A week or so after ex-Devil Zach Parise signed with the Wild, we’ve now also lost assistant coach Larry Robinson to the San Jose Sharks. Let us not forget that even before that, Adam Oates left the Devils to became head coach of the Washington Capitals. In a way, Pete DeBoer said it best: seeing other organizations turn to the Devils is flattering. Both Oates and Robinson were integral parts of DeBoer’s coaching staff who were commended often by the players, and the Devils fanbase can only wish them both luck.
But where does this leave us? What is Lou Lamoriello’s Plan B?
Inside: Scott Stevens and Mike Haviland: possible assistant coaches?; the shrinking UFA market: Semin, Ryan, and Doan; assorted videos for your offseason needs.
In Lou We Trust, of course. Still, the pool of available UFAs is rapidly dwindling. Finding good assistant coaches is also not an easy task.
To clear the confusion regarding Scott Stevens, he has not been confirmed as an assistant. The initial rumors were based off what was written on this page, which — if you read carefully! — has not been updated for quite a while. I’m all up for acquiring him as an assistant coach because he’d add spice to the staff and is an important piece of Devils history. Still, nothing is confirmed.
Mike Haviland could also be a candidate for assistant coach. Recently fired by the Blackhawks, he was beloved by the players and won the AHL’s Coach of the Year in the 2006-07 season. He was also a candidate for the Capitals’ head coaching job. For a coaching system like Pete DeBoer’s that prizes communication between the coaching staff and the players, Haviland could be a good fit.
As for players, who’s left? Semin, Doan, Ryan? Kostitsyn, whose name has barely been bandied around at all? Alex Semin could be a good fit and though he carries a large load of baggage that can be called the ‘unfortunate Don Cherry-inspired media spotlight’ and ‘alleged behavioral issues,’ Ilya Kovalchuk could help sort him out.
Let’s put it this way. If Semin could put up the kinds of numbers he did in Washington while being ‘uninspired and lazy,’ imagine what he could do with a healthy source of motivation.
Shane Doan is waiting to see how the saga of the Phoenix Coyotes will play out. To give credit to his loyalty, he’s been waiting for a long time. If the Coyotes make it out of their current mess, he will likely re-sign. If not, I don’t see him leaving the Western Conference.
As for Bobby Ryan, he’s shown far more interest in the Philadelphia Flyers than anyone else. In any case, the Ducks are unlikely to trade him unless they can get quality pieces in return. Like Suter choosing to leave Nashville, Ryan leaving Anaheim creates its own trail of franchise carnage. Who could we give them that wouldn’t hurt the Devils significantly as well?
Krys Barch (2 years/$750k each) cannot be our Plan B. Both time, and the market, are running dry.
In case any of you were wondering what a rookie’s broken heart looks like, have this video where Henrique talks about Parise with a sheepish grin.
“He’s got to come back. That’s the bottom line.”
From Devils HQ over at Youtube, have an almost 9-minute long, glorious compilation of Ilya Kovalchuk’s 2011-12 goals. The numbers for the curious: “37 regular season game goals, 11 shootout goals, 8 playoff goals.” (It also includes Kovalchuk’s fight with sacrificial lamb Brayden Schenn.)
This is why we call him Goalvalchuk. Or, alternatively, “SCORE!”
If you can keep yourself from smiling while watching this, you’re probably a Rangers fan.
“I got a muscle cramp!”
Happy birthday to one Mr. Chico Resch. More colorful color commentary cannot be found.