The New Jersey Devils beefed up their professional scouting department on Tuesday, as they announced the additions of Claude Noel and Andre Savard.
Savard and Noel join Bob Hoffmeyer in that specific scouting department for the Devils.
The two hirings really bolster the Devils’ staff from an experience perspective.
Savard, 61 spent time as an assistant coach, scout and even as a GM, as he held that position from Nov. 2000 through 2002-03 with the Montreal Canadiens. He remained as an assistant GM to Bob Gainey for a few more years before working with Devils GM Ray Shero in Pittsburgh.
Noel (pictured) may be more immediately recognizable to many fans, as he’s not very far removed from a head coaching gig with the Winnipeg Jets. The 59-year-old served in that role from 2011-12 to 2013-14 before spending part of last year with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants.
Gus Katsaros of McKeen’s Hockey praised the moves as ways for the Devils to collect information that may not otherwise be available:
Obviously, Lou Lamoriello’s exit still leaves a crater behind in the Devils’ front office, but tweaks like these can help to fill some of that void.
In a way, this is like an NFL team grabbing a former head coach to work as a positions coach. Grabbing a few people who may seem a little “overqualified” for certain gigs could end up being pretty lucrative.
The New Jersey Devils became the first team to fail to pick up a single shootout win over an entire season last year going 0-13 in the skills competition – to put that number in perspective, they missed the final playoff spot by just five points in 2013-14.
Following the season, general manager Lou Lamoriello attempted to shake off the the poor showing in the shootout saying “it’s not a focus”.
It may be just preseason, but the Devils once again failed to pick up a win in a shootout Friday night falling 3-2 to the New York Islanders following the breakaway competition.
Reid Boucher was lone Devil to score in the shootout Friday. He had one of the four goals in 45 chances in shootouts last season.
Adam Henrique and newcomer Martin Havlat both missed following Boucher failing to send the shootout to a fourth round.
“That was brutal by (Havlat) and Rico (Henrique),” Patrik Elias jokingly told Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger. “I told Bouch they’ve got to make the rule they have in international play so one guy can go three times.”
It appears Havlat, who was with the San Jose Sharks last season, has caught the shootout bug, which ails the Devils.
“It’s been a while, I think, since they won a shootout,” Havlat said. “I think we just have to get better and calm down. The shot I had was not good at all. It didn’t matter tonight, but it’s an important part of the game. It’s important to get those points. We need to win some shootouts this year for sure.”
For those keeping score, the Devils last won in a shootout during the regular season on Mar. 10, 2013 and are 0-17 in that span.
According to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record, New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas’ may have to accept GM Lou Lamoriello’s latest offer if he plans on playing this season.
The Devils were required to make Gelinas a qualifying offer of $715,000 to retain his rights. Per Gulitti’s report, Gelinas’ agent Gilles Lupien used comparable defensemen who were making $1.5 million to $2 million in negotiations, but added “we’re not even asking for that”.
Gelinas is coming off his three-year entry level contract, which paid him $2.7 million.
In 2013-14, the 23-year-old had 29 points in 60 games with the Devils.
“Eric and his agent know the situation. They know what they have. It’s up to them to accept it,” Lamoriello told Gulitti. “In other words, they also know the opportunity that we’ve created for Eric with reference to the transactions over the (off-season) and my verbal – and endorsed by (head coach) Pete (DeBoer) – commitment we’ve made to these three young guys. So, it’s in Eric’s hands. We’ll see.”
Lupien said the only issue in negotiations has been the dollar value adding his client is prepared to miss the start of camp if a deal isn’t reached. The agent also said Gelinas would not attend camp without a contract.
Considering how close the two sides are, it’s hard to imagine Gelinas missing much of camp, if any. Part of one season is hardly enough to show he deserves significant money. Gelinas doesn’t have leverage to demand much. He’ll need to sign what’s offered and continue to prove he’s an NHL regular.
According to Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger, veteran forward Ruslan Fedotenko has been invited to New Jersey Devils camp on a tryout.
The 35-year-old last played in the NHL during the lockout shortened 2012-13 season where he had 13 points in 47 games for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Fedotenko spent last season with HC Donbass in the KHL where he scored seven goals and 17 points in 47 games.
In parts of 12 seasons with the Flyers, Lightning, Islanders, Penguins and Rangers, Fedotenko has 173 goals and 366 points in 863 games. He was a key contributor to the Lightning playoff run in 2003-04 where he scored 12 goals and 14 points, including the game seven game-winner, as Tampa Bay defeated the Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup. Fedotenko was also a member of the Penguins when Pittsburgh won the Stanley Cup in 2009.
Fedotenko is the latest veteran to join the Devils on a tryout. GM Lou Lamoreillo has also invited forwards Jordin Tootoo and Scott Gomez to go along with blue liner Tomas Kaberle.
Related: Report: Tootoo will join Devils’ camp on tryout basis