December 4, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

 

December 4, 2019 • NEW JERSEY DEVILS NEWS & CLIPS

  1. SUMMARY
  2. LOCAL PRINT/WEB
  3. TV/VIDEO LINKS
  4. RADIO LINKS
  5. NATIONAL PRINT/WEB

    1) SUMMARY

The Devils will face-off against the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night at 7:00 PM ET at Prudential Center, and Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena in the clubs eighth of 16 sets of back-to-back play.

2) LOCAL PRINT/WEB

1. How Devils players reacted to firing of coach John Hynes

by Chris Ryan, NJ Advanced Media

https://www.nj.com/devils/2019/12/how-devils-players-reacted-to-firing-of-coach-john-hynes.html

 

Tuesday was not a brand new experience for Andy Greene. The Devilscaptain and one of the longest tenured players on the team had seen two midseason coaching changes during his career, along with other turnover during offseasons.

That didn’t make Tuesday any less shocking.

Greene and the rest of the Devils’ roster learned of the firing of head coach John Hynes in the afternoon, with some still on their way to Prudential Center for that night’s 4-3 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights. Since they were playing in the second leg of a back-to-back, they didn’t need to be at the rink for a morning skate.

The emotional news needed to be processed quickly, with a game just hours away. And Greene, like other players, viewed Hynes as the fall guy for the players’ shortcomings on the ice.

“There’s a lot of unfortunate circumstances going on here that we caused,” Greene said. “Hynesy is a great coach, great person, and he had to get sacrificed because of us in here. You get the news, you get everything, and you’ve got to be ready. It’s on us in here.”

At the time of his dismissal, Hynes was the fifth-longest tenured coach in the NHL. And given how young the Devils’ locker room has become during the team’s rebuild, Hynes was all some players had ever known. Of the 23 players currently on the Devils’ roster, 11 never played for a different NHL head coach prior to Tuesday.

One of those 11 is Nico Hischier, the Devils’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. Under Hynes, Hischier quickly gained the trust of the coach to play top-line center in his rookie season, and he’s positioned to be a staple down the middle in New Jersey for the next decade.

Hischier expressed a mix of surprise and understanding at the move. He’d never experienced a coach being fired at any level, but given how the Devils played over the first two months of the season, he understood it might cost Hynes before anyone else.

“He brought me where I am right now with my game. He taught me a lot, I think especially my first, gave me a lot of confidence. He played me with (Taylor Hall) and gave me lots of good minutes. I’m not taking that for granted, and it’s been a pleasure working with him. I can take a lot of good things out of that.”

When Hynes was hired in 2015, one of the first new players added to help him was forward Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri played under Hynes with the U.S. National Development Program from 2007 through 2009, then played against him in the AHL before arriving together in New Jersey.

“You always knew the type of passion and professionalism he brought to the game. That dates back to the national team,” Palmieri said. “You saw how he approached every game and every practice, and that’s something you gain a lot of respect for. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach. It’s tough to see him go.”

And while Hynes’ tenure brought just one playoff berth and one postseason win to New Jersey, he did coach a player to a franchise first: An NHL MVP.

“He’s a good man, and for me, I don’t talk about it a lot, but I have a pretty cool trophy at home that I think he had a part in and certainly helped me get to,” forward Taylor Hall said. “He and I always had a great relationship right until the very end (Tuesday), and I don’t think that will change with what happened.”

Hall added he expects Hynes to land another head coaching job in the NHL, and very soon.

Many of the players built relationships with Hynes during his time in New Jersey, but no two individuals had more experience with the former coach than the man tabbed to replace him and the man who hired and fired him.

Alain Nasreddine had been a member of Hynes’ staff since 2010, going back to their days in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Nasreddine briefly talked to Hynes following the decision on Tuesday, and the interim coach expects to have longer discussions once Hynes is ready.

“I’ve been by a great coach. For 10 years, I watched him, we grew together,” Nasreddine said. “I’d like to think he took some things from me like I took a lot from him. John will coach again in the NHL. There’s no doubt in my mind.”

And then there’s GM Ray Shero, who helped Hynes break into professional hockey by bringing him on as an AHL assistant coach in 2009. Hynes became an AHL head coach one year later, and when Shero took the general manager job with the Devils, Hynes followed him to become a first-time NHL coach.

With more than a decade of professional experience together, Shero’s decision inevitably needed to set aside some personal feelings.

“I’ve been with John for a long time, and I’ve gotten fired,” Shero said. “The first thing you worry about is your family. The last thing you worry about is yourself when that happens. And I’ve got a lot of respect for John Hynes. I really do, and I think he did a great job here … I’m happy I hired him, and I think he did an incredible job to pushing us to where we were going. Then all of a sudden, the roller coaster started coming back down a bit. To get over that hump, the change needed to be made, and then we’ll see where we’ll go.”

 

2. RELEASE: Devils Name Nasreddine Interim Head Coach

by newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/release-devils-name-nasreddine-interim-head-coach/c-312109906

 

The New Jersey Devils today announced that they have relieved John Hynes of his head coaching duties. Alain Nasreddine will become Interim Head Coach and Peter Horachek, currently a pro scout for the team, will join the coaching staff as an assistant under Nasreddine. The announcements were made by Devils’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Ray Shero.

Alain Nasreddine will start in his role for tonight’s game versus Vegas. He heads up the staff of Horachek and existing assistants Rick Kowalsky, Mike Grier and goaltending coach, Roland Melanson. 

“John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” said Shero. “John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team that values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce. We are collectively disappointed in our performance on the ice and believe changes were needed, starting with our head coach. I have been consistent in my desire to build something here in New Jersey that earns the respect of teams throughout the league and pride in our fans. That is not where we were heading and for me to tolerate anything less was not acceptable.”

Alain Nasreddine played for six different NHL organizations during his 15-year professional career: Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins. On August 20, 2010, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL) named Nasreddine their new assistant coach, where he had previously served as captain. On June 17, 2015, Nasreddine was named an assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils.  

“Nas has a long history as a respected leader both as a player and a coach in the respective roles he has served for his teams,” Shero continued. “His experience as a captain and alternate captain on the ice, in addition to his responsibilities behind the bench, will serve him well as he leads this team through necessary changes to alter our current trajectory.”

Peter Horachek was a long-time assistant coach for the Nashville Predators, as well as interim head coach of the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has been a pro scout with the club since 2015.

Hynes departs the Devils after coaching the team to a 150-159-45 (.487) record in 354 career regular-season games over four-plus seasons and led the team to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six years. He ranks second in team history in games coached, wins and points (345).

3. New Jersey Devils fire John Hynes as head coach amid dismal season, Alain Nasreddine named interim

By Abbey Mastracco, NHL writer

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nhl/devils/2019/12/03/john-hynes-fired-new-jersey-devils-coach/2600923001/

 

NEWARK — After adding several major pieces this offseason, the New Jersey Devils were expected to be among the NHL’s most exciting and improved teams.

Instead, they are looking for a new head coach.

John Hynes has been fired as head coach of the Devils, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. Assistant coach Alain Nasreddine has been named interim coach and one of the organization’s pro scouts, Peter Horachek, has been added to the coaching staff.

“The start to the season, 0-4-2, was not what anybody anticipated. And I think that set a lot of things back,” general manager Ray Shero said. “A win was followed by a bad loss or we had maybe a two-game winning streak and then a bad game. Obviously, the Ranger game was not good and the Buffalo game was, I’m not even going to try and describe it. Those were the two.” 

The team played Tuesday night in Newark against the Vegas Golden Knights, just one night removed from a disastrous 7-1 blowout in Buffalo, which came a few days after a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Rangers. The Rangers loss featured an 0-for-8 performance on the power play. 

But there was no consideration to giving Hynes one more game and making a clean break Wednesday on the team’s scheduled off day. 

“I don’t know that it would have done anything, I don’t,” he said. “I just thought that after the last couple games, last night, in particular, it just wasn’t fair to him and it wasn’t fair to us. I was going to do my recommendation to Josh Harris and David Blitzer. And so I think that was the timing to do it was today and not tomorrow. It wouldn’t be fair to John. So it was time to do something.

Expectations surrounding the Devils were sky-high this season after the club made significant roster upgrades over the summer. They drafted Jack Hughes with the first overall pick, traded for 2013 Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban and reigning KHL MVP Nikita Gusev and signed veteran forward Wayne Simmonds as a free agent. Plus, Taylor Hall was healthy again. 

But the turnover may have been too great for the coach to overcome and the players never quite clicked the way many had hoped.

The Devils lost six in a row to begin the season and got off to the worst 21-game start to a season since 2010-11 when John MacLean led the team to a 6-13-2 record. MacLean was fired later that year after just 33 games. 

It left a bad taste in the mouths of many in the organization and in the locker room. 

“It was hard to get over that start, it really was,” Shero said. “If we had started the season 9-7-2, then OK. But I think with the expectations, for some reason it kind of set us back and the way we lost those games was certainly very disappointing. It really had us questioning a lot of things.” 

