Every time I hear Scott Stevens’ name, I get a grin on my face like I snuck a look at my Christmas presents and knew I got what I wanted. His name will always be synonymous with the New Jersey Devils.
The 6’ 1” 215lb Canadian is arguably the best hitter to ever play in the NHL and well deserving of owning the “C” and being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007. If there was any defensive duo I would want to bring back to Devils hockey besides Brian Rafalski and Scott Neidermayer, it would be Ken Daneyko and Scott Stevens.
While Daneyko began and ended his career as a New Jersey Devil, when Stevens resigned, he made sure that wherever he ended up, he would finish his career with that team. Not only did they finish their careers in New Jersey, these defenseman ended on a high, helping New Jersey raise their third Stanley Cup banner within eight seasons. So, while neither player will be on an active roster again, we have a new chapter to compose and add to an organization bound for more success.
Below is some additional insight on Scott Stevens and Matt Shaw from Mr. Devil himself, Ken Daneyko.
I asked Ken for some additional insight on his former Captain and teammate and here’s what he had to offer.
Q1.) Playing with Scott for over 10 seasons, what’s his most valuable quality that will impact the players?
Ken: Scott has great work ethic and tenacity. Players will not be able to take shortcuts with him.
In response to Ken’s answer, I can see Stevens having a tremendous impact on players like Mark Fayne, Anton Volchenkov, and Adam Larsson.
Q2.) What part of the defensive game will change the most with him behind the bench?
Ken: Better positioning and being more aggressive around the net.
Q3.) Whom do you feel on the current roster or in our system reminds you the most of Scott or who has the greatest potential to play similarly to him?
Ken: With all due respect…No one can duplicate what Scott did on the ice, however hopefully he will bring the best out of Volchenkov who has great hitting ability.
Q4.) Greatest Scott Steven’s memory?
Ken: 1995 SC finals when he hit Kozlov…And Detroit’s players were yapping and he pointed “You’re next” and he meant it. Probably the turning point of the finals.
(As a vague reminder, the Devils shutout the Detroit Red Wings in that series 4-0)
I also asked Dano about Matt Shaw coming East fresh off the San Jose Sharks coaching staff.
Ken: “About Matt Shaw…I really don’t know much about him except the fact that he was instrumental in the San Jose PP which was top 5 the last three years.”
For those who didn’t see my initial article on the Stevens and Shaw addition to the coaching staff, here’s what Shaw helped accomplish in San Jose. He helped the Sharks finish the 2011-12 season at #2 in the NHL with PP’s at 21.1%, 2010-11 at #2 23.5%, and in 2009-10 at #4 21%.