Thursday, July 26, 2007


Sutter's Helpers: Robinson, MacLean, and Albelin

You write one essay defending Colin White and you know what you miss? Brent Sutter announcing his coaching assistants for the upcoming season. The official Devils website has the full story on the Sutter's coaching staff. Larry Robinson returns from being a "special consultant" to being an official assistant; John MacLean returns as an assistant coach again, Jacques Caron remains the goaltending coach, and Tommy "Scott Swedens" Albelin returns to the Devils organization not as a player (I know, I know, some of you are surprised by that - me too) but as a coach. What of assistant Jacques Laperriere? Joe Betchel of 2 Man Advantage has found out that he will go to Lowell to help develop their defensemen, something that should definitely be positive for Mark Fraser and Sean Zimmerman. Joe has his own thoughts about the coaching staff decisions, so be sure to check that out as well.

I think these are excellent decisions. My one concern about Sutter was his lack of NHL experience - in that this is his first coaching job in the NHL. The assistant coaches will more than help Sutter acclimated to the Devils organization. Robinson has been with the organization for a while, John MacLean has been a Devil for the majority of his playing career and has risen to the role as an assistant coach, and Tommy Albelin knows New Jersey all too well. Can they replace inexperience? Not completely, no. But they'll help Sutter out; especially Robinson who has been a NHL head coach. Sutter understands this and that's definitely a good thing, check out these quotes from the announcement:
"I told Lou this right from the start, that if we can keep it inside the organization, let's keep it there, because they know what the front of that jersey's all about," Sutter said. "And if we have those people why would we have to go outside? I'm very excited about the staff that we've named."
On Robinson and MacLean:
"I know him [Robinson] as a person and I know how respected he is inside the dressing room with everybody, and he, to me, is a great piece of the pie on this staff," Sutter said. "I was excited when he committed to doing this, just because of the knowledge that he has of the game. The head coaching experience and all the success he's had, I think it's a tremendous asset to have on your staff."


"I am thrilled and honored to have Johnny [MacLean] come back and be an assistant coach," Sutter said. "He bleeds New Jersey Devils. He played the game the way the game the needed to be played. Every night he put it all out there, and again he's someone that's huge for this staff."
I'm actually very pleased that Robinson and MacLean in particular were named assistants, and not just from the quotes above (though those are good reasons - Robinson's experience and MacLean bleeding Devils red). MacLean being behind the bench allows for some continuity from last season in terms of the coaching staff. Robinson's reputation as a coach is that he's not a hard disciplinarian - a player's coach, if you will. He'll provide a direct contrast to Sutter's supposed tough means and ways behind the bench. It's not unlike a good cop, bad cop situation. Albelin? He'll be up in the press box, it seems (not a new thing for Tommy in New Jersey):
"I wanted a guy that can be upstairs during the games, and to have someone like that you need someone with a real good knowledge of the game," said Sutter. "We needed someone that can come down and communicate things between periods to the staff and be a teacher on the ice during practice. I think Tommy fits all those needs perfectly, as far as what we were looking for."
I wish the new coaching staff the best of luck in the coming season; I'm confident that it'll work out well. Good luck also to Laperriere in helping the development of defensemen down in Lowell - from what I understand, they need it.


I was thinking we would hear an announcement about Scott Stevens joining the staff at some point this summer, but I guess he's still not interested in a full-time role. You've got to feel a little sad for Kevin Dean, who's been working down in the AHL with the baby Devils the past two years and he gets leapfrogged by Tommy Albelin.
What in the world happened to Bobby Carpenter after he took leave a couple years back to take care of "family issues."
John, seems have if Lamoriello has fired Palmer, the athletic trainer, as his name is curously off the new web site. That makes it 2 years in a row.

Maybe Ted Schuck will return--you may be too young to remember him?

Post a Comment

<< Home
Blog Directory - Blogged