It will be up to Hynes’ longtime assistant coach Nasreddine to figure out how to extract more from a talented roster of underperformers. 

“I think first they’ve got to get some more out of themselves,” Shero said. “I’m sure there will be some tweaks and some things like that but this is a challenge for the players and I think they’ll adapt as we go along… There are always players and are always some guys that think they should be playing more or different roles. And you know what, everybody here has a clean slate, and they do. Nothing is predetermined. And they’re going to have opportunity. And I think it’s for the players to really embrace whatever role it is and it’s an internal competition, but to really start trusting each other.” 

Hynes, 44, who received a multi-year contract extension in January, finished his tenure in New Jersey with a 150-159-45 record and one playoff appearance in 2018. 

4. Devils can’t get win for new coach Alain Nasreddine

By Associated Press

https://nypost.com/2019/12/03/devils-cant-get-win-for-new-coach-alain-nasreddine/

 

A coaching change didn’t snap the New Jersey Devils out of their funk.

Jonathan Marchessault scored three straight goals in the third period to rally the Vegas Golden Knights over New Jersey 4-3 Tuesday night, hours after the Devils fired coach John Hynes.

General manager Ray Shero announced the move roughly 20 minutes before Hynes was scheduled to speak to the media before the game. Hynes had been the coach for four-plus seasons. Hynes was fired after a 9-13-4 start that left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second-worst record.

Shero named assistant Alain Nasreddine the interim coach, and Peter Horachek, a pro scout for the team, joined the coaching staff as an assistant.

“Tonight is a new beginning, and we had the lead, yes, going into the third, but it was more about what we did and what we didn’t do,” Nasreddine said. “There are no excuses.”

Marchessault scored twice in the first 5:04 of the third to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead. He added a power-play goal midway through the period, and Vegas held on even after New Jersey’s Nico Hischier scored 20 seconds later.

“It’s fun,” Marchessault said of the four-game winning streak by the Golden Knights (15-11-4). “We didn’t have that all year so far, so it’s good that we get on a roll.”

The Golden Knights have won four straight to improve to 15-11-4. Malcolm Subban had 32 saves, and Chandler Stephenson scored in his first game since being acquired Monday from the Washington Capitals.

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 26 shots for the Devils. Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt also scored.

Hynes’ dismissal came a day after the Devils were ripped by the Buffalo Sabres 7-1, a game Shero said was hard to describe. That followed a 4-0 loss at home to the rival New York Rangers on Saturday.

Struggling Devils forward Taylor Hall had a fast-break chance stopped by Subban in the first period before Palmieri scored a minute later off a pass from Damon Severson to make it 1-0. New Jersey outshot Vegas 17-7 in the first period.

The Golden Knights tied it in the second period on a centering pass by Alex Tuch to Stephenson at 5:24.

Bratt restored the Devils’ lead 14:17 into the second. Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant challenged for goalie interference, but the referees said Hall was pushed into the crease by Paul Statsny.

 

5. Devils fire coach Hynes after dismal start to season

by AP

http://www.news12.com/story/41402367/new-jersey-devils-fire-hynes-name-nasreddine-interim-coach

 

(AP) – John Hynes paid the price for the New Jersey Devils failing to deliver on the high expectations created by having three No. 1 overall draft picks in the lineup.

Hynes was fired as coach Tuesday after a 9-13-4 start that left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second-worst record.

General manager Ray Shero announced the move roughly 20 minutes before Hynes was scheduled to speak to the media before the Devils’ game against the Vegas Golden Knights. Hynes had been coach for four-plus seasons.

Shero said assistant Alain Nasreddine would become the interim coach and Peter Horachek, a pro scout for the team, would join the coaching staff as an assistant.

 

The dismissal comes a day after the Devils were ripped by the Buffalo Sabres 7-1, a game Shero said was hard to describe. That followed a 4-0 loss at home to the rival New York Rangers on Saturday.

Shero said he made his decision to fire Hynes after the Buffalo game, adding the team’s inconsistency and inability to hold leads all season contributed to his disappointment that began with an 0-4-2 record after six games.

“I don’t think there is any one player performing even at the level, let alone above, that we would expect or they would expect,” Shero said. “That’s the thing that is disappointing. Obviously change brings opportunity not only for Alain Nasreddine but also for our players. It’s an opportunity for them and to find out where we are and where we are going to go.”

Shero said Nasreddine would be given a chance to turn things around, adding there is a lot of time left in the season.

Nasreddine said he was in shock when Shero informed him of the change, calling it a bittersweet moment since Hynes had been his mentor for the last decade.

“I think everyone in that room is disappointed,” Nasreddine said of the team. “Everyone in that room feels responsible. Everyone in that room can be better.”

The Devils had high hopes entering the season after drafting Jack Hughes with the No. 1 overall pick just two years after taking Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick. The other first overall pick on the roster is Taylor Hall, who won the league MVP award in 2018 after leading New Jersey to the playoffs.

The Devils are the third team to change coaches this season. Toronto fired Mike Babcock two weeks ago and Calgary parted way with Bill Peters last week.

Hynes, who was hired by the Devils in June 2015, had a 150-159-45 record in 354 career regular-season games. When the New Jersey made the postseason in ’18, it was the first time since going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012.

Hynes ranks second in team history in games coached, wins and points (345).

“John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” Shero said in a statement. “John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team who values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce.

Nasreddine played for six different NHL organizations during his 15-year pro career with Chicago, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, the Islanders and Pittsburgh.

“I have earned everything in life and I expect the players to do the same thing with their job and how they play,” said Nasreddine, who said he spoke briefly with Hynes after the move.

Horachek was a longtime assistant coach for the Nashville Predators, as well as interim head coach of the Florida Panthers and the Maple Leafs. He has been a pro scout with the club since 2015.

 

6. PROSPECT REPORT: Anderson Growing with the Team

by Addie Sejan, Special to newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/prospect-report-anderson-growing-with-the-team/c-311853546?tid=277567796

 

Joey Anderson earned his call up to New Jersey just eight games into the 2018-19 season, but a lower-body injury kept him out of the lineup for the majority of his time with the Devils. For Anderson, the injury did not hold him back. Over the summer, he took everything he learned with the club to heart and worked hard to improve his game. 

“I think little things, like working on my skating and edgework are details that most people might not see or notice but they make a huge impact on the games and a difference in moving up,” Anderson stated.

“One of the things we talked about is being able to play faster, to play at pace,” Head Coach Mark Dennehy said of Anderson. “A big thing you’ll notice is that he came back leaner, a little lighter, but he’s still very strong on the puck. That’s enabling him to move quicker. I think that his understanding of how we want to play and understanding what that next play is gives him an advantage because he’s so mentally ahead of where most of the people are on the ice that he can make up for other things with his head.”

On paper, the Binghamton Devils season may not be what everyone was expecting, but Joey Anderson has been one of the most visible players out there. 

“He’s been very good for us this year,” Dennehy continued. “I know that he wants to get a few more goals and we’re confident that he will because of the chances that he’s getting. What we really like about his game is even though he’s one of our leaders in terms of scoring chances for, he’s also a leader in scoring chances against. He doesn’t give the puck up or turn it over. That speaks to his 200-foot game.”

The third round, 2016 New Jersey draft pick shares an optimistic outlook on the season with his coach. 

“The results haven’t quite been where we want them, but overall the team is gelling very well. I think the way we’re playing has been much more promising. You can see what this group can become and it’s heading in the right direction. Guys enjoy being at the rink together, practicing and working and it makes it a lot more enjoyable.”

And that bond has turned into consistency on the first line. Anderson shares this honor with Ben Street, and until his recent call-up, Brett Seney. 

“They had chemistry right from the get-go and they all bring something a little different to the table,” said Dennehy of his first line pairing. “They all have a pretty good hockey sense and we were lucky to recognize that early on. They all complement each other. Seney is good at getting on the puck and he has a dynamic quickness. Anderson is always in the right spot and is able to read both his teammates and get to the good areas to possess the puck down low. Street is the straw that stirs it all together – a jack of all trades.” 

That sentiment is mirrored by Anderson himself. 

“All three of us have played at high levels and we’re used to making plays under pressure and in tight spaces. We read off each other and bring something different to the table. Street is all-around, Seney is super-fast, and I can come in and fill some of the gaps – helping get pucks back and get heavy on it. We really find each other on the ice and we have fun doing it. It’s easier to go out there and make plays when you’re having fun.” 

 

7. GAME STORY: Golden Knights 4, Devils 3

by Marc Ciampa, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/prospect-report-anderson-growing-with-the-team/c-311853546?tid=277567796

 

NEWARK, NJ – Jonathan Marchessault scored a natural hat trick in an 8:35 span in the third period to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. 

Nico HischierKyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt got the goals for the Devils. 

