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Langenbrunner on Lemaire: “There were some differences of opinion.”

While we’re never learn exactly what went wrong between Jamie Langenbrunner and Jacques Lemaire -- I’m sure Langenbrunner’s sub-par play didn’t help -- we do have some clues as to why Langenbrunner was so upset after being scratched on April 3.

Lemaire scratched him supposedly to send him a message after a number of poor performances as the Devils fought for a division title. That alone would be enough to anger Langenbrunner, but according to Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Lemaire tried to give the “C” to Colin White for that game.

Obviously, he didn’t take it.

“I look up to Jamie. He is our leader,” White said. “I’ve always looked up to him and I’ve told him that. I don’t think our (team’s) leadership can be challenged.”

Langenbrunner, as he struggles to recover from a disappointing season, admits that things weren’t exactly cozy between the two.

“There were some differences of opinion when it came to dealing with a few issues,” Langenbrunner said. “There were some things that were done that probably didn’t help the situation. For most of the season it was fine, up until Christmas.

“There were a few things that happened, a few issues that were tough for me to let go. I probably didn’t handle them correctly. Not all personalities completely mesh, but they are able to work together. I had no problems with the way he treated me. It was more about team issues that we would never agree on.”

Despite their great regular season record, there was no doubting the team’s issues once the playoffs began. Langenbrunner may say he didn’t have much of an issue with Lemaire personally, but when things started to go wrong Langenbrunner was the epicenter of the dysfunction surrounding the team.

So while the team says that Lemaire would have been the coach next season if he didn’t “retire”, a coaching change is likely exactly what the Devils needed.