Lacking a player with a “C” on his sweater was far from the only sign of dysfunction in San Jose last season, but new head coach Peter DeBoer said the Sharks will get that captain question out of the way in 2015-16.
NHL.com transcribed his interesting thoughts on the subject, which he expressed during an appearance on San Jose’s 95.7 The Game on Wednesday.
“I feel very confident by the first game of the season, we’ll have a captain,” DeBoer said. “It’s not something we are going to drag around as a distraction this year. We’re going to move past that. I think the players are ready for that too; they just want to play some hockey and get this thing back on track.”
Even with a captain likely to be named, DeBoer believes that the Sharks will continue to “lead by committee,” much like other teams. He noted that you only see a Mark Messier-type leader every now and then (even with that annual award and all).
Quite a bit has changed in San Jose, but the go-to guys remain largely the same, include former captains Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.
The 2014-15 campaign was something of a meltdown at times, and if nothing else, the hope is that DeBoer will provide stability to a team that still seems to boast playoff-level talent. Cutting down on drama seems like a worthy effort, really.
NHL insider Bob McKenzie takes a look at Peter DeBoer’s job security in New Jersey in light of the Edmonton Oilers making a coaching change and Jaromir Jagr’s recent endorsement.
There may be more than a few jobs up for grabs during training camp with the New Jersey Devils and the team’s slew of prospects know they’ll have a shot to cash in.
One area that will see a lot of competition is defense. The Devils lost Anton Volchenkov to a buyout and Mark Fayne to Edmonton in free agency. That means guys like Eric Gelinas, Adam Larsson, and Jon Merrill will likely graduate to the big leagues full-time.
As Devils coach Peter DeBoer told Mike Morreale of NHL.com, they need guys to show they’re ready to make the jump.
“I think the organization sets the table with opportunity, and over my time as coach the one thing I’ve seen is opportunity for players to come in and play,” said DeBoer. “Some of the young players grabbed it and ran with it, like Jon Merrill and Adam Henrique (in 2010-11), and some haven’t yet. We need a few of these guys to do that this year.”
With a couple of guys gone on the blue line and possible openings at forward, the Devils want guys to be pushing to get in the lineup and force DeBoer to make tough decisions.
Andy Greene, Bryce Salvador, Marek Zidlicky, and Peter Harrold make up the veteran portion of the defense for the Devils so youth will need to be king. After how Merrill and Gelinas played for portions of last season, things are looking up.
If the New Jersey Devils bring back future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur next season, coach Peter DeBoer is prepared for it just in case.
For the first time in his career, Brodeur was outperformed by a teammate. In this case it was Cory Schneider who put up superior numbers and earned more starts. Brodeur spoke often about how he might need to go elsewhere next season if the Devils don’t want him back.
If Brodeur does return to Newark, the coach won’t be caught off guard as Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger shares.
“Those decisions are made above me, but if Lou (Lamoriello) and Marty decide that it’s best for everybody, absolutely we’d welcome him back,” DeBoer said.
“If those two decide it’s in the best interests of everybody that he comes back, of course we’d welcome him back. I mean, why wouldn’t we? He’s a great teammate, a great pro.”
It’s clear at this point in his career that Brodeur, 42, is more of a backup than a starter. His numbers compared to Schneider’s last season bore that out. Brodeur stopped pucks at a decidedly average .901 clip while Schneider did so at a .921 save percentage.
Brodeur still has the desire and the wont to start, but it might make more sense for the Devils to give Schneider more starts than he had last season if they want to return to the playoffs.
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.
It’s no secret Teemu Selanne has been unhappy recently with his playing time and how he’s been used in Anaheim. Now that he’s playing on the team’s top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, it’s paying off and he’s loving life. (Ducks)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s late NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $350. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
How bad are things for the Maple Leafs right now? They’ve lost five in a row and have given up a nine point lead in the standings on the competition. (Sportsnet)
Devils coach Peter DeBoer said after beating the Leafs last night that if they keep getting strong goaltending they can win every night. They might have to do that to make the playoffs. (Fire & Ice)
Speaking of the Devils, if they do miss the playoffs could that mean Jaromir Jagr finds a new place to play next season? (NJ.com)
Dmitry Kulikov is an impending RFA and the Panthers haven’t started negotiating with him. (George Richards)
Darren Helm’s speed hasn’t come all the way back now that he’s healthy, but it’s getting there. (Detroit Free Press)
Things are bad enough in Ottawa and now the question is whether or not Jason Spezza will stay with the team after all this. (Ottawa Sun)