 

YOUR GAME-DAY ESSENTIALS

GAME DAY

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POST-GAME VIDEO

Full Highlights

POST-GAME REPORT | Amanda Stein wraps up the game

POST-GAME RAW | Hall

POST-GAME RAW | Palmieri

POST-GAME RAW | Greene

POST-GAME RAW | Hischier

POST-GAME RAW | Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine

WHAT’S NEXT

The Devils face the Chicago Blackhawks this Friday on Star Wars Night. The game can be seen on MSG+ and heard on the Devils Hockey Network, including right here at NewJerseyDevils.com. Puck drop is 7:08 p.m. ET.

Marchessault’s first goal came 1:05 into period three. A backhand from the right circle by William Karlsson was redirected off the skate of the Vegas forward to tie the game at 2-2.

Four minutes later, Marchessault tipped a wrist shot from the right point by Deryk Engelland to give the Golden Knights their first lead of the game at 3-2. Four minutes after that, Marchessault completed the natural hat trick, banging in his own rebound for the power play goal.

The Devils quickly drew back within a goal at 4-3 after Taylor Hall fed Hischier on the rush and he quickly wristed it from the left circle past Golden Knights netminder Malcolm Subban 20 seconds later. 

“The effort was there. We had a lead going into the third. We knew they’d have a push. They’re a good team over there,” said Kyle Palmieri. 

It was a difficult game to play for the Devils who only found out hours before that head coach John Hynes had been relieved of his duties, replaced by assistant coach Alain Nasreddine who will be assuming the role on an interim basis.

“It’s been a crazy four or five hours. I had no idea a coaching game could be coming. John’s done a lot for me personally in my career. You’ll see him head coaching again in the NHL sometime soon,” said Hall. 

“I have a pretty cool trophy at home that I think he had a part in and certainly helped me get to that. Him and I always had a great relationship right to the very end today and I don’t think that’ll change.”

Nasreddine talked about the whirlwind day. 

“There was a lot of emotions all day long. I liked the energy by the team. I really liked our first 40 minutes. Third period it was like we ran out of gas a bit. It doesn’t take much in this League for the other team to make you pay for it and that’s what happened tonight.”

The Golden Knights had some chances early in the game. A blast from the high slot rang off the post behind Mackenzie Blackwood less than two minutes in and Andy Greene held the stick of Alex Tuch at the 3:33 mark with the Golden Knights pressuring to give the game’s first power play to Vegas. 

Blackwood made a big save in-close on a backhand from William Karlsson nearly nine minutes into the first but after that, the Devils took over the period. 

The best chance before the Devils goal came when Taylor Hall broke in alone and fired a shot that was stopped by Vegas netminder Malcolm Subban.

Just over a minute later, Damon Severson sprung Kyle Palmieri with a stretch pass through the neutral zone. Palmieri made no mistake, splitting the Vegas defense and roofing the puck to make it 1-0.

After one period, shots on goal were 17-7 for the Devils. 

Vegas tied the game past the five-minute mark of period two. Chandler Stephenson quickly one-timed a feed by Alex Tuch from the bottom of the left circle to knot it at 1-1.

Blackwood had another big stop past the period’s midway point, snagging a blast from the high point by Jonathan Marchessault. 

With 5:43 to play in the second, Damon Severson fed Jesper Bratt with a cross-ice pass and Bratt ripped it by Subban to put the Devils up 2-1. 

The Golden Knights argued that Hall interfered with Subban in the crease. It was ruled a good goal and the Devils received a power play for the failed coach’s challenge.

Shots in the second period were 11-10 for the Devils and 28-17 overall in the game for New Jersey.

 

8. BLOG: Shero: Devils Not Near Level They Expected

by Chris Wescott, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/blog-shero-devils-not-near-level-they-expected/c-312116944?tid=277567796

 

“Everybody had higher expectations.”

Devils Executive Vice President and General Manager/Alternate Governor Ray Shero was straight to the point when discussing his team’s performance leading up to Tuesday’s coaching change. John Hynes was relieved of his duties as head coach, giving Alain Nasreddine an opportunity to step in as interim head coach.

While Shero mentioned not reaching expectations, he wasn’t just talking about the coaching staff.

“It’s collectively as a group and our team,” Shero said. “I don’t think there’s any one player that is performing even at the level of, or let alone above, that we’d expect, or maybe they expect.

“So that’s the thing that’s disappointing.”

With that being said, Shero believes “change brings opportunity.”

“[It’s an] opportunity for them and to find out kind of where we are here, where we’re going to go. Because, you know, in terms of being where we are this season past Thanksgiving… no one has really got to the level we expect or they would probably expect so over the course of some time here, hopefully, that’s going to happen and we really find out what we have here in terms of our players and where we’re going to go.”

 

9. THREE THINGS: Get to Know Nasreddine

by Chris Wescott, newjerseydevils.com

https://www.nhl.com/devils/news/three-things-get-to-know-nasreddine/c-312111296?tid=277567796

 

NEWARK, NJ – The New Jersey Devils relieved Head Coach John Hynes of his duties, the club announced today. Alain Nasreddine has been named interim head coach, effective immediately.

Nasreddine, a native of Quebec, spent five seasons as an assistant coach with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the American Hockey League, prior to joining the Devils staff in 2015.

The 44-year-old had a long playing career as a defenseman, highlighted by 74 NHL games and 726 in the AHL. Nasreddine was originally a sixth-round pick, 135th overall, by Florida in the 1993 NHL Draft.

In addition, the Devils have added Peter Horachek to the staff as an assistant. Horachek was serving as a scout for the organization. He has a robust history as an assistant in the league, most notably with the Nashville Predators from 2003-04 to 2012-13. He served as an interim head coach of both the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs (2013-14 and 2014-15).

Here are three things to know about the Devils new interim bench boss.

1. A COLLECTION OF LETTERS

Nasreddine has worn a letter on his sweater for multiple organizations, including an “A” for the Quebec Citadelles, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL. He also wore the “A” for Indianapolis in the IHL back in 1997-98.

He served as captain for the Hamilton Bulldogs (two seasons) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (three seasons).

2. FOREVER REMEMBERED 

In 2014, Nasreddine was a part of the first class inducted into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Hall of Fame. After his playing career with the Penguins, he went on to coach with the team as an assistant. 

He finished his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton career having played 249 games for the Penguins.

3. CONNECTION WITH SHERO

Devils GM Ray Shero became the Executive VP of Hockey Operations and GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2006-07 season. 

That would be Nasreddine’s second-to-last season within the Penguins organization. He would play 50 games in the NHL during those final two years, so Shero would know him very well from his playing days to his coaching days. 

 

 

 

 

3) TV/VIDEO LINKS –

1. Devils fire Hynes; Nasreddine named interim coach

by NBCSN

https://www.nbcsports.com/video/new-jersey-devils-fire-john-hynes-alain-nasreddine-named-interim-coach

2. NASREDDINE DISCUSSES HIS FIRST GAME AS HEAD COACH OF THE DEVILS

by MSGN

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/nasreddine-discusses-his-first-game-as-head-coach-of-the-devils/

 

3. DEVILS DON’T GET WIN BUT SHOW BIG ENERGY AGAINST VEGAS

by MSGN

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/devils-dont-get-win-but-show-big-energy-against-vegas/

 

4. PRESS CONFERENCE: RAY SHERO FOLLOWING DEVILS COACHING CHANGE

by MSGN

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/press-conference-ray-shero-following-devils-coaching-change/

 

5. PRESS CONFERENCE: DEVILS NAME ALAIN NASREDDINE AS INTERIM HEAD COACH

by MSGN

https://www.msgnetworks.com/videos/press-conference-devils-name-alain-nasreddine-as-interim-head-coach/

 

 

4) RADIO LINKS –

1. Sami Vatanen – 2019-20 Episode 9

by newjerseydevils.com

https://soundcloud.com/njdevilsofficial/sami-vatanen-2019-20-episode-9

 

5) NATIONAL PRINT/WEB –

1. Underperforming New Jersey Devils Fire Head Coach John Hynes

by Carol Schram, SportsMoney Contributor

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolschram/2019/12/03/underperforming-new-jersey-devils-fire-head-coach-john-hynes/#7756612d180f

 

Something had to give.

 

After a draft-lottery win, the drafting of Jack Hughes and other significant offseason changes made with a playoff berth in mind, the New Jersey Devils couldn’t get their game in gear this season.

 

Shero told assembled media on Tuesday that the Devils’ 4-0 home loss to the New York Rangers last Saturday and a 7-1 blowout in Buffalo on Monday were the tipping point in his decision to relieve head coach John Hynes of his duties.

 

Despite a short turnaround between games — the Devils host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday evening at Prudential Center — Shero said it wouldn’t have been fair to Hynes to keep him behind the bench once his decision had been made.

 

Hynes, 44, coached the Devils to a 150-159-45 record over 354 games. New Jersey reached the playoffs once during Hynes’ four years behind the bench, losing in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the 2017-18 postseason.

