The Weekly Friday Update…

Hotpocalypse, Day 3. If you’re a normal follower on my Twitter feed you pretty much know I hate this kind of weather. Hazy, hot, humid…ick. I used to get annoyed by everyone crying over missing hockey around this time of year…after the last 2 days I think I’m joining them. But anyway on to the news of the day:

-Overnight, per Fire and Ice it was confirmed that the Albany coaching staff–head coach Rick Kowalsky and assistant Tommy Albelin–will remain intact for this season. The assistants in New Jersey under new head coach Peter Deboer have not been announced yet. As for former Trenton coach (and former River Rats captain) Kevin Dean? I was kind of hoping he’d join the staff here (he was an assistant coach during the entire Lowell run under both Kurt Kleinendorst and John MacLean), but instead he has taken a position as assistant coach of the Providence Bruins.

-You can cross another name off the unrestricted free agent list, as forward Brad Mills has re-signed with the Devils for one more year. Only 3 unrestricted (Olivier Magnan, Chris Murray, Rob Davison) and 1 restricted free agent (Maxim Noreau) left on the list, no word on any of their statuses as of yet. In a little over a week I’ll post an updated player tracker.

-I should take a moment to mention Doc Emrick, on the heels of him going to Versus full time and leaving MSG after over 20 years. When I first started following the Devils as a teenager, the only broadcast team I knew on SportsChannel (totally dating myself with that one), Fox Sports, and then MSG was Doc and Chico Resch. Never officially met him, but I actually did get to hear him speak late in the River Rats’ 97-98 season, he was the guest speaker at the Booster Club Awards Banquet that year (my first Booster Club dinner I ever attended). He told some very interesting minor league-related stories and even presented an award that night…the team’s Most Improved Player for the year. The recipient? John Madden. You may have heard of him…

Here is the link to read Doc’s letter to the fans in New Jersey. Thank you Doc for everything and good luck with the new career turn!

UPDATE (3:15 PM): Make that 2 unrestricted free agents remaining. Per Elite Prospects, defenseman Olivier Magnan is off to Russia, signing with Dynamo Minsk in the KHL. It had been rumored a short time ago, today it became official.

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