"I didn't think about it," Matteau said. "My goal was just to make the team."
Most observers felt the Devils would send Matteau down rather than have his first year come in a 48-game season. The left wing can still be sent down after five games and not lose his rookie service time.
Ironically, Brodeur, who as a rookie allowed the famous wraparound to Matteau's father at Madison Square Garden, won't be the only tie to the past if the younger Matteau does make his debut Saturday. Rose is now the television play-by-play man for the Islanders, so another "Matteau!" call would not be out of the question.
New Jersey made room for Matteau by assigning injured center Adam Henrique (thumb surgery) and left wing Mattias Tedenby to Albany of the AHL. The Devils also placed right wing Bobby Butler on waivers. Tedenby did not have to clear waivers to be sent down.
The Devils also asked veteran left wing Mathieu Darche to continue practicing with the team while it decides whether to offer him a contract. The former Montreal Canadiens forward was invited to the training camp on a tryout basis. Darche said Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello made no promises about the future.
"We'll see what the next week brings, and I'll keep trying to get my legs under me," Darche said. "It's been a long offseason with all those negotiations and I need to get back my legs and we'll see what happens."
Center Jacob Josefson, who has been bothered by a foot injury since camp opened, didn't practice on Friday. DeBoer said there is still a chance he will play on Saturday.
Whoever plays will be happy just to get on the ice.
"I'm very excited," Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk said. "Hockey is back in North America. We very excited. We're excited for the fans.
'We hope they come back and support us 100 percent like they did all those year."
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