 

After they drafted Hughes last June, then swung a draft-weekend trade to acquire Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban and signed gritty winger Wayne Simmonds as a free agent, the Devils were a popular preseason pick to break out this year. But it hasn’t worked out that way. New Jersey had a 9-13-4 through 26 games and sat 10 points out of a playoff spot on the NHL’s Eastern Conference when the coaching change was announced on Tuesday.

 

 “The start to the season, which was 0-4-2, was not what anybody anticipated,” Shero admitted. “I think that set a lot of things back. We cost ourselves games. We lost in every way imaginable, it seemed.”

 

There have been some more positive moments since then, but success wasn’t sustainable. Hence, the coaching change. “Obviously, the Ranger game was not good and the Buffalo game — I’m not even sure how to describe it,” Shero said.

 

Shero admitted frustration that the entire Devils roster has been underperforming this season. “I think we’re better than this,” he said, “but we’ll have to see.”

 

The man tasked with righting the ship is longtime Devils assistant coach Alain Nasreddine. The 44-year-old has been promoted to interim head coach and will work with current assistants Rick Kowalsky, Mike Grier and goaltending coach Roland Melanson. Devils pro scout Peter Horachek, who has past experience as an interim head coach with the Florida Panthers and the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as an assistant with the Nashville Predators, will also join the group as a new assistant coach.

“I think the best way to look at it is maybe a fresh start for everybody,” said Nasreddine in his first media conference in his new role.

 

“This just happened. Everyone in that room has been underachieving. You’ve got to deserve and earn your opportunities. I’ve earned everything in life and I expect players to do the same thing with the way they play.”

 

Shero hired Hynes less than a month after taking over as general manager of the Devils during the summer of 2015. The two had a shared history in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, where Hynes had served as head coach of the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for five seasons. After a long career as a defenseman, primarily in the minor leagues, Nasreddine signed on as Hynes’ assistant in Wilkes-Barre Scanton after hanging up his skates, and came with him to New Jersey.

 

Nasreddine has no head coaching experience at any level. Horachek, 59, will be counted on to provide valuable guidance.

 

Nasreddine does know the Devils organization inside-out and feels he has learned well by working alongside Hynes. “A lot of people would be excited, but it’s mixed emotions,” Nasreddine admitted. “I owe this guy (Hynes) a lot. It is a little bit bittersweet.

 

“It’s an opportunity of a life time when you really sit down and think about it,” he continued. “There are only 31 of these jobs. When an opportunity like this arises, you have to take it. I’m glad they think I can help.”

 

With a game just hours away when the coaching change was made, Nasreddine didn’t say much about how he plans to change the Devils’ systems going forward. “Not great circumstances, but we have a game to win tonight, so that’s where the focus is,” he said.

 

Mackenzie Blackwood will start in net when the Devils host the Vegas Golden Knights, who kicked off a three-game road trip with a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers on Monday.

 

Hynes is the NHL’s third coaching casualty in less than two weeks. The Toronto Maple Leafs dismissed Mike Babcock on November 20, and Bill Peters resigned from the Calgary Flames on November 29. All three coaches have been replaced from within their respective organizations.

 

 

2. New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero puts onus on underperforming players after John Hynes’ firing

BY JACKIE SPIEGEL, Sporting News

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/new-jersey-devils-gm-ray-shero-puts-onus-on-underperforming-players-after-john-hynes-firing/o5ho9tcivtvqz3lclj3h3uom

 

NEWARK, N.J. — As the saying goes, you can’t fire the players. So New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero did the next best thing and sacrificed head coach John Hynes on Tuesday evening.

“John has done a really good job here over past four-plus seasons in terms of establishing things both on and off the ice,” noted Shero approximately 90 minutes prior to puck drop against the Vegas Golden Knights at the Prudential Center. “Everybody had higher expectations; but collectively as a group, our team, I don’t think there’s any one player that is performing even at the level — let alone above — that we expect or maybe they expect but that’s the thing that’s disappointing.”

 

The Devils started the season a disastrous 0-4-2, which the GM called a “head is spinning” beginning as they “lost every way imaginable, it seemed.” It was a shocking turn of events considering the addition of P.K. Subban2019 first-overall draft pick Jack Hughes and a healthy Taylor Hall and Cory Schneider. After the team’s 4-3 loss to Vegas, the team stands 9-14-4 and Hughes is hurtSchneider was sent down to the minorsHall is reportedly on the trade block and Subban hasn’t registered a point in 15 games.

 

“There’s opportunity for them to find out where we are here and where we’re going to go because in term of being where we are this season . . . no one has really gotten to the level we expected or they would probably expect,” noted the GM who hired Hynes in 2015 in New Jersey, five years after hiring him to run the Penguins’ AHL team bench. “Over the course of some time here hopefully that’s going to happen to really find out what we have here in terms of our players and where we’re going to go.”

 

While the Devils have struggled to produce — 29th in the NHL in goals-per-game (2.50) before Tuesday’s game — they’ve also allowed a staggering 3.62 goals-against in their first 26 games (second-worst in the NHL). Over the first four seasons of Hynes’ tenure, the team was averaging 2.57 goals-per-game — so they’re not far off that mark this season; however, they were at 3.02 goals-against-per-game, which makes this season a mind-boggling rise. 

 

“It’s because of us,” said captain Andy Greene after the game. “Someone losing their job because of the way we were playing, the way we haven’t been executing. Hynes was a real good coach, a great coach, great person. It’s always sad when you see that.”

 

The scoreboard results this season have surprised because on paper the Devils have a solid squad with the players mentioned above, combined with 2017 first-overall pick Nico Hischier, Sami Vatanen, Greene and newcomers Nikita Gusev, who led the KHL in scoring last season, and Wayne Simmonds. Yes, a bunch of new faces can sometimes take time to gel but this team never seemed to find its mojo under Hynes, which grew more evident in the last few days. So on the second night of a back-to-back, Shero felt the sand had run out on Hynes’ timer after the team lost 4-0 to their Hudson River rivals, the New York Rangers on Saturday and an abysmal 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres Monday night.

 

“It goes down to execution . . . some of you saw the game last night, I mean, we can’t make a five-foot pass. I mean that’s — I don’t know,” noted Shero, who couldn’t find any other words for the loss the Sabres. 

 

“At the end it’s always about the players, at the end we’re on the ice . . . have to take responsibility on that,” said Hischier, who netted a goal, after the game. “Nobody in here likes where we’re at, what we’re doing right now but it’s not that we’re not trying. We know we’re a better team than that  — we just have to figure it out.”

 

Despite another loss to Vegas, the team played well for the first 40 — and actually went into the third period up 2-1 — under new interim bench boss Alain Nasreddine. He takes the helm from the man he worked under for more than nine seasons and stressed that considering “everyone in that room has been underachieving,” it’s a clean slate.

 

“I don’t want to live in the past and what happened first 25 games,” Nasreddine commented postgame. “Tonight, you know it’s a new beginning and we had to lead, yes, going into the third but it was more about what we did and what we didn’t do.”

 

Opportunity is now knocking not only for these players to turn this season around — quick reminder, the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues were in last place on Jan. 3 — but the head coach. Shero said that he will begin to keep his eye out for a new bench boss for next season, with this staff getting every chance to prove themselves too.

 

“I think we’re better than this,” Shero said. “When you’ve got 23 players that aren’t playing at their level nearly that — I don’t think I’m sitting here saying something that’s not true — I think they’re better than this but we’ll have to see. Usually, it’s five, six guys that are having down years or three guys are doing great and other guys are pretty [good]. I don’t think it’s hard to see after twenty-something games this year that we’ve had that from anybody. So, it’s a big challenge but something that [Nasreddine is] going to embrace and certainly, we’ll see where it goes.”

 

The Devils have Wednesday off and will get back to work on Thursday before their next matchup Friday when the also underperforming Chicago Blackhawks come to town. 

 

3. Devils Fire HC John Hynes After Early-Season Struggles

by ASSOCIATED PRESS

https://www.si.com/nhl/2019/12/03/devils-fire-john-hynes-after-early-season-struggles

 

NEWARK, N.J. — John Hynes paid the price for the New Jersey Devils failing to deliver on the high expectations created by having three No. 1 overall draft picks in the lineup.

Hynes was fired as coach Tuesday after a 9-13-4 start that left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second-worst record.

 

General manager Ray Shero announced the move roughly 20 minutes before Hynes was schedule to speak to the media before the Devils’ game against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Hynes had been coach for four-plus seasons.

 

Shero said assistant Alain Nasreddine would become the interim coach and Peter Horachek, a pro scout for the team, would join the coaching staff as an assistant.

 

Shero was expected to address the media before the game.

 

The dismissal comes a day after the Devils were ripped by the Buffalo Sabres 7-1. That game followed a 4-0 loss at home to the rival New York Rangers on Saturday.

