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Lou’s Boys: Islanders add Lemaire, Conte to collection of old Devils

The band is (kinda mostly) back together for an Island encore.

Jacques Lemaire Announces Retirement from Coaching
He’s alwaaaaaaaaaaaaaays watching.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Perhaps predictably (albeit not exactly expectedly), new Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello added a few more familiar names to the team’s front office today, the start of his first training camp at the helm.

One of those names is that of Jacques Lemaire, the Hall of Famer who won eight Stanley Cups as a player for the Canadiens and one as head coach of the Devils, where he of course served under Lamoriello. He’s joined the Islanders as a “special assignment coach,” the kind of job one gets when one knows the boss for a long-ass time and doesn’t need to prove a damn thing to anyone.

Via Andrew Gross at Newsday:

Longtime Lamoriello crony Jacques Lemaire, who served two tenures as the Devils coach, has been named a special assignment coach, the same position he held most recently with the Lamoriello-led Maple Leafs. “I think it’s obvious the experience he brings, the knowledge he brings,” Lamoriello said. “He’ll be here for training camp, then come back some time during the year.

Lemaire, 73, has 617 wins in 1262 games as a head coach with Montreal, New Jersey, Minnesota and New Jersey again. He won two Jack Adams Trophies as the NHL’s coach of the year, once with the Devils in 1994 and once with the Wild after leading them to the Western Conference Finals in just their third year of existence why am I writing this you all know who Jacques Lemaire.

This guy has forgotten more about hockey than any of us will know in ten lifetimes so if he wants a cushy job and a free windbreaker, I say just give them to him.

Also appearing at camp today was David Conte, who has been hired as a special assignment scout. Conte was most recently a pro scout for Vegas, and before that was the director of Devils scouting for 22 years. Do a search on Twitter for Devils fans still cursing Conte’s name over busted draft picks past. But the Golden Knights appeared to have a good first ever draft last season so who knows.

Finally, Ken Gernander was also named a scout. The former fifth round pick in the 1987 draft and Rangers farmhand was head coach of the Hartford Wolf Pack, AHL affiliate of the Rangers, from 2007-2017.

I haven’t seen this many old Devils in one place since Rosemary’s Baby.

Let’s hope this works out better for the Islanders than it did for Mia Farrow.

Here’s a little more from Lou after today’s first day.