The New Jersey Devils and new head coach John MacLean have filled in the last piece of their coaching staff and much fitting with how the Devils do business, the selection is a surprise and came virtually out of nowhere as the team named Adam Oates as an assistant coach. Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice tells us that Oates’ role with the Devils will be well defined.
“Throughout his career, Adam was without question one of the top playmaking centers, particularly on the power play, and was considered one of the top face-off players in the game,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement released by the team. “These attributes bring a different dimension to our coaching staff and both John and I are delighted that Adam is joining our organization.”
Oates joins Larry Robinson as an assistant under MacLean and Chris Terreri is on board as the team goaltending coach. Imagine joining the Devils and having that coaching staff to deal with.
Yikes. If you think that Lamoriello might be unfamiliar with Adam Oates, think
again. Lamoriello coached against Oates in the 1985 NCAA National
Championship game. Oates’ RPI Engineers defeated Lamoriello and Terreri’s Providence Friars 2-1. Hockey fans who grew up through the 80s are now checking to see if they are indeed getting that old.
Oates will be on board to help the Devils with their power play and will
lend a helping hand with the team’s centers on techniques in the
face-off circle. Working under Rick Tocchet in Tampa Bay last year in a similar role, Oates helped coach the Lightning to the 8th best power play in the NHL scoring 19.33% of the time. The Devils checked in as the 11th best power play in the league last year, but as was shown in their five-game playoff loss to the Flyers, their power play was miserable when they needed it most going 1-17 in losses in Games 4 and 5.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.