PHT Morning News: Where Bernier might actually return to the Devils


PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Tom Gulitti provides a roundup of the New Jersey Devils lower-profile unrestricted free agents, including a bit where Steve Bernier’s agent seems shockingly optimistic about a return. If the Buffalo Bills hire Scott Norwood as a special teams coach this week, go ahead and board your windows. (Fire & Ice)

The New York Islanders hired Brent Thompson as an assistant coach. (

Cam Charron dissects the Vancouver Canucks’ draft strategy of selecting older, (hopefully?) more NHL-ready players. (Vancouver Province)

Buffalo Sabres play-by-play guy Rick Jeanneret will call all 82 games next season, according to Bill Hoppe. (Niagara Gazette)

A deeper look at St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong’s off-season outlook. (

Mathieu Darche is bummed that the Montreal Canadiens apparently don’t want him back next season. I just hope he stays in the NHL so I can think of the “Stan Daaaarsh” episode of South Park whenever I hear his name. (Mathieu Darche’s Twitter page)

A buyer beware on Rick Nash. (NHL Numbers)

Some early updates on “The Justin Schultz sweepstakes”: the Columbus Blue Jackets (no surprise) and Detroit Red Wings (pretty big surprise) are among the first who are out. Maybe he’s not a fan of the Central Division?

After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.