Devils coach Pete DeBoer doesn’t know who his opponent will be in the Eastern Conference Finals, but if it turns out to be the Washington Capitals and their coach Dale Hunter, he’ll be well prepared.
Although Hunter hasn’t been coaching in the NHL for very long, the two have a history that dates back to their days in the OHL.
DeBoer took over the Kitchener Rangers in 2001-02 while Hunter assumed control of the division rival London Knights that season. They coached those teams until DeBoer found work with the Florida Panthers in 2008-09.
“It was always an intense competition between the London Knights and the Kitchener Rangers,” DeBoer said in December. “We were in the same division, coaches in cities about an hour apart. Those battles at that level, especially when you’re coaching against a guy for six, seven, eight years they get pretty heated.”
DeBoer said the two coaches “an intense rivalry” at the time. That rivalry will be rekindled if the Washington Capitals defeat the New York Rangers in Game 7 on Saturday.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed one of the more intriguing players placed on waivers — former Vancouver defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, 22, was waived by the Canucks on Monday. The former OHL standout had appeared in 28 career games for Vancouver — including 10 last year — but was squeezed out of an NHL spot following the emergence of Ben Hutton, who surprised many onlookers by making the 23-man roster.
Canucks GM Jim Benning will receive criticism for losing an asset like Corrado for nothing. Several Vancouver pundits warned of exposing a young, promising d-man to waivers and those warnings ultimately proved accurate.
With Toronto, Corrado could push for playing time as the club indicated on Monday veteran d-man Sephane Robidas wouldn’t be with the team to start the year. That would leave the the Leafs with seven healthy blueliners: Dion Phaneuf, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Morgan Rielly, Matt Hunwick, Martin Marincin and Scott Harrington, who can go to the minors without having to clear waivers.
Petter Granberg, another defenseman, is currently on IR.
In a corresponding move to the Corrado claim, the Leafs put forward Richard Panik on waivers. Panik, who Toronto plucked off waivers from Tampa Bay last year, appeared in 76 games for the Leafs, scoring 11 goals and 17 points.