The New Jersey Devils made a round of camp cuts on Wednesday, and one of the most significant was Stefan Matteau.
Matteau, the club’s first-round pick (29th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, won’t be with the Devils after cracking the team out of camp last year.
Instead, he’s being reassigned — not to his junior team (QMJHL Rimouski) but rather the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany.
Matteau, 19, split the 2012-13 campaign between the Devils and his old Quebec junior club, Blainville-Boisbriand — and it was with Blainville-Boisbriand where his season unraveled, as he quit/was kicked off the team in late April following an odd incident during the QMJHL playoffs:
Matteau, who had run afoul of Blainville-Broisbriand coaching and management on previous occasions, quit the team this past Saturday after a playoff loss to Baie-Comeau.
Reports suggest he was upset with his ice time and, instead of traveling with the team back home, opted to ride in a fan bus instead.
Making this uncomfortable situation even more awkward is the fact Matteau’s father, ex-NHL forward Stephane, is one of Blainville-Broisbriand’s assistant coaches.
The decision to quit is a tumultuous end to a year that started brightly for Matteau. The 29th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, he made the Devils out of (an abbreviated) training camp and went on to appear in 17 games, scoring three points.
Further complicating things was the timing of said dismissal. Albany had already been eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs, meaning Matteau had nowhere to play.
Matteau was later traded from Blainsville-Boisbriand to Rimouski but, upon learning of the deal, spoke like a guy that had zero intention of going back to junior.