 

The Devils had high hopes entering the season after drafting Jack Hughes with the No. 1 overall pick just two years after taking Nico Hischier with the No. 1 pick. The other first overall pick on the roster is Taylor Hall, who won the league MVP award in 2018 after leading New Jersey to the playoffs.

 

The Devils are the third team to change coaches this season. Toronto fired Mike Babcock two weeks ago and Calgary parted way with Bill Peters last week.

 

Hynes, who was hired by the Devils in June 2015, had a 150-159-45 record in 354 career regular-season games. When the New Jersey made the postseason in ’18, it was the first time since going to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012.

 

Hynes ranks second in team history in games coached, wins and points (345).

 

“John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” Shero said in a statement. “John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team who values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce.

 

“We are collectively disappointed in our performance on the ice, and believe changes were needed starting with our head coach,” Shero added. I have been consistent in my desire to build something here in New Jersey that earns the respect of teams throughout the league and pride in our fans. That is not where we were heading and for me to tolerate anything less was not acceptable.”

 

Nasreddine played for six different NHL organizations during his 15-year pro career with Chicago, Edmonton, Florida, Montreal, the Islanders and Pittsburgh.

 

Horachek was a longtime assistant coach for the Nashville Predators, as well as interim head coach of the Florida Panthers and the Maple Leafs. He has been a pro scout with the club since 2015.

 

 

4. Devils fire coach John Hynes hours before game, name Alain Nasreddine interim coach

by Pete Blackburn

https://www.cbssports.com/nhl/news/devils-fire-coach-john-hynes-hours-before-game-name-alain-nasreddine-interim-coach/

 

John Hynes is officially out as head coach of the New Jersey Devils. Hynes was relieved of his duties on Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours before the Devils were set to take the ice for a game against the Golden Knights in Newark.

 

In a statement released by the team, they announced that assistant Alain Nasreddine will take over for Hynes on an interim basis. Pro scout Peter Horachek will join the coaching staff as an assistant under Nasreddine.

 

Hynes’ firing doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the Devils’ brutal start to the season. New Jersey has struggled to a 9-13-4 start out of the gate and, as of Tuesday, is the second-worst team in the NHL in regards to point percentage (.385) as well as goal differential (-31). Only the Detroit Red Wings, who are on a historically awful pace, rank worse in each category.

 

The difference between the Red Wings and the Devils, however, is that Detroit was expected to tank this season while New Jersey was projected to take a step forward following a promising offseason. Over the summer, the club added names such as P.K. Subban, Wayne SimmondsNikita Gusev and top overall draft pick Jack Hughes — additions that some thought might help push the Devils to contend for a playoff spot this year.

 

Instead, the Devils rank third-worst among all NHL teams in offense (including the league’s fourth-worst power play) and second-worst in defense. Hynes’ final game behind the bench in New Jersey was an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

 

Hynes departs the Devils after four-plus seasons, having coached the team to a 150-159-45 (.487) record in 354 regular-season games. The club made the postseason once under his reign but were eliminated in five games by the Lightning in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. Hynes ranks second in Devils franchise history in games coached, wins and points.

 

 

5. New Jersey Devils fire head coach John Hynes

by Ailish Forfar, NHL Editor

https://sports.yahoo.com/new-jersey-devils-fire-head-coach-john-hynes-213905256.html

 

The New Jersey devils have fired head coach John Hynes the team announced Tuesday.

Alain Nasreddine has been appointed as the team’s interim head coach, and Peter Horachek — formerly a pro scout for the team — will join as an assistant coach under Nasreddine.

 

“John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” said Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.

 

The Devils have had a wretched start to the season, currently sitting dead-last in the Metropolitan Division with a 9-13-4 record. Hynes was in his fifth year as head coach of the team and coached the Devils to a 150-159-45 record in 354 career regular-season games, and led the club to the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, their first postseason appearance in six years.

 

With heightened expectations to start this season, Shero said that the organization needed a directional change.

 

“We are collectively disappointed in our performance on the ice and believe changes were needed, starting with our head coach. I have been consistent in my desire to build something here in New Jersey that earns the respect of teams throughout the league and pride in our fans. That is not where we were heading and for me to tolerate anything less was not acceptable.”

 

Nasreddine has been with the Devils coaching staff since June 2015, and played for six different NHL organizations during his 15-year professional career.

 

“Nas has a long history as a respected leader both as a player and a coach in the respective roles he has served for his teams,” Shero continued. “His experience as a captain and alternate captain on the ice, in addition to his responsibilities behind the bench, will serve him well as he leads this team through necessary changes to alter our current trajectory.”

 

Nasreddine will coach his first game in his new role against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.

 

 

6. New Jersey Devils fire John Hynes after disappointing start to 2019-20 season

by Ryan Gaydos, Fox News

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/devils-fire-john-hynes-disappointing-season

 

The New Jersey Devils fired coach John Hynes on Tuesday after a lackluster start to the 2019-20 season.

 

The Hynes-led Devils were 9-13-4 to begin the season and were sitting among the worst teams in the Eastern Conference. Only the Detroit Red Wings have a worse record.

 

Devils general manager Ray Shero announced the move about 20 minutes before Hynes was supposed to speak to the media about their game against the Vegas Golden Knights. He said he made the decision to fire Hynes after the Devils’ 7-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

 

 “I don’t think there is any one player performing even at the level, let alone above, that we would expect or they would expect,” Shero said. “That’s the thing that is disappointing. Obviously, change brings opportunity not only for Alain Nasreddine but also for our players. It’s [an] opportunity for them and to find out where we are and where we are going to go.”

 

Nasreddine was named the interim coach. Peter Horachek, the team’s pro scout, was named an assistant on the coaching staff. Shero held out hope that the season could turn around.

 

Nasreddine said the firing was a bittersweet moment for him because Hynes was his mentor over the last 10 years.

 

“I think everyone in that room is disappointed,” he said. “Everyone in that room feels responsible. Everyone in that room can be better.”

 

Hynes was 154-159-45 in 354 regular seasons games. He led the team to a surprise postseason appearance in 2018. It was the first time the team had made the playoffs since their Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2012. He’s second in team history in games coached, wins and points.

 

 “John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” Shero said in a statement. “John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team who values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce.”

 

The coaching change wasn’t enough to spark a Devils win Tuesday night. New Jersey dropped their third straight game, losing to Vegas 4-3.

 

 

7. JOHN HYNES IS NOT A BAD COACH, BUT HE HAD TO BE FIRED BY THE NEW JERSEY DEVILS

by Ken Campbell, THN

https://thehockeynews.com/news/article/john-hynes-is-not-a-bad-coach-but-he-had-to-be-fired-by-the-new-jersey-devils

 

There’s an old saying in hockey that suggests you are what your record says you are. And by that metric, the New Jersey Devils were lousy. Really, really lousy. In fact, there was not one statistical category you could identify – from record to save percentage to special teams to possession – that would suggest the Devils were much good at anything this season. And there was little hope that they were going to get any better.

 

Some of that is on the coach. And that’s why John Hynes is no longer the coach of the New Jersey Devils, mercifully relieved of his duties just hours before the Devils’ home game against the Vegas Golden Knights after it was leaked that he was a dead man walking and was about to be dismissed in the next day or so.

 

But here’s the thing. Devils GM Ray Shero gave Hynes a three-year extension 11 months ago to the day – Jan. 3, 2019 – at a time when the Devils were almost as bad as they are now. The day Hynes signed his deal, the Devils were the third-worst team in the Eastern Conference and the season was already essentially lost, since they were already 12 points out of a playoff spot. (By the way, if that date seems significant, it’s because it was. The St. Louis Blues went into their game that night dead-last in the NHL and beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 to start a run that culminated in a Stanley Cup parade.) It seemed like an odd time to give your coach a three-year extension rather than wait to see how the rest of the season played out. Instead of extending Hynes, the Devils could have simply allowed him to finish his contract and set him free.

 

Ray Shero is not dumb and John Hynes is not a terrible coach. Shero thought at the time that the Devils needed some stability and vision and he liked the culture that Hynes was creating when it came to accountability and structure. And Shero thought that if he made a major overhaul to his roster, Hynes would have enough to work with to start to bring the Devils back into the playoff picture and among at least the periphery of contenders.

 

Well, you know what the say about the best-laid plans. Shero’s roster manipulation did not move the needle and it turns out what he needed most he failed to get: a goaltender who could consistently stop the puck and give a shaky defensive team a chance to win games. And now that the Devils’ season is rapidly circling the drain once again, there is absolutely no chance that Taylor Hall will make a long-term commitment to the franchise. Not that there was ever an iron-clad guarantee he ever would have in the first place. Two summers ago, after his MVP year in which he led the Devils to the playoffs, Hall retained Darren Ferris as his agent. It’s well known that Ferris would rather watch a continuous loop of Pride and Prejudice than a pending unrestricted free agent not go to market. But a contending team would have at least made Hall pause and ponder the possibility of staying.

