Devils Notebook - Feb. 8
Though he has previously said this is it, reports out of Montreal over the weekend suggested that Lemaire might not be ready to call it quits.
"What I said is, I’ll finish the season, and after, I’ll tell [Devils' President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello] what exactly I’m doing next year," Lemaire offered this morning.
If he has a plan in place, he's not telling just yet.
"I've got an idea, but you know, I’ve had a lot of ideas in the past and they change," he said.
He announced his retirement last April, ostensibly closing the books on a 17-year career behind the bench. But a call from Lamoriello was enough to bring him back as John MacLean's replacement on Dec. 23.
Has Lemaire opened the door for a possible comeback in 2011-12?
"I’m not opening anything," he said. "I came here to help the team, the organization, Lou, so these guys play better. That’s what I’m doing. When the season’s over, then we’ll talk. We’ll sit and talk."
Lemaire would rather forget the 6-3 rout the Devils suffered in Carolina on New Year's Day.
"Thanks for reminding me," Lemaire said when it was brought up this morning.
It was the Devils' seventh loss in eight games, and became the first of a four-game losing streak. They have come a long way since then, and have gone 9-1-2 to open the second half.
"Well we’re playing better," Lemaire said. "I was just watching the game prior to this. Lot of things we didn’t do. This team hasn’t changed from the 90s how they play. Still the same team. Different people, still the same team. A team that plays hard, forechecks, D involved. Good on PK, PP. They get their goals, go to the net. They’re well-balanced, that’s why they’re right there [in the playoff chase]."