The Next Coach of The New Jersey Devils is…
(Photo from Senators.NHL.com)
The search for the Devils next head coach is underway and there are many names being tossed around already. The issue with the Devils is that their head coaching vacancy is not that “sexy” compared to the other teams such as Toronto, San Jose, Philadelphia, or Detroit. Ray Shero will have to do a good job not only in his interviews but to also market the team as a supreme destination for the potential coaches.
Here are my top five potential coaches for the Devils in no particular order.
1. Scott Stevens: Stevens was one ring in the three ring circus that was the Devils coaching staff at the end of the season. He was however the only coach who had a huge impact on the players, especially Adam Larsson. He helped Larsson take that next step in his game and helped the entire defensive corps become better players. Although he is a defensive coach he knows how to motivate players with his fiery personality.
2. Paul MacLean: He was fired by the Senators early last season and the Devild reportedly had interest in him when they made their coaching change but Ottawa wanted compensation and they were unwilling to give them what they wanted. MacLean is a former Jack Adams recipient and I believe that he would be a great fit for the Devils.
3. Mike Babcock: I would probably bet my entire life savings that he is not coming here because he wants to pave the way for coaches to be paid better and I can see a team with unlimited funds such as Toronto or Philadelphia giving him a blank check and keys to the franchise. But hey I can dream right?
4. Dan Bylsma: It is no secret that Shero and Bylsma were great friends when they worked together in Pittsburgh and Shero has already said that Bylsma would get consideration for the job but he would have to interview just like everyone else. Bylsma worries me because he had the best player in the world with Sidney Crosby and a top ten player in Evgeni Malkin and could only win one cup. However that was mostly Marc-Andre Fleury’s fault for crumbling in the playoffs. He would definitely bring an offensive game to the Devils, which is something that we are desperately needing.
5. Jon Hynes: This is my wildcard coach. He has no NHL experience but he has led the Pittsburgh Penguins farm team for the past five years and has made them the ultra competitive even when most of the players are called up to the big club because of all the injuries the Penguins have. He has a great defensive system and Shero is VERY high on him. The issue with Hynes are that this would be his first NHL team and one that is rebuilding could spell trouble and the other issue is that Pittsburgh would probably want some form of draft pick compensation. The Devils need to restock their cupboards with prospects and trading them away for an unproven coach is probably not the best thing to do.