 

Like almost anytime a coach gets fired, it’s an organizational failure. The Devils, despite all their changes, do not have a very good roster. P.K. Subban plays more than 22 minutes per game and has five points to show for it. Jack Hughes has received the third-most ice time among rookie forwards in the NHL and is in danger of turning in a Patrik Stefan-like offensive line. Their goaltending has been atrocious, to the point where Cory Schneider was waived and is now a $6-million American League goalie. Not sure how much you can pin any of that on Hynes.

 

But there’s little doubt Hynes owns his part in this as well. The Devils are atrocious on both sides of special teams and their possession numbers are dreadful. They were expected to score their way out of trouble to make up for their defensive shortcomings, but instead they have one of the limpest attacks in the league. In two games against the Buffalo Sabres, they’ve been outscored 14-3. There have been line configurations that have been downright head-scratching and players such as Jesper Bratt and Nikita Gusev got much less ice time than they should have. Starting with the first game of the season when the Devils jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the Winnipeg Jets, then lost 5-4 in a shootout, they’ve displayed an uncanny propensity for blowing leads. It’s up to the coach to devise a game plan and a structure that best prepares a team for success and Hynes either wasn’t doing that well enough or the players weren’t heeding his message. Neither of those is a good thing.

 

So, the Devils will play out the season under new coach Alain Nasreddine. Nobody is expecting much. Hall will be dealt for futures and New Jersey will hope for some more lottery luck, which would garner them either Alexis Lafreniere with the first pick or Quinton Byfield with the second. By the time the Devils are contending, John Hynes, the man who helped establish a culture in New Jersey and helped make Hall an MVP, will probably be long forgotten. But, man, that’s coaching.

 

 

8. Golden Knights Edge Devils After New Jersey Introduces New Head Coach

by AP

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/12/04/golden-knights-edge-devils-coach/

 

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jonathan Marchessault gave the Devils’ day of change an all-too-familiar ending.

 

Marchessault scored three straight goals in the third period to rally the Vegas Golden Knights over New Jersey 4-3 Tuesday night, hours after the Devils fired coach John Hynes.

 

Marchessault scored twice in the first 5:04 of the third to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 lead. He added a power-play goal midway through the period, and Vegas held on even after New Jersey’s Nico Hischier scored 20 seconds later.

 

The Golden Knights have won four straight to improve to 15-11-4.

 

“It’s fun,” Marchessault said. “We didn’t have that all year so far, so it’s good that we get on a roll.”

Malcolm Subban had 32 saves, and Chandler Stephenson scored in his first game since being acquired Monday from the Washington Capitals.

 

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 26 shots for the Devils. Kyle Palmieri and Jesper Bratt also scored.

 

New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Hynes was fired Tuesday after a 9-13-4 start that left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second worst record.

 

General manager Ray Shero announced the move roughly 20 minutes before Hynes was scheduled to speak to the media before the game. Hynes had been the coach for four-plus seasons.

 

 “John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” Shero said in a statement. “John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team who values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce.

Shero named assistant Alain Nasreddine the interim coach, and Peter Horachek, a pro scout for the team, joined the coaching staff as an assistant.

 

“Tonight is a new beginning, and we had the lead, yes, going into the third, but it was more about what we did and what we didn’t do,” Nasreddine said. “There are no excuses.”

 

The dismissal came a day after the Devils were ripped by the Buffalo Sabres 7-1, a game Shero said was hard to describe. That followed a 4-0 loss at home to the rival New York Rangers on Saturday.

Subban has been playing for Marc-Andre Fluery, who has been away from the team for the past week with a family illness.

 

“It’s been huge. Obviously, you get a couple wins you feel better about yourself, you feel good about your game, so it’s been great obviously,” Subban said. “Still stuff to work on, but it’s coming along so it feels good right now.”

 

Struggling Devils forward Taylor Hall had a fast-break chance stopped by Subban in the first period before Palmieri scored a minute later off a pass from Damon Severson to make it 1-0. New Jersey outshot Vegas 17-7 in the first period.

 

The Golden Knights tied it in the second period on a centering pass by Alex Tuch to Stephenson at 5:24.

 

“That’s what he does,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said of Stephenson. “He’s done it before. He’s played on a real good team, and he’s had that role a little bit, so when we give him an opportunity and you know you want to make a player feel comfortable coming to a new team and scored a huge goal for us tonight, played some PK and it worked out.”

 

Bratt restored the Devils’ lead 14:17 into the second. Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant challenged for goalie interference, but the referees said Hall was pushed into the crease by Paul Statsny.

 

NOTES:

No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes remains out of New Jersey’s lineup with a lower-body injury. This was his third consecutive game missed. He’s considered day-to-day.

 

Devils D Connor Carrick was also out with injury while D Mirco Mueller and C John Hayden were scratched.

 

UP NEXT:

The Devils host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

 

 

9. Who is Alain Nasreddine? New Jersey Devils name John Hynes’ interim replacement

 

by Tommy McArdle, MSN

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nhl/who-is-alain-nasreddine-new-jersey-devils-name-john-hynes-interim-replacement/ar-BBXIW9t

 

The New Jersey Devils on Tuesday named assistant coach Alain Nasreddine interim head coach shortly after John Hynes was relieved of his duties as head coach.

 

Hynes, who had served as the 17th head coach in Devils franchise history, cedes control on the bench to the assistant who has been with him since he was hired in June 2015. Otherwise, the Devils’ coaching staff remains the same — with the sole exception of pro scout Peter Horachek’s move to a bench job as an assistant to Nasreddine.

 

“Everyone in that room has been underachieving,” Nasreddine told reporters in his first media availability as interim head coach. “There are going to be opportunities… you have to get and deserve your opportunity. That’s not going to change. I think it’s like that for every team in every sport. That’s the bottom line — the type of coach I am, it’s the same way. I’ve earned everything [I have] in life and I expect players to do the same thing with their job and how they play.”

 

“We’re not going to reinvent the game,” he added. “I think we gotta get that passion back, that enthusiasm for playing.”

 

Here is what you need to know about the Devils’ interim coach:

 

Where is Alain Nasreddine from?

 

Nasreddine, 44, grew up in Montreal and played for the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs and Chicoutimi Sagueneens in junior hockey.

 

Did Alain Nasreddine play in the NHL?

 

Nasreddine played 74 career NHL games as a defenseman between 1998-2008. He was part of the first-ever Florida Panthers draft class in 1993 (sixth round, pick No. 135) but did not find his way into a big-league game with his first franchise. He would get his shot with the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 10, 1998, against — you guessed it — the New Jersey Devils, but he wound up with the Montreal Canadiens by the end of that season and played just 15 games altogether his rookie year.

 

The blueliner bounced from team to team throughout much of his NHL playing career but found a consistent home within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization between 2003-08. He bounced between AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Penguins’ roster, playing 44 NHL games in 2006-07 — the most in his NHL career.

 

How long has Alain Nasreddine been coaching?

 

Nasreddine’s connection with Pittsburgh’s organization didn’t end when his playing days did. Then-Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero — who now manages the Devils — hired Nasreddine as an assistant coach with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in August 2010. The head coach of that team at the time? None other than John Hynes.

 

Nasreddine, Hynes and Shero all remained with that organization until the trio moved to New Jersey in a succession of moves in the 2015 offseason.

 

Notable players Alain Nasreddine has coached

 

Nasreddine spent five seasons as Hynes’ assistant coach with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Here are some of the notable NHLers he worked with on those teams:

 

Robert Bortuzzo, Bryan Gibbons, Simon Depres, Beau Bennett, Joe Morrow, Jayson Megna, Bobby Farnham, Tom Kuhnhackl, Jeff Zatkoff, Scott Harrington, Brian Dumoulin, Matt Murray, Conor Sheary and Derrick Pouliot.

 

 

10. Why the Devils finally pulled the plug on John Hynes

by Corey Masisak, The Athletic

https://theathletic.com/1430180/2019/12/03/why-the-devils-finally-pulled-the-plug-on-john-hynes/

 

The Devils fired coach John Hynes on Tuesday after a terrible start to a season that began with higher expectations has left the club near the bottom of the NHL standings and searching for answers.

 

Alain Nasreddine, an assistant to Hynes for the past five seasons with the Devils, was named interim coach. General manager Ray Shero said he will make a list of potential permanent options, but in the short term, he wants to see how the team reacts to this move before making any long-term decisions.

“I think John has done a really good job over the past four-plus seasons of establishing things both on and off the ice. Everybody had higher expectations, but it’s collectively our group and our team,” Shero said. “I don’t think there is any one player that is performing even at the level, let alone above, of what we’d or maybe they expect. That’s a thing that is disappointing. Obviously, change brings opportunity, not only for Alain Nasreddine, but for our players. This is an opportunity for them and to find out where we are and where we are going to go.”

 

Shero was hired May 4, 2015, by Lou Lamoriello, then the team president. Shero hired Hynes to be the head coach less than a month later, on June 2.

