The Devils have fulfilled their promise to complete the coaching staff and added Devils ex-Captain Scott Stevens and Matt Shaw as assistant coaches. Here’s the official press release.
In an anvil-to-the-heart kind of offseason, the addition of Stevens is welcome news. A part-time assistant under Jacques Lemaire in the 2009-2010 season, Stevens will now join Pete DeBoer on the bench. He will fill the departed Larry Robinson’s role and work with the blue line youngsters.
“I think this is the deepest we’ve been on defense for young, upcoming defensemen in a long time. (…) I always saw myself as a teacher and at some point an assistant coach and I guess things just seem right right now,” Stevens said. “I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been doing, but I feel like I’m ready to jump in full-time.”
In other words, you’re next.
Matt Shaw has had history with Jacques Lemaire in Minnesota, working for him for two seasons before being hired as an assistant coach by the San Jose Sharks. He will not be on the bench for the Devils. Shaw will be responsible for the power play (certainly not what it could’ve been this past season) and will be watching the games from above. As for Shaw’s prowess, the Sharks ranked second in the NHL with a 21.1% success rate on the power play, so the addition of Matt Shaw is definitely welcome. I don’t foresee the Devils’ power play suddenly rising to the top three, as development takes time, but it has the capability to be higher than it was at 14th in the league with a 17.2% rate. It should also help cut down on the number of short-handed goals allowed by the Devils, who led the NHL with a whopping 13 SHGA this past season. The Sharks, for comparison, allowed only four.
For those of us who like to self-flagellate, here’s Scott Stevens’ retirement ceremony.
In other news, LW Devils prospect Harri Pesonen was unable to attend rookie camp due to self-injury while mowing his lawn.
I have great hope for him as the next Dustin Penner.