Was former -- and posibly future -- Devils coach Jacques Lemaire at Prudential Center this morning to meet with general manager Lou Lamoriello about the team's head coaching opening?
Lamoriello wouldn't say when I spoke to him a few minutes ago.
There was word (which some of you may have seen) that Lemaire was seen entering the building this morning. When I asked Lamoriello for his reponse to this, he said, "I have no response. But don't misinterpret that as yes or no."
You can interpret that anyway you want, but if Lemaire was at the building this morning, it wasn't a sign that a coaching announcement is imminent.
In fact, when I asked Lamoriello if he expected to have a head coach in place by the time the free agent market opens at noon Wednesday, he said, "No"
He the said, "There is no time frame."
Lamoriello also said he does not think not having a head coach will be a factor in the team's proceedings before and after the free agent market opens.
Will the Devils be looking to fill any specific needs through free agency?
"If we can get better, we'll get better," Lamoriello said.
Will the Devils be looking to add a center and/or a defenseman?
"If we can get better, we're going to get better," Lamoriello repeated.
Will the team be looking to re-sign its own free agents or pursuing other players that become available at noon Wednesday?
"All of the encompassing that you're saying is being done at the same time with a priority order," Lamoriello said. "There's two people you have to deal with: not only yourself, but what the other people want to do."
Is Lamoriello hopeful of having any other potential free agents -- in addition to Johnny Oduya -- re-signed before noon Wednesday?
"I don't know," he said. "Unless something is done, you never know."
What are Lamoriello's feelings on the possibility of John Madden re-signing with the team?
"We always want to keep our own players or we wouldn't have had them here, but we also know the world and the realism and all of the above," he said.
When I asked the same question about Brian Gionta, Lamoriello replied, "everything is the same (as with Madden)."