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Bernier looks to shine in camp tryout

Friday, 09.16.2011 / 3:44 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Bernier looks to shine in camp tryout
Steve Bernier said DeBoer made Devils an attractive option: "That helped my decision a little bit for sure." (New Jersey Devils)
Steve Bernier knows what Pete DeBoer expects from his players, and hopes that will give him an edge coming into Devils training camp.

The free agent right wing, who’s attending as a tryout, spent last season under DeBoer in Florida, calling him “a very, very tough coach.”

“Like every coach, he wants you to play hard,” Bernier said Friday at Prudential Center. “If you give everything you’ve got on the ice, you can have more chances, more ice time and you’re going to get his trust. That’s the way you need to think when you’re on the ice.”

A former first-round draft pick by San Jose, one spot ahead of Zach Parise in 2003, Bernier notched 14 goals in 39 games as a Sharks rookie in 2005-06, then 15 or more in each of the next three seasons. Two years ago with Vancouver, he potted 15 goals while establishing new career bests in assists (17) and points (32).

But last season his numbers dipped to five goals, 10 assists in 68 games with the Panthers. The 6-2, 215-lb. Quebec City native is eager to rediscover his scoring touch.

“After talking to Lou [Devils’ President/CEO/GM Lamoriello], he said that he saw me play when I was in San Jose and had a couple of good seasons, that if I was playing like this, you never know what can happen,” Bernier said. “I think that the best opportunity was here.”

He had two-way offers on the table from other clubs, but indicated New Jersey’s where he wants to be.

“I’d better risk it and give everything I’ve got at this camp and try to make it,” he said.