 

The Devils added No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes, P.K. Subban, Wayne Simmonds and Nikita Gusev this offseason, but they fell to 9-13-4 with an embarrassing 7-1 defeat Monday night in Buffalo. It came two days after a 4-0 loss at home to the rival Rangers in a game where the Devils went 0-for-8 on the power play and allowed two shorthanded goals.

 

“I think we’re better than this, but we’ll have to see,” Shero said. “Usually, it’s five, six guys that are having down years or three guys who are doing great. It’s hard to see after 20-some games that we have that from anybody. It’s a big challenge.

 

“I think the players need to get some more out of themselves. … I’m not even mad at them, it’s just, there has to be some joy in what you’re doing. Everybody here has a clean slate. Nothing is predetermined.”

 

Hynes was one of the top candidates for NHL Coach of the Year in 2017-18, when the Devils went from last place in the Eastern Conference the year before to reaching the postseason for the first time since 2012. The Devils slumped back toward the bottom of the standings last year, and the results have not improved this season.

 

Shero first hired Hynes in 2009 to be an assistant coach for Pittsburgh’s AHL team, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The following season, Hynes was promoted to head coach and led the AHL Penguins to five consecutive Calder Cup playoff appearances.

 

Hynes has coached the second-most games in New Jersey franchise history, behind only Jacques Lemaire. His tenure began at the start of a large-scale rebuilding project in 2015-16. A surprise run to the Stanley Cup playoffs in his third year proved to be the only one, and he is just the second Devils coach — joining John MacLean — to finish his tenure with a sub-.500 record since Jim Schoenfeld in 1989.

 

The Devils brought back nearly the same roster last season after reaching the playoffs in 2017-18, but a slow start was compounded by myriad injuries, most notably to 2018 Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, costing him 49 games.

 

After an offseason highlighted by several high-profile additions, expectations were higher in Hynes’ fifth season. New Jersey began the season 0-4-2, moved assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald into an assistant coaching role and has failed to string together strong performances to climb out of the early hole.

 

“I think our teams were very well prepared,” Shero said. “I know that. It goes down to execution. It goes down the players … everybody saw the game last night. I mean, we couldn’t make a five-foot pass. (Nasreddine) has a good feel for this team, and it’s going to be up to him in terms of any changes or tweaks he might make to the lineup or how we play.”

 

A lot of the problems stem from the defense and goaltending. The Devils have lost several games despite leading in the third period and have one of the worst team save percentages in the NHL. Both special-teams units, which were a big strength in 2017-18, have languished in the bottom third of the league.

 

Despite adding more talent, the Devils have not shown much improvement at even strength. Possession metrics were not a strength for New Jersey for much of the past five seasons under Hynes.

Nasreddine has no head coaching experience. He has been Hynes’ assistant for 10 seasons between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and New Jersey since retiring as a player in 2010.

 

“Obviously, it’s a lot of emotions,” Nasreddine said. “A lot of mixed emotions. I just found out a couple of hours ago. A lot goes through your mind. You can’t help but think of John and the relationship we’ve had the last 10 years.

 

“These are not great circumstances, but it is an opportunity. It’s going to take time to settle in, but we have a game to win (Tuesday) night, and that is where the focus is right now.”

 

 

11. ‘It’s not a light switch’: A new coach and renewed energy for the Devils, but many of the same issues linger

by Corey Masisak, The Athletic

https://theathletic.com/1431058/2019/12/04/its-not-a-light-switch-a-new-coach-and-renewed-energy-for-the-devils-but-many-of-the-same-issues-linger/

 

Alain Nasreddine was at home Tuesday afternoon when his phone rang.

 

In the seconds between the time he saw it was Devils general manager Ray Shero calling and when he found out why, a flood of emotions hit him. Given where the Devils are in the standings and their embarrassing performance the night before in Buffalo, Nasreddine prepared for the worst.

 

Once he was off the phone, it was another burst of emotions. Nasreddine was named New Jersey’s interim head coach Tuesday afternoon. It meant his first chance to be a head coach at any level. It also meant one of his closest friends and his mentor, John Hynes, had been fired.

 

“Your life changes,” Nasreddine said. “At first, it was a shock.”

 

A blur of an afternoon, which included meeting with the team as head coach for the first time, led into Nasreddine’s first game in charge. That experience might have been a reminder of the reality he and the Devils have been living in this season.

 

The Devils played well for much of the first two periods. There was a bad turnover in the defensive zone that led to a goal against. There was a wonky goal the goaltender would likely want back. There was a power-play goal against.

 

And in the end, there was yet another third-period lead that turned into a defeat. Vegas rallied to beat New Jersey 4-3 in large part because of a hat trick from Jonathan Marchesseault and some of the same issues that have plagued the Devils for much of a confounding season.

 

“It’s not a light switch,” Devils captain Andy Greene said. “We weren’t going to walk in here and everything was going to be perfect now. It’s going to take work. It’s going to take some resiliency here. We can’t get discouraged in here. We are all in this together, and we have to come out of this stronger.”

 

Nasreddine didn’t make any big changes. The forwards and defensemen were aligned the same as the night before in Buffalo. The special teams units remained unchanged.

 

New Jersey lost defenseman Matt Tennyson early in the first period and was playing down for the second time in two nights. There was also the coaching change, which meant a wide range of emotions for different players.

 

“We just kind of got here and the initial reaction was, it’s the middle of the season, we’ve got to keep playing,” Damon Severson said. “That’s out of our control as players, really. Other than the success of the team maybe leads to that, but it’s a (management) decision. We had a meeting. We said, ‘There is a lot of season to go.’ I thought we played really well tonight. It is what it is. We just have to put it behind us.

 

“In the game, you could tell we were skating and we were excited. I think everyone is going to have their own opinion about what the reasoning behind that is, but we were going tonight. We were fired up. It’s too bad that we couldn’t get that win tonight because we were playing well.”

 

Taylor Hall said he felt like he had the puck in certain positions more than he had in other games this season. Hall led the forwards in even-strength ice time through two periods despite not playing on what is typically considered the “top” line. He joined Nico Hischier and Kyle Palmieri after the Golden Knights took a 4-2 lead, and the three combined for a goal on their first shift together.

 

If there are tactical changes for Nasreddine to make, finding ways for the Devils’ top offensive players to generate more offense should be at the top of the list. Some of the mistakes, particularly on Vegas’ first goal and the ones that helped the Golden Knights seize more control in the third period, looked familiar and will need further work.

 

“What I told Nas is, if (assistant GM) Tom Fitzgerald got a GM job somewhere tomorrow, he’s different,” Shero said. “He’s been with me really a long time, but he’s different than me and I was (with) David Poile for eight years and I’m different than him. Nas is going to do this job his own way. If I was GM of another team and I was looking for a list of assistant coaches who would be a potential head coach, (Nasreddine) would be on it.”

 

We did learn a couple of things about the direction Nasreddine wants to take. Several players said his message to the team before the game was to play fast and with energy. That was pretty evident in the first period, when the Devils outshot the Golden Knights 17-7.

 

While there were familiar themes, most notably another blown lead in the third period, his response to a question about it was another window into his plan.

 

“I was expecting the question and I don’t want to live in the past and what happened in the first 25 games,” Nasreddine said. “Tonight is a new beginning. We did have the lead going into the third period, but it was more about what we did and what we didn’t do.”

 

The Devils have a scheduled day off Wednesday. After three games in four nights and a coaching change in the middle, it will probably be a day of reflection and resetting. They’ll get back to practice Thursday before another back-to-back, at home Friday against Chicago and in Nashville on Saturday.

Normalcy will likely return for the Devils. The players and staff repeated phrases like “fresh start” and “earning opportunities” in the aftermath of the news Tuesday. There is also the double-edged sword of a door opening for Nasreddine while it closes for Hynes.

 

“I think it’s awesome (for Nasreddine),” Greene said. “I’m a big fan of Hynsey. I think he’s a great coach, a great person. Like we’ve said a lot over the last couple weeks, this is not his fault. It’s what is going on in this locker room. It is on us. But at the same time, this is a great opportunity for Nas. I’ve been real close with him over the last few years obviously, and I think he’s ready for it. I’m looking forward to it.”

 

 

12. Searching for John Hynes’ replacement: Potential candidates to be the Devils’ next coach

by Corey Masisak, The Athletic

https://theathletic.com/1428420/2019/12/04/searching-for-john-hynes-replacement-potential-candidates-to-be-the-devils-next-coach/

 

The Devils have a long history of changing coaches in the middle of the season, including a couple of the most famous mid-campaign moves in the NHL.

 

That said, the franchise has not had an interim coach in nearly a decade, not since Jacques Lemaire returned for the third time to replace John MacLean two days before Christmas in 2010. General manager Ray Shero fired John Hynes on Tuesday and elevated Alain Nasreddine to interim head coach.

