The New Jersey Devils have announced that Jacques Lemaire will retire
from coaching. This was the second time around for Lemaire as the Devils
coach, after first coaching the team from 1993 to 1998 and won the
Stanley Cup with the team in 1995.
Lemaire then spent eight
seasons with the Minnesota Wild, and while the team was mostly
successful the Wild made it out of the first just once.
announcement immediately turns one’s mind to last week’s press
conference by GM Lou Lamoriello, when he said this:
So there is no question Jacques will be back next year?
“There is no question that he will be back, unless you know something
I don’t know. There’s no question in my mind.”
His statement “unless you know something I don’t know” is certainly a
bit eyebrow raising now, as it’s not something you hear often. It was an emphatic
statement that Lemaire “would be back”; turns out Lamoriello wasn’t
exactly off-base here. Lemaire will stay with the organization in some
form, in a front office position. So..he’ll “be back”, just not as a
There was some thought this past season, and especially after the
first round loss by the Devils, that Lemaire’s defensive-minded, neutral
zone trap style system was outdated in this post-lockout NHL. With Ken
Hitchcock and now Lemaire retiring and/or fired, we’re slowly starting
to see the ‘old school’ coaches get passed by.
We’ll have more on this later today.