When the Devils signed Scott Clemmensen to challenge for the No. 2 goalie gig behind Cory Schneider, they did so knowing of the unpleasant history between Clemmensen and head coach Peter DeBoer — dating back to their days together with the Panthers.
DeBoer, though, doesn’t expect it to be a problem.
“When you go through what we went through in Florida as a group, I would say your relationships with a lot of people aren’t great,” DeBoer said, per NorthJersey.com. “I think circumstances played a role in that and I don’t have any issue.
“I’ve always had a healthy respect for [Clemmensen] as a person and a player.”
The issues occurred from 2009-11, when DeBoer coached the Panthers and Clemmensen was battling for playing time with Tomas Vokoun. Those issues were later played up in 2012, when Clemmensen — still with the Panthers — faced off against DeBoer and the Devils in the opening round of the playoffs.
DeBoer said there was “friction” in his relationship with Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen, but chalked it up to a Florida team that was not playing well.
Clemmensen, on the other hand, said DeBoer was a “kick in the (butt)” kind of coach and he wasn’t the only player on the team whose relationship was strained for the former Panthers’ boss.
“There was friction between (DeBoer) and a lot of players at some point. I just think that was his coaching style,” Clemmensen told me. “There’s the pat on the back type of coach and the kick in the (butt) type of coach. I think he was more of the latter.
“It didn’t mean we weren’t all pulling in the same direction. Everybody wanted the same thing here and it was frustrating at times. To say the least.”
“When you work the last two years like I did, under the circumstances we were in and how we finished, there was friction with everybody,” DeBoer said.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out at Devils training camp this fall. Clemmensen is hardly a lock for the No. 2 job, as AHL Albany farmhand Keith Kinkaid looks to make the leap to the NHL.