Devils Brent Sutter would not speak today about whether he intends to come back for a third season with the team.
'I'm not talking about myself," he said. "You guys have heard a bunch of stuff out there that are rumors and I told you at that time and I'm saying it again: I evaluate myself at the end of the year and there's a process I go through to do that and it takes time and I'm going to use time to my advantage and think through everything properly and whatever decision is made will be the decision made.
"I've done that every year since I started coaching in 1999 and I'll continue to do so moving forwards. But this is not a time to discuss that whatsoever. To be quite honest, I'll still thinking about what transpired here less than 48 hours ago. There's a process you go through with that. It's been the most difficult thing that's ever happened to me in my hockey career as a player or a coach. So, that's where I'm at.
"I'm not trying to be disrespectful to anybody or anything. It's just that it's not something that I've given it much time at this point time."
The 2008-09 Devils got together for the final time today for a team photo and exit physicals.They were eliminated from the playoffs with a 4-3 loss to Carolina in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Tuesday night,
They led 3-2 in that game before the Hurricanes scored twice in the final 1:20.
Sutter's future has been in question because he hasn't said he will definitely come back next season. He has one more season left on his contract.
"I knew that question was going to be asked," Sutter said. "But I don't want (the media) to take it disrespectful that I can't answer it for you because I'm not in that stage right now."
Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told me Wednesday that he wants Sutter to return and expects him to do so. Lamoriello was far less firm about that today, though.
"The quickness of everything that's transprired -- has it been 48 hours yet? -- you usually take a step back and look at yourself first is what I try and do and then sit down and go through all of the other tangible situations and there are several," Lamoriello said. "There has been no timetable."
When asked if there is a possibility that Sutter will not be back, Lamoriello replied, 'I really don't want to get into any of that here. You had a conversation with Brent. I don't think this is the time to get into anything that's personal."
Sutter also wouldn't answer questions about whether he thinks the team needs personnel changes.
"We're less than 48 hours away from, to me, the most devastating loss I've ever had as a coach or a player," Sutter said. "I don't think it's a time to even go there with that, There's a process that you have to go through and making sure everyone is in the right frame of mind and whatever decisions are made moving forward, you're not making them through emotion."