Tag: Zach Parise

New Jersey Devils v Philadelphia Flyers - Game One

Robinson calls DeBoer ‘a good choice’ for Sharks


The San Jose Sharks have yet to officially announce Pete DeBoer as their next head coach, but Larry Robinson, the club’s director of player development, is on board with the reported hiring.

Robinson was an assistant coach on DeBoer’s New Jersey staff in 2011-12, the year the Devils went to the Stanley Cup Final.

“I enjoyed working with him,” Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News. “He’s a very detailed, smart hockey man. I think he’ll make a good choice.”

While the Devils didn’t score a ton of goals during DeBoer’s tenure in New Jersey, Robinson does not believe coaching was entirely to blame for that.

“He definitely stresses good defense,” he said, “but I think he allows players to be creative in the offensive zone.”

The Devils, of course, lost Ilya Kovalchuk (to Russia) and Zach Parise (to Minnesota) during DeBoer’s stint behind their bench. With the departure of those two went much of New Jersey’s offensive creativity and scoring ability. On top of that, by the time DeBoer was fired, the Devils were by far the oldest team in the NHL, struggling to keep up in a young man’s league.

The Sharks are expected to announce the hiring of DeBoer within the next 24 hours. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, it’s a four-year contract.

Update: The Sharks have called a press conference for tomorrow at 1 p.m. PT.

Zajac ‘not sure’ how Shero hire will affect future with Devils

Travis Zajac

Like many of his Devils teammates, Travis Zajac doesn’t know what the future holds with Lou Lamoriello out and Ray Shero in as GM.

“To be honest, I’m not sure how I’ll be affected,” Zajac told NJ Advance Media. “I think I’m a very coachable player. Whatever they expect from me or want me to do, I’ll do whatever it takes to help this team in any way. I believe in this organization.

“I don’t see the change being too much of a problem for me. But with Ray, and when we get a new head coach, we’ll sit down and see what they expect from me. I have a lot to give still and I feel like I can still help this organization and this team.”

Zajac — who Lamoriello signed to an eight-year, $46 million extension in 2013 — has been something of a disappointment in recent campaigns and has yet to rediscover the form that saw him score 67 points in 82 games in 2009-10. Of course, that team featured the likes of Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk, a far cry from the offensively-challenged Devils of last season, when Zajac scored just 25 points.

To that end, he feels it’s important for Shero to add some talent that’ll help the team find the back of the net.

“We would all like to score more goals. There is no doubt about that,” he said. “We could use some help at some positions and hopefully we can get that. If not, everyone will have to elevate their game. I don’t think we’re far away from where we want to be, but you can always bring in pieces that can help.”

Sweep leaves Wild feeling ‘sick’

Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild - Game Four

“You almost needed two pucks in that series. We’ve come a long way since then.”

That was Zach Parise comparing the Minnesota’s 2013 first round loss to the Blackhawks to this year, per the Star Tribune. He said that just before Minnesota’s latest series against Chicago began.

In the end, Minnesota was not only eliminated by Chicago for the third straight year, but also suffered the indignity of being swept.

“Didn’t do nearly enough. Don’t know how else to characterize it. It’s tough to dissect it right now.”

That was Parise tonight, per the Wild’s Twitter feed. And that’s one of more subdued comments from the Wild.

“I’m sick. It’s a sick feeling,” Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk told ESPN’s Joe McDonald.

“It’s a bad dream,” defenseman Ryan Suter said.

On the one hand, the fact that Minnesota even made the playoffs this year is an accomplishment given its rocky start and beating the St. Louis Blues in the first round was no small feat either. At the same time, when the Wild signed Parise and Suter to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts, it was with the hope that would help turn them into serious Stanley Cup contenders. It was reasonable to assume that it would take time to build around them, especially seeing as the Wild still had a fair number of promising young players working their way up, but they’re three years in at this point.

“Right now we’re a good team and we have to find a way to be the best team,” Wild coach Mike Yeo told the Pioneer Press’ Chad Graff.

Suter is 30 years old while Parise will turn 31 in July and in the young man’s NHL, that’s something worth keeping in mind, especially because their contracts are relics of the old CBA era. Parise and Suter’s deals are so long because it makes their annual cap hit more manageable early on, but that hit has the potential to look bad as they age and potentially play well below the roughly $7.5-million annual level. In other words, they were made to be beneficial in the short and mid-term, but had the potential to be significantly detrimental in the long-term.

That’s not to suggest that the Wild are already fading into the sunset, but they do have a specific window of opportunity with them and with each failed campaign, it’s getting smaller.

“We’re trying to figure it out,” Suter said. “We need to look at ourselves in the mirror.”