The New Jersey Devils and new head coach John MacLean have filled in the last piece of their coaching staff and much fitting with how the Devils do business, the selection is a surprise and came virtually out of nowhere as the team named Adam Oates as an assistant coach. Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice tells us that Oates’ role with the Devils will be well defined.
“Throughout his career, Adam was without question one of the top playmaking centers, particularly on the power play, and was considered one of the top face-off players in the game,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement released by the team. “These attributes bring a different dimension to our coaching staff and both John and I are delighted that Adam is joining our organization.”
Oates joins Larry Robinson as an assistant under MacLean