The Devils today sent out a press release stating that they had hired former Vancouver Canucks goalie coach Roland Melanson as their new goaltending coach. Chris Terreri, who formerly held that position, will remain with the team “in a capacity to be determined at a future date.”
Melanson was born in Moncton, New Brunswick and, the press release points out, was the first NHL goalie to be born in the province of New Brunswick.
He played twelve seasons in the NHL from 1980 to 1992 with the Islanders, Minnesota North Stars, Los Angeles, the Devils and Montreal. Melanson was drafted by the Islanders 59th overall in the third round of the 1979 Entry Draft and won the Stanley Cup with the team from 1981 to 1983. He was a second team All-Star in 1982-83 and won the William M. Jennings Trophy with Billy Smith in that same season. (The Jennings Trophy goes to the goalies on the team that gives up the fewest amount of goals in a season.)
His Devils career consisted of one game played for the club at the NHL level (according to Hockey-Reference.com, he played one period and gave up two goals on seven shots faced). This was towards the end of his career in 1990-91. He played the majority of his Devils career with the Utica Devils of the AHL (1989-90 and 1990-91) where he played 102 games, going 47-47-4.
After his playing career, he was a goaltending consultant with the St. John Flames of the AHL from 1993 to 1995. He then moved on to be the goalie coach/assistant coach with the Moncton Alpines/Wildcats of the QMJHL from 1995 to 1997. He moved up to the NHL and was an assistant with the Canadiens from 1997 to 2009 before moving to the Canucks as their goaltending coach. He spent last year in player development with the Canucks’ AHL team, the Utica Comets, in order to be closer to his family.
With the Canucks, he worked with current Devils goalie Cory Schneider, so there is already a relationship there between the starter and the new goalie coach. Other goalies the press release mentions that Melanson worked with in Vancouver and Montreal were Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller, Jose Theodore, Jocelyn Thibault, Jaroslav Halak, Cristobal Huet and Carey Price.
As for Chris Terreri, and this is purely speculation on my part, but I would think they simply wanted to lighten his workload. If you watched that two-part MSG Network profile on him that they did last season on two of the pregame shows, he has a lot of responsibilities (including reviewing video to see if the Devils should challenge a call in-game). This could be a way of bringing in someone who Cory Schneider is comfortable with while reassigning Terreri so that he can focus on less duties. But, again, this is just speculation on my part.