In other words, his name ends with the wrong kind of letters.
I'm more convinced than ever that Brent Sutter had no idea how to use Dainius Zubrus, and that's part of why he has such a bad reputation among Devils fans. The play moves in the right direction when he's on the ice. He might not be here after this season, but he put in 6 strong years, and he'll go out the way he should've come in - being used in all situations, making the right play most of the time. Sure he won't score many goals, and maybe he is finally slowing down, but Conte is right - you need a guy like this on your team, and the Devils were lucky to have one for so many years.
I don't think his reputation is bad among Devils fans...I think Devils fans like him now more than ever. Like I said, I think a lot of Devils fans saw the two good offensive seasons that came before he signed with NJ, saw Gomez leaving, and felt (some expected) that Zubrus would fill that void, more than what was realistic. And the Devils also gave him chances on scoring lines earlier, so they also thought (more like hoped) he could provide more offense than he ultimately did as a Devil. But as some of the posts here show, fans have grown to accept what Zubrus really is, and appreciate what he brings. It's like I said, I can't really criticize what the Devils got out of Zubrus, for what he was signed for...never once in his six years was his contract a bad one, and that's extremely rare for a contract of that term.