Former Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder said he told GM Lou Lamoriello he wanted to leave the team after a disfunctional relationship with coach Pete DeBoer.
The Devils traded Tallinder, 34, to the Buffalo Sabres on July 7 in exchange for forward Riley Boychuk.
“I’m excited definitely to get away from New Jersey; not the organization, but a couple of individuals over there on the coaching side,” Tallinder told Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald.
Tallinder’s comments were surprising because of the Swedish defenseman’s low-key personality, along with the fact most Devils players speak highly of DeBoer.
But at the conclusion of last season, in which Tallinder appeared in only 25 games, he let Lamoriello know he wanted to leave.
“I had a long conversation with the GM after the season,” Tallinder was quoted. “We both made it pretty clear what we wanted.”
The Devils were happy to clear some room for a younger player while shedding Tallinder’s salary.
Tallinder was happy to get away from DeBoer.
“We didn’t create positive images for each other,” Tallinder told the paper. “When Jacques Lemaire was coaching there, he played me like a No. 1 D, which was awesome. The coach (Lemaire) is with all his trophies and whatever, that’s really something I’m going to take with me from there. But sometimes, yeah, I had tough stretches.
“I didn’t have my best seasons when I played over there. I can play better than I did.”
Tallinder signed a four-year, $13.5 million contract with the Devils as a free agent July 1, 2010. He played three seasons with the Devils, missing 37 games in 2011-12 with acute thrombophlebitis (blood clots) in his left leg.
Edited by grcenter47, 13 September 2013 - 10:05 PM.