NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - For the past 24 hours, New Jersey Devils forward David Clarkson has received more than his share of telephone calls and text messages from teammates.

The questions are basically the same: "What's it like to play for Peter DeBoer?"

The 27-year-old Clarkson laughs when asked about the queries, but he understands. He played for DeBoer for three seasons at Kitchener in the OHL and he's thrilled that his former boss has been given the job of getting the Devils back to the playoffs after missing out for the first time since 1996.

"He is just a very honest person," Clarkson said. "He is going to tell you what we need to do to be better. He believes in his players and the people who are playing and working for him. I can tell you that goes a long way with players. It helped me that he believed in me."

Clarkson had some of his most productive seasons playing for DeBoer, including 33 goals in 31 games in 2004-05, his final year in junior hockey.