Tag: New Jersey Devils

Toronto Maple Leafs v Nashville Predators

Report: Phil Housley the lead candidate for Devils’ coaching vacancy


Phil Housley could be the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

According to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Housley, who is currently an assistant coach with the Nashville Predators, has emerged as the front-runner for the coaching vacancy in New Jersey.

Chere reports GM Ray Shero has also interviewed former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher, Washington Capitals assistant coach Todd Reirden and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes.

The Devils reportedly interviewed Dan Bylsma before he took the Buffalo Sabres job.

During his playing days Housley spent part of the 1995-96 season with the Devils.

The 51-year-old’s coaching experience includes a gold medal while behind the bench of Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Devils’ Shero: No decision yet regarding Clowe’s future

Ryane Clowe

The New Jersey Devils have a new GM* in Ray Shero, but it doesn’t sound like Ryane Clowe’s murky future is any clearer.

Shero essentially said that it’s a status quo situation for Clowe, which basically means that he’s unsure if the power forward will be forced (or will flat-out choose) to retire. He told the Newark Star-Ledger that it’s not so much a good or a bad thing to say this, then.

“I don’t have that answer for you at this point,” Shero said. “That’s not negative or positive. I don’t know what the immediate future holds for Ryane. Certainly Lou has the background and file and knows everything about Ryane and where he is, so we’ll see where it goes. No decision as of today.”

Earlier this offseason, Clowe said the decision is “not in my hands right now,” but Shero said he believes the choice will come down to “a combination of the player, the organization and doctors.”

The elephant in the room might be style, though.

Even a “finesse” player must cope with the risks involved with playing despite a history of concussions, but Clowe is the hard-nosed type who may struggle to make a difference if he can’t really go all-out.

By Yahoo’s count, he delivered 621 hits from 2009-10 to 2014-15 (more than one per game). Even if you ignore hits absorbed, that’s a lot of collisions. He drops the gloves with frequency, as well, with peak years of 12 fights in 2010-11 and 11 in 2009-10, as well as five in each of 2012-13 and 2013-14.

That amounts to a ton of physical play, and that’s style is obviously Clowe’s calling card. He’d obviously have to play that gritty game to even be worthy of dressing in the Devils’ lineup.

Does this mean that the 32-year-old should quit right now? Not necessarily, but it doesn’t seem overly promising.

Clowe has three seasons remaining on his contract which brings an annual cap hit and salary of $4.85 million.

* – That’s still kind of weird, right?

Devils sign prospects Kujawinski and Pietila

North Bay Battalion v Niagara IceDogs

The New Jersey Devils have signed prospects Ryan Kujawinski and Blake Pietila to entry-level deals the club announced.

Kujawinski, the Devils third-round pick (73rd overall) at the 2013 NHL Draft, just finished his fourth season in the Ontario Hockey League. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound center scored 34 goals and 59 points in 61 games split between the Kingston Frontenacs and the North Bay Battalion.

In four OHL seasons with Sarnia, Kingston and North Bay, the 20-year-old registered 90 goals and 184 points to go along with 126 penalty minutes in 231 games.

Pietila, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward, completed his fourth season at Michigan Tech where he scored 14 goals and 30 points in 40 games. Originally the Devils’ fifth round pick (129th overall) at the 2011 NHL Draft, Pietila scored 46 goals and 106 points to go along with 230 penalty minutes in 153 games over four seasons with the Huskies.

Prior to going to Michigan Tech, Pietila spent two seasons with the United States Development Program. The 22-year-old won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Report: Bylsma to meet with Sabres this week

Dan Bylsma

On Thursday GM Jim Rutherford opened the door for teams to interview former Pens’ head coach Dan Bylsma without seeking permission.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Bylsma will meet with the Buffalo Sabres this week.

Bylsma, 44, has not coached since being fired by Pittsburgh last June.

The 2011 Jack Adams Award winner was behind the Penguins’ bench for six seasons posting a 252-117-32 record winning a Stanley Cup in 2009.

As Friedman notes, Bylsma could appeal to the Sabres because he already has a connection with Jack Eichel, who is likely headed to Buffalo. The two were together with Team USA at the 2015 World Championship in the Czech Republic.

Rutherford has given Buffalo and San Jose to speak with Bylsma.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports New Jersey GM Ray Shero has also gotten permission to speak with Bylsma and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach John Hynes about the Devils coaching vacancy.

Rutherford has not gotten to the point of seeking compensation.

“We haven’t gotten to that point,” said Rutherford. “That [right to seek compensation] rule kind of works against itself. On one hand, you’re paying an employee who’s not working, so teams prefer to get their salaries moved on [to another club]. But at the same time, we have a rule that, in some cases, there could be compensation.”

The Pens did not get compensation when the Devils hired Shero and Rutherford admitted they may go the same route with Bylsma in an effort to get a deal done.

“We don’t want to jeopardize what [Shero and Bylsma] could do going forward,” Rutherford said. “We’ll just wait to see who Dan possibly could get hired by, and make that decision at the time.”

The Sabres fired head coach Ted Nolan on April 12 after he led Buffalo to a 40-87-17 record in parts of two seasons. Nolan has since interviewed with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League regarding their coaching vacancy.

Report: Devils made offer to KHL forward Sergei Kalinin

Sergei Kalinin

According to a report out of Russia the New Jersey Devils have made a contract offer to Sergei Kalinin.

The 24-year-old forward has spent the past six seasons with Omsk Avangard of the KHL.

Kalinin had 12 goals and 13 assists in 58 games this season.

In 213 KHL games all with Avangard, Kalinin has 31 goals and 68 points.

Vladimir Sobotka, a teammate of Kalinin’s, won’t be returning to the NHL this season. There were rumors the 27-year-old was considering a return to North America for next season; however, Avangard’s GM told TASS that Sobotka is “likely” to remain in the KHL.

Sobotka had 10 goals and 38 points in 53 games this season. He added four goals in 10 games for the Czech Republic at the World Hockey Championship.