 

It is Nasreddine’s first head coaching opportunity in the NHL. He joined Hynes’ staff as an assistant coach with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in 2010 and had been his trusted lieutenant ever since.

 

Devils defensemen Will Butcher and Andy Greene have both spoken highly of Nasreddine. Buffalo GM Jason Botterill said he expected Nasreddine to be an NHL head coach back in April 2018. Multiple former Devils employees have praised Nasreddine for his open-minded approach to new ideas and analytics.

 

“I’ve been by, to me, a great coach,” Nasreddine said of working with Hynes. “For 10 years, I’ve watched him. We grew together. I’d like to think he took some things from me. I know I took a lot from him. John will coach again in the NHL. There is no doubt in my mind. I think just being by his side, I’ve been able to get a lot of experience that way.

 

“I know I’ve never been a head coach, but I believe in my abilities.” 

 

The Devils have two options at this stage: Choose a permanent coach in the near future from within the club or the outside market, or wait until the offseason when more options will be available and it is possible to speak with coaches under contract with other organizations.

 

Two other NHL coaches have been fired this season, but we can assume the Devils will not attempt to hire Mike Babcock or Bill Peters given the circumstances of their dismissals.

 

“I’ll have a list that will be wide-ranging,” Shero said. “I usually have a list anyway, whether it’s for assistant coaches, coaches in the minors or scouts or trainers. We will see. We know at the end of the year there’s more possibilities and opportunities. I think, in the short term, I want to see where this goes and get a better feel for it, get a better feel of our team and our players.”

So, let’s make two lists.

 

Here are some options currently available:

 

Alain Nasreddine, Devils interim coach

If the Devils are going to name a permanent head coach between now and the end of the season, Nasreddine has to be the clear favorite. He’s got a chance to win the job before anyone else even gets an interview.

 

If the Devils make significant improvements in key areas, Nasreddine will have a chance to keep the job on a permanent basis.

 

“I think the best way to look at it is a fresh start for everybody,” Nasreddine said Tuesday. “This just happened. We’re going to meet with some players. Everyone in that room has been underachieving. There’s going to be opportunities. Guys are going to have to earn their opportunities.

 

“That’s the bottom line and the type of coach I am. I’ve earned everything in life and I expect the same thing with their job and how they play.” 

 

Rick Kowalsky, Devils assistant coach

Kowalsky has been in the organization for more than a decade. After one year as an AHL assistant in 2005-06 after his playing career ended, Kowalsky spent four years as head coach for the Trenton Titans/Devils in the ECHL, eight years as the head coach with the Albany/Binghamton Devils in the AHL and the past two on Hynes’ staff.

 

Given his head coaching experience, it was a little surprising that Shero didn’t tap him to be the interim coach. It’s hard to see a scenario in which he leapfrogs Nasreddine to be the permanent coach now.

 

Ken Hitchcock, former Oilers coach

Most of the recently fired NHL head coaches are working somewhere. Hitchcock retired after one season in Dallas in 2017-18, but then returned to coach the Oilers after they fired Todd McLellan last year. He didn’t get a chance to return for a second year.

 

It’s not a certainty that Hitchcock would event want to coach again, but anyone who has been an NHL coach and had some success, however long ago it was, should be on the list.

Do not place any bets on Hitchcock being the next Devils coach. In the same vein, Darryl Suter, Randy Carlyle and Guy Boucher also deserve mentions.

 

Patrick Elias, Czech junior national team coach

Elias has been a guest coach with the Devils on several occasions over the past two seasons. They’ve scratched players and had them sit with Elias during games so he can help mentor them.

 

He’s one of the best players in team history, but he also has said before that’s he not 100 percent sure he wants a career in coaching. Elias’ commitment to coaching in the Czech national team program is up after the forthcoming world junior championship.

 

If it doesn’t work out with Nasreddine, the Devils could give Elias a trial run until the end of the season to see how it feels for both parties. Probably not, but keep him in mind as a potential assistant on the next staff if he wants to keep coaching.

 

 

We can expect more coaches to go the way of Hynes this season, and certainly more once the season is over. Here is a list of coaches who either are on the proverbial hot seat right now, or could be by season’s end: Detroit’s Jeff Blashill, Minnesota’s Bruce Boudreau, San Jose’s Pete DeBoer, Montreal’s Claude Julien, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette and Winnipeg’s Paul Maurice.

 

DeBoer and Julien have coached the Devils previously, when Lou Lamoriello was in charge. Blashill is well-connected with USA Hockey, just as Shero and assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald are.

Here are some options that could be available this offseason:

 

Mike Vellucci, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL) coach

Vellucci is in his first season with the WBS Penguins. Last year he won the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, in just his second season as an AHL coach. He spent three years as an assistant GM for the Hurricanes before taking on the AHL coaching role. Before that, Vellucci spent parts of 13 seasons as coach of the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL, leading them to a league title and a trip to the Memorial Cup in 2007.

 

Should Vellucci get an NHL head coaching job next season, he’d be the seventh WBS coach to do so since 2005, joining Michel Therrien, Todd Richards, Dan Bylsma, Todd Reirden, John Hynes and Mike Sullivan. Mike Yeo was also an assistant for the club at one point.

 

Jay Leach, Providence (AHL) coach

Leach spent parts of five seasons as a player in the Devils’ organization. He played 31 of his 70 career NHL games with New Jersey.

 

He also has ties to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Leach was named an assistant coach for WBS under Sullivan after Hynes departed for New Jersey. After one season with the Baby Penguins, Leach became an assistant with the Providence Bruins. He got the head coaching job a year later and has led the Bruins to the Calder Cup Playoffs in each of his first two seasons.

 

Leach also made The Athletic’s “Top 40 Under 40” list in Dec. 2018.

 

Rocky Thompson, Chicago (AHL) coach

Thompson in his third season as the Chicago Wolves head coach. He led the Wolves to the Calder Cup Final last season, where he lost to Vellucci’s Charlotte club. He was also an OHL head coach with the Windsor Spitfires for two years.

 

He has one year of NHL coaching experience, as an assistant on the Oilers staff in 2014-15. Tyler Dellow, VP of Analytics for the Devils, also worked for Edmonton that season and has expressed his admiration for Thompson’s coaching abilities in multiple public forums, including at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference.

 

Tony Granato, Wisconsin (NCAA) coach

Granato spent five years working for Shero as an assistant coach with the Penguins. He was hired as an assistant to Dan Bylsma in the summer of 2009 after Fitzgerald, who had joined the coaching staff when Therrien was fired and replaced by Bylsma, was promoted to assistant GM. He has also been a guest coach for the Devils at summer development camp.

 

He coached the Avalanche twice, reaching the playoffs in two of his three seasons. Granato is in his fourth season as the coach at the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater. His results with the Badgers have been mixed, though he has a somewhat indirect connection with Jack Hughes — two members of Granato’s hyped freshman class are Jack’s old roommate (Alex Turcotte) and linemate (Cole Caufield).

 

John Wroblewski, USA NTDP coach

Speaking of connections with Hughes, what about his former coach? Wroblewski’s resume includes much more than his experience coaching Jack Hughes for two years at the USA Hockey National Team Development Program — but that can’t hurt. He’s in his fourth season as a coach for the NTDP, which has produced a number of NHL coaches (Hynes, David Quinn and Ron Rolston). He’s also been a head coach in the USHL and ECHL and an assistant in the AHL.

 

Mike Yeo, Flyers assistant coach

As previously mentioned, Yeo was an assistant with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and with Pittsburgh. Shero inherited Yeo as part of his Pittsburgh staff, but also kept him when he fired Therrien and promoted Bylsma.

 

Yeo was the head coach of the Wild for parts of five seasons and the Blues for parts of three. He was fired last season with the team mired at the bottom of the NHL standings, and interim coach Craig Berube led St. Louis to its first Stanley Cup.

 

Dan Bylsma, Red Wings assistant coach

His past with Shero is well known. Shero promoted Bylsma in mid-February 2009 to replace the ousted Therrien and he proceeded to guide the Penguins to the Stanley Cup. He coached the Penguins through the 2013-14 season and then the Sabres, but was fired after two seasons.

 

Bylsma did win division titles in his final two seasons with the Penguins and reached the Conference Finals in 2013, but it was championship or bust in Pittsburgh.

 

Jay Woodcroft, Bakersfield (AHL) coach

Woodcroft spent 10 years as an NHL assistant coach with the Sharks and Oilers before getting the top job with Bakersfield. He helped the Condors to the second round of the Calder Cup Playoffs last year in his first season.

 

Todd Nelson, Stars assistant coach

Nelson was also a part of the Edmonton coaching staff when Dellow worked for the Oilers. He served as the interim head coach in 2014-15 after Dallas Eakins was fired.

 

He has eight years of head coaching experience in the AHL, including a Calder Cup championship in 2017 with Grand Rapids. Nelson is in his second season as an assistant coach on the Stars, his sixth working as a coach the NHL.

 


 

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