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Devils cut Matteau, send him to AHL rather than junior

Sep 25, 2013, 12:32 PM EDT

stefanmatteaugetty Getty Images

The New Jersey Devils made a round of camp cuts on Wednesday, and one of the most significant was Stefan Matteau.

Matteau, the club’s first-round pick (29th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, won’t be with the Devils after cracking the team out of camp last year.

Instead, he’s being reassigned — not to his junior team (QMJHL Rimouski) but rather the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Albany.

Matteau, 19, split the 2012-13 campaign between the Devils and his old Quebec junior club, Blainville-Boisbriand — and it was with Blainville-Boisbriand where his season unraveled, as he quit/was kicked off the team in late April following an odd incident during the QMJHL playoffs:

Matteau, who had run afoul of Blainville-Broisbriand coaching and management on previous occasions, quit the team this past Saturday after a playoff loss to Baie-Comeau.

Reports suggest he was upset with his ice time and, instead of traveling with the team back home, opted to ride in a fan bus instead.

Making this uncomfortable situation even more awkward is the fact Matteau’s father, ex-NHL forward Stephane, is one of Blainville-Broisbriand’s assistant coaches.

The decision to quit is a tumultuous end to a year that started brightly for Matteau. The 29th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, he made the Devils out of (an abbreviated) training camp and went on to appear in 17 games, scoring three points.

Further complicating things was the timing of said dismissal. Albany had already been eliminated from the Calder Cup playoffs, meaning Matteau had nowhere to play.

Matteau was later traded from Blainsville-Boisbriand to Rimouski but, upon learning of the deal, spoke like a guy that had zero intention of going back to junior.

  1. hockey412 - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Wait, I’m sorry – is it being considered a bad thing that he is being assigned to the AHL instead of juniors? Sounds like a better move for him, right?

    I may have misread.

    • Mike Halford - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Not a bad thing, just a thing. He did have the eligibility to return to junior and is still only 19, so it would’ve been a viable option.

      • thecheeman - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        If they sent him to the Q would the clock that started ticking last year when they burned the first year of his entry-level have stopped?

  2. 950003cups - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    I’m guessing Lou should’ve passed on that pick. Now we don’t have a 1st pick for 2014. But, the kid played pretty well when he was up in the NHL. So, maybe they just wanna wait until they need him to bring him back up. Until then, he’ll need some grooming and maybe some anger management classes.

  3. channelguy - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    How is he allowed to be assigned to the AHL at the age of 19 when the rules specifically forbid it. It’s supposed to be keep him with the NHL team or back to junior. If he has a poisonous relationship with his junior team, and its obvious he does, then ask the junior team to trade him.

    If a bad relationship with a players junior team lets you avoid going back to junior, then the players who are in this situation every year — stay with the big team or go back to a junior league you are too good for — need only start insulting their junior team, coach and town to avoid going back,

    • Mike Halford - Sep 25, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      He was drafted out of the US National Team Development Program, so that gets him around the CHL-AHL age-limit rule. It’s the same reason Calgary’s Patrick Sieloff is going pro this year (he’s also 19).

    • joey4id - Sep 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      The only language I found in the CBA with respect to drafted 18 and 19 year old players is that they first have to be offered to their junior team before being sent to the AHL affiliat team. So, I’m assuming the devils and the junior team came to terms allowing Matteau to play in the AHL.

      8.7 Age 18 and 19 Players. (a) During the first two seasons next succeeding the draft of an age 18 Player, the Club he signs an SPC with must first offer him to the club from which he was claimed before it may Loan him. (b) During the first season next succeeding the draft of an age 19 Player or a Player who reaches his 19th birthday between September 16 and December 31, inclusive, of the year of the Entry Draft, the Club he signs an SPC with must first offer him to the club from which he was claimed before it may Loan him. (c) During the seasons set forth in (a) and (b) above, the age 18 and age 19 Player, respectively, may be Loaned to the minor league team affiliate of his Club when his Junior team is no longer in competition and provided he has been listed on the Club’s minor league eligibility

  4. millertime1101 - Sep 25, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    everyone know this was coming The real thing we are waiting for is if Gionta will be sent down

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