Decock reports defenceman Glen Wesley, who waived his no-trade clause with the Carolina Hurricanes in February for a chance to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, is undecided as to whom he’ll sign with next season. The Leafs thought highly of Wesley’s play and are believed interested in re-siging him, but Wesley says he’s leaving open the option of returning to the Hurricanes. The determining factor to where he’ll end up will be the length of the contract being offered. Most NHL teams are gun-shy over offering long-term contracts to UFAs this summer, given the uncertainty over the league’s future going into the next round of labour negotiations in September 2004.

TORONTO SUN: Al Strachan reported a week ago that this was probably the final season in Detroit for gritty forward Darren McCarty, who’s an unrestricted free agent this summer unless the Red Wings re-sign him before July 1. The Wings wish to keep him and are willing to bump him up from his current $1.95 million per season to $2.5 million per season, but Strachan believes McCarty will probably get a million more than that elsewhere. The reporter believes the Wings will probably be out-bid for McCarty.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Peter Botte reported a week ago that NY Islanders GM Mike Milbury wasn’t happy with the play of his roster this season, and will be looking into the reasons why. Botte doesn’t expect the Isles to go shopping for help via the free agent market, as their payroll of $38 million US is lslated to go up “internally” next season due to raises stipulated in several players contracts, and there are concerns over the upcoming labour negotiations in 2004. One player who could seek an extension beyond next season is defenceman Roman Hamrlik, whom Botte notes is coming off an All-Star season and could be shopped for someone who can play on Alexei Yashin’s line.

Martin Broduer is the devil himself! Oh Marty, you’ll pay the price for this one!

Sherry Ross, NYDailyNews:

At what point does an athlete’s personal business become our business?
When does a fan’s right to know supercede the right to privacy?

Is a reporter obligated to divulge every hint of upheaval or scandal just because he or she knows it?

Those questions, with no easy answers, come into sharp focus today because of Martin Brodeur.

The world-class goaltender for the Devils is better known for things like the glove-pad combo save he made yesterday on Martin St. Louis than the sordid story that broke in a Canadian tabloid.

Brodeur and his wife, Melanie, who have four young children, have been living apart since Christmas. It was an ill-kept secret, even around this highly insular team, but no one wrote about it. It was not collusion – not among reporters who work for papers whose cut-throat rivalries surpass any in pro sports. Maybe it was a question of honor, a trait seldom attributed to our profession.

Maybe it was because whatever turmoil Brodeur is going through never manifested itself on the ice. Maybe it’s because he is one of the true good guys in sports as far as our working relationship with him goes. Maybe it was wrong to bury it, but it just felt right.

The story came to light because a French-language crime weekly called Photo Police trumpeted a story promising “the whole truth” about a Quebec-born goaltender, whom it didn’t name, having an affair with his sister-in-law and being asked for $9 million in alimony by his wife.

In a story published in yesterday’s Le Journal de Montreal, Brodeur said he and his wife were separated and that he had a relationship with his sister-in-law after she was separated from her husband.

Brodeur told Le Journal his wife has called him hours before a game to taunt him about his going out on a date. He denied other aspects of the story, including the alimony demand and that his wife had surprised him during a tryst at an Ottawa hotel.

Brodeur made only a brief statement after yesterday’s game at the Meadowlands.

“To all the people who knew about it and didn’t say anything, I appreciate it,” Brodeur said. “But that’s the way it is. We’re separated and we’ll leave it at that. It was bound to come out one way or the other, and now it did, so we’ll just deal with it.

“This is my personal life. I don’t want to get bothered with it from now on.”

He will, of course, especially if the Devils, now up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with Tampa Bay, move on to play in a genteel city such as, oh, let’s say Philadelphia.

For now, the situation is one Brodeur seems to be able to handle. He had a regular season in which he was a leading MVP, All-Star and Vezina Trophy candidate. He has posted three shutouts in seven playoff games. He made 26 saves in yesterday’s 3-2 overtime win, the standout being the stopper on the St. Louis breakaway while the Lightning held a 2-1 lead in the third period. The Devils tied the game two minutes later, went on to win and now are showing the same kind of defense around their goalie that they do during a game.

“Mine was a public thing, so it was a little different. When it’s something like this, it should be left alone,” said teammate Ken Daneyko, a veteran whose struggle with alcoholism became known when he entered a rehab program in 1997. “Regardless of anything, he’s the least of our worries.”

Many fans at yesterday’s game agreed. Brodeur is easily the most popular Devil, and about every third jersey in the arena bears a “30” and “Brodeur” lettered across the back. That is unlikely to change because of the news.

“I thought it was sad,” said Cathy McManus of Point Pleasant, N.J., whose husband, Butch, a Devils fan for more than 20 years, was wearing a Brodeur jersey. “It’s just a fact of life. It doesn’t change my opinion of him.”

The Bruins tried to prove Brodeur human in the last playoff round. These revelations are succeeding where Boston failed. Maybe that’s why some of us, with the capability for the same weaknesses, poor judgments, mistakes and compassion, were so reluctant to turn over this Devil’s rock.