Fired Devils scout denies any clash with Shero

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Fired last week after 22 seasons as the New Jersey Devils’ director of scouting, David Conte says he respects the decision by new general manager Ray Shero.

“I respect it,” Conte told NJ Advance Media. “They’re doing what they were supposed to do and that’s operating in the best interest of the franchise.”

Conte was asked if he’d clashed with Shero.

“No, I don’t think so,” Conte said. “Nothing more than I would’ve had with [former GM Lou Lamoriello], whether we should trade this pick or not trade it. That’s not a clash. That’s just a disagreement.”

With the exception of Adam Henrique, the Devils have not seen many of their recent draft picks turn into above-average NHLers. Though part of that can be explained by a lack of high first-round picks, and while the Devils do have some promising young players, Shero felt a change was necessary regardless.

“David and I have had numerous discussions regarding his future,” Shero said last week in a release. “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.”

Related: The Devils are old, and that’s a problem no coach can fix