Devils’ Clemmensen Put on Gag Order
December 19, 2008 1 Comment
Look, we’re eternally grateful to Lou Lamoriello. He gave us three championships, and a model of consistency that has given the hockey fans of New Jersey 18 seasons of playoff hockey in the last two decades. But sometimes, he can be quite ridiculous as far as player access. There is a well-known SI article depicting the Devil dynasty that quoted an ABC hockey person as saying they were sick of dealing with Lou.
Lamoriello has stepped back on the media unfriendly bandwagon, by placing a gag order on current starting goaltender (in the wake of Marty Brodeur’s injury) Scott Clemmensen. From Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger:
The rule, which began Wednesday in Buffalo and will continue, wasn’t instituted by the always-cooperative goalie. It was an edict from general manager Lou Lamoriello, who apparently felt Clemmensen’s performance in Toronto was affected by his interviews with the Canadian media prior to Tuesday night’s game at the Air Canada Centre.
“It wasn’t my decision,” Clemmensen revealed Friday morning. “It doesn’t matter to me. It’s a new rule from up top.”
Clemmensen will speak with reporters after morning skates, as he did Friday, but there are many mornings when the Devils have optional skates or no morning workout at all. That makes Clemmensen completely unavailable to the New Jersey media.
This is completely ridiculous, as it stems from a shootout loss won on a goal that would never happen in regulation play. Plus, the Devils played awful in front of Clemmensen for most of that game. Perhaps they should be put under the same rules?
However, I’m not the only one annoyed. Chere, who has covered the team for 26+ years, has some shots for Lamoriello as well.
The blame is solely directed at Lamoriello.
Martin Brodeur has always talked before games and he’s headed for the Hall of Fame. Clemmensen said he’s never been distracted or bothered by talking before games. But Lamoriello has decided for him that it is a distraction.
At the recent NHL board of governors’ meeting in Florida, the topic was the economic crisis and its impact on the NHL. Curious that when the league is worried about losing fans, the Devils are banning one of their players from speaking to the fans through the media.
It’s a great point that Chere makes, especially now that his recent success makes Clemmensen a big human interest story. Unfortunately, the Devils and “human interest” have not mixed well over the years, especially when it comes to the humans in the media.