Tag: Ray Shero

Claude Noel

Devils hire former coach (Noel) and GM (Savard) as pro scouts


The New Jersey Devils beefed up their professional scouting department on Tuesday, as they announced the additions of Claude Noel and Andre Savard.

Savard and Noel join Bob Hoffmeyer in that specific scouting department for the Devils.

The two hirings really bolster the Devils’ staff from an experience perspective.

Savard, 61 spent time as an assistant coach, scout and even as a GM, as he held that position from Nov. 2000 through 2002-03 with the Montreal Canadiens. He remained as an assistant GM to Bob Gainey for a few more years before working with Devils GM Ray Shero in Pittsburgh.

Noel (pictured) may be more immediately recognizable to many fans, as he’s not very far removed from a head coaching gig with the Winnipeg Jets. The 59-year-old served in that role from 2011-12 to 2013-14 before spending part of last year with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.

Gus Katsaros of McKeen’s Hockey praised the moves as ways for the Devils to collect information that may not otherwise be available:

Obviously, Lou Lamoriello’s exit still leaves a crater behind in the Devils’ front office, but tweaks like these can help to fill some of that void.

In a way, this is like an NFL team grabbing a former head coach to work as a positions coach. Grabbing a few people who may seem a little “overqualified” for certain gigs could end up being pretty lucrative.

Devils’ Zacha to skip Czech’s world junior evaluation camp

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

New Jersey Devils’ prospect Pavel Zacha will skip the Czech Republic’s world junior evaluation camp, which began on Saturday.

Zacha, the Devils’ 2015 first-round pick (sixth overall), is still without a contract.

“He doesn’t have a contract, so we don’t want to risk him getting an injury,” agent Patrik Stefan told the Bergen Record’s Tom Gulitti. “I spoke to the coach and he understands.”

The 18-year-old is a lock to make the Czech world junior team, if he’s made available. Zacha has represented the Czech Republic at the previous two Under-20 tournaments. He had a goal and an assist in five games at this year’s tournament.

The bigger concern for the Devils is getting the 6-foot-3, 210-pound center signed to an entry-level contract.

Zacha needs to be under contract with the Devils by 5 p.m. on Aug. 15 in order to be eligible to spend the 2015-16 season in the NHL because he is still under contract with Liberec in the Czech Extraliga for one more season.

The Devils already missed a July 15 deadline to sign Zacha, which means the team will have to pay Liberec a $100,000 transfer fee – if they sign him prior to the Aug. 15 deadline.

“Now that everything has settled down a little bit, we’ll reconnect with Patrik Stefan and give it a go to sign him,” Devils GM Ray Shero said. “Hopefully, that’s going to be the case. As I told (Zacha), that’s our goal and it has been from the outset. I’ve said this before: there’s no red flags, we’re going to get to it. So, we’ll get this thing going next week and, hopefully, get him signed.”

Here’s more from Gulitti on the Devils’ negotiations with Zacha:

Most of the structure of Zacha’s entry-level contract is already in place. As stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement, Zacha’s contract will be for three seasons and he will no doubt receive the maximum entry-level NHL salary of $925,000 and AHL salary of $70,000 per season.

The hold-up is believed to be over the Schedule A individual performance bonuses, which can be given out for meeting statistical thresholds in categories such as ice time, goals, assists, points, etc. Former Devils GM Lou Lamoriello refused to include Schedule A bonuses because it went against his team philosophy. In fact, Devils defenseman Adam Larsson, who was selected fourth overall in 2010, remains the only top 10 pick that didn’t get any form of Schedule A bonus package in his entry-level contract. (Entry-level restrictions were first put in place in 1995.)

With Shero as GM now, Zacha will receive at least some A bonuses, but the sides have been unable to agree upon how much. The player cannot receive more than $850,000 total and no more than $212,500 per category. A source indicated Stefan is seeking the maximum bonuses.

Zacha scored 16 goals and 34 points in 37 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Sarnia Sting last season.

Lamoriello’s departure removes any doubt: Devils are Shero’s team

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Lou Lamoriello becoming the Toronto Maple Leafs’ new GM wasn’t just a surprise to New Jersey Devils fans. Executives didn’t see it coming, either.

Principal owner Josh Harris told the press that he found out “very recently” that Lamoriello wasn’t happy about a power-sharing situation with new GM Ray Shero.

“When you’re used to having absolute control of an organization… it was a different situation,” Harris said of Lamoriello, according to the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere.

Shero is the new sheriff in town

Speaking of absolute power, it sounds like Shero will clearly be the man in charge, rather than dealing with more of a transition with Lamoriello as president. Harris said that he doesn’t feel the need to hire a new team president after this stunning departure.

Shero admitted that he was “surprised” that Lamoriello left for Toronto.

What’s next for New Jersey?

While Harris made the typical overtures about the team being willing to spend, it indeed sounds like the franchise may play it tight and rebuild:

As far as team-building goes, this is quite clearly Shero’s unquestioned regime now, but some other executive matters may be a collective effort.

Harris admits that he’ll miss Lamoriello, yet maybe pictures like these provide a decent argument that it might be best for everyone to remove such a looming, overwhelming presence. At least if they want to make some changes:

source: AP
Via AP

Devils part ways with director of scouting David Conte

2005 National Hockey League Draft

The New Jersey Devils have announced they will not renew the contract of David Conte – the club’s director of scouting.

Conte had been with the Devils organization for 31 seasons.

“David and I have had numerous discussions regarding his future. Based on our conversations, I believe it is in the best interests of our organization for David to pursue other opportunities and to not renew his contract,” said Devils’ GM Ray Shero in a statement. “I would personally like to thank David Conte for his 31 years of service to the New Jersey Devils organization. His contributions to the success of the hockey operations department have been immense. The search for his successor will begin immediately.”

The 66-year-old served as the club’s director of scouting for 22 seasons. Conte was promoted to executive vice president in September 2006. He also spent eight years as New Jersey’s assistant director of scouting. Conte originally joined the team as a full-time scout during the 1984-85 season.

His former draft picks include Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer and Patrik Elias.

Report: Devils to part ways with Bernier, Fraser and Harrold

Jonathan Bernier; Steve Bernier

Scott Gomez isn’t the only member of the 2014-15 New Jersey Devils who will not return next season.

Devils GM Ray Shero has informed the agents of Steve Bernier, Mark Fraser and Peter Harrold that they should explore the market come July 1.

“We’re not going forward right now with any of them,” said Shero per Tom Gulitti of The Record. “I’ve notified their agents that they’re going to July 1. I talked to Scott Gomez’s agent and we’re not going to go be going in that direction. Bernier, we’re going to July 1 and just see what’s out there. Fraser the same thing and Harrold likely the same thing.”

Bernier had 16 goals and 32 points in 67 games with the Devils during the 2014-15 season.

Harrold scored three goals and two assists to go along with a minus-10 rating in 43 games while Fraser appeared in 34 games for the Devils last season registering four assists.

“I think it’s really good for us to look and for them to look to see what’s out there,” Shero said. “That’s more coming from my end than theirs. … You never close any doors, but to me with Steve Bernier, he had a really good year last year, maybe there’s better for him out there with another team.”

Related: UFA of the Day: Antoine Vermette