Tag: Steve Bernier

Jonathan Bernier; Steve Bernier

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


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

Devils aren’t interested, but Gomez says ‘I know I can play’

New Jersey Devils v New York Rangers

New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero confirmed that Scott Gomez and Steve Bernier will not return in 2015-16, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

It’s a reasonable enough choice, especially with Shero not having the same emotional connection to Gomez that Lou Lamoriello had. (Shero basically give the “it’s not him, it’s us” speech, noting the younger players waiting in line for chances.)

This brings up an interesting question, though: will any other GM give Gomez (in particular) a shot? He managed 34 points in 58 games, pretty good for a guy who was basically begging for a job heading into the 2014-15 season.

Gomez believes that output proves he can hang with pros even at 35, according to the Bergen Record.

“I found out from my agent (Friday) morning,” Gomez said today. “It is what it is. The thing is I know I can play. I’ve proven that. I know I can play at this level. I know I can contribute. But, it’s time to focus on somewhere else.”

With scoring as tough to come by as it is these days, that really isn’t terrible production.

Still, he is 35. Even though he essentially argued that he’s a young 35, that’s the exact mark where teams balk at contracts … especially deals that exceed one season.

In other words, it remains to be seen if Gomez will get another chance to prove himself.

All quiet between Devils and UFAs Bernier, Gomez

Steve Bernier, Scott Gomez, Adam Henrique

New Jersey’s penchant for leaning on veteran skaters could soon be coming to an end.

Pending UFAs Steve Bernier, 30, and Scott Gomez, 35, haven’t heard much of anything from new GM Ray Shero about their futures with the club, per the Bergen Record.

Bernier said his agent, Kent Hughes, also has yet to hear from Shero about his contract. So, though Bernier is understanding about how busy Shero has been, he also has to prepare for the possibility that the Devils might not want him back and see what other teams would be interested if/when he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“Obviously, it’s the same for every player,” Bernier said. “We don’t know where New Jersey stands in terms of me, so we have no choice but to talk to other teams and see what’s available.”

That’s not his first choice, though.

“I don’t know if I should be, but I’m still positive that New Jersey might call,” Bernier said. “I’m hoping, actually. I’m hoping they’re going to call, but you need to be prepared to move if you have a chance to. My family likes it a lot in New Jersey, so, hopefully, we’re going to know a lot more before July 1.”

Center Scott Gomez’s agent, Ian Pulver, said that there was “nothing to report” as far as contract talks with the Devils other than some initial contact from Shero.

While it’s been widely assumed the team’s other veteran UFAs — Martin Havlat and Michael Ryder most specifically — were done in New Jersey, there was some belief the Devils could retain Bernier and Gomez, based largely on their impressive performances last season.

Bernier tied for second on the team with 16 goals while playing on a relatively inexpensive one-year, $600,000 deal. Gomez, who made $550,000, was even better — he finished tied for third on the team in scoring, with 34 points, and led all skaters with 27 assists.

End of an era in New Jersey as Shero replaces Lamoriello as GM

Lou Lamoriello

The NHL’s longest-serving GM is done.

Lou Lamoriello, who’s been in charge in New Jersey since 1987, has relinquished his title as general manager to former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero.

“This is my decision with 100 percent support of ownership,” Lamoriello said on a conference call, adding that he would retain his role as president of hockey operations. “Ray is well-respected throughout the hockey industry and knows what it takes to win.

“His 22 seasons of NHL front-office experience will be beneficial to the New Jersey Devils organization. I look forward to working alongside Ray.”

Lamoriello, 72, steps away from his GM role after winning three Stanley Cups and leading the Devils to the playoffs all but three times between 1988 and 2012. The club has failed to make the postseason in each of the last three seasons, however, and Lamoriello has faced increasing criticism following several failed free agent acquisitions.

“Teams and personnel dictate changes,” Lamoriello said. “Ray might do things just a little different than I do.”

Shero, 52, has been out of work since being fired by Pittsburgh last summer. During his time with the Penguins, Shero captured one Stanley Cup (in 2009) in eight years on the job. He will immediately be tasked with hiring the club’s next head coach, as the Devils finished last season with Adam Oates and Scott Stevens behind the bench.

With this hire, Shero falls out of contention with the vacant Boston Bruins GM gig, which he was rumored to be shortlisted for.

“It’s a great situation for me,” Shero said during Wednesday’s call. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Shero has plenty of work ahead of him. Aside from the coaching search, he holds the sixth overall pick at this June’s draft, as well as No. 36 and 41 (the latter acquired in the Jaromir Jagr trade with Florida.) Shero will also need to work on new contracts for RFAs Stefan Matteau, Adam Larsson and Eric Gelinas, and decide what he wants to do with veteran UFAs (Michael Ryder, Martin Havlat, Steve Bernier, Jordin Tootoo, Scott Gomez, Bryce Salvador, Peter Harrold and Mark Fraser.)

Give the names on that list and the regime change from Lamoriello to Shero, the Devils could be a very different-looking team in 2015-16.

Note: Lamoriello went out of his way to thank Penguins CEO David Morehouse and the entire organization for their cooperation in the Shero hiring process, but noted there would be no compensation going to Pittsburgh. This offseasons is the first of the NHL’s re-instituted policy to award teams compensatory draft picks should their executives or coaches be hired by other teams.

Flames lose captain Giordano for key tilt versus Isles


Calgary’s playoff push took a massive hit on Friday, as the club announced captain and leading minutes man Mark Giordano will miss tonight’s game against the Isles with an undisclosed injury.

He could miss more.

Giordano, a first-time All-Star this year, was hurt at the end of Wednesday’s 3-1 win over New Jersey on an accidental trip from Devils forward Steve Bernier. He exited the ice immediately and the Flames have offered virtually nothing about the nature of his injury, or the significance. Which doesn’t bode particularly well.

Everybody knows how significant Giordano’s been to the Flames’ success this year. He’s scored a career-high 48 points and is a serious candidate for the Norris Trophy; he leads all NHL blueliners in scoring and is 10th in average time on ice, at 25:10.

With Giordano out tonight, the Flames have recalled Tyler Wotherspoon from AHL Adirondack. Wotherspoon has yet to play for Calgary this year but did make his NHL debut last season, scoring four points in 14 games.