New Jersey Devils: John Quenneville Should Not Have Been Demoted

John Quenneville #47 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
John Quenneville #47 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils made the decision to end John Quenneville‘s time on the big league club, and sent him down to Binghamton. There’s no good explanation as to why, especially for who they replaced him.

The New Jersey Devils made the questionable decision to send down former first-round pick John Quenneville back to Binghamton. Why did the Devils make this decision? It seems like the only reason they could is due to the injury to Travis Zajac.

Still, this was not the right decision. Especially since the player the Devils decided to bring up was Kevin Rooney.

The Devils have Nick Lappin, who’s already scored four goals, Brett Seney, who’s tied for the team lead with five points, and Joey Anderson, who’s getting better every game. Instead, they brought up Rooney, who has two assists this season.

Listen, Rooney isn’t a bad player, he’s just nowhere close to the best option out of Binghamton. John Hynes and Ray Shero only want Rooney is to replace Zajac’s ability to kill penalties. The issue is Zajac has been more than that over the first few weeks. He had a scoring stroke in some games, great passes in others, and showed a great two-way game.

Quenneville didn’t have any goals, but his advanced stats were some of the best on the team. He was second on the team in score and venue adjusted CF%. He was also fourth on the team in relXGF% and 5th in iCF/60.

Also, the argument is seriously flawed. The Devils really couldn’t replace Zajac with someone already on the team? Brian Boyle has been doing a nice job at killing penalties when given the chance, and the team brought him in to win faceoffs. That sounds like Zajac’s role on the penalty kill to me.

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Beyond Boyle, Nico Hischier, Stefan Noesen, Marcus Johansson and Quenneville himself could have joined Pavel Zacha, Blake Coleman and Jean-Sebastien Dea. Even if it’s a long-term issue for Zajac, Jesper Bratt is a penalty killer and just about ready to return.

This was a bad decision. I was given flack for calling the decision to sit him over Drew Stafford terrible. This one was even worse.

I get that we need to trust Hynes after what he pulled off last season, but it doesn’t need to be blind trust. This is an overreaction to send Quenneville down after one bad game against the Dallas Stars, a game where he didn’t even make a mistake that allowed a goal. Hynes made a mistake here, and now the Devils lineup looks even worse ahead of their matchup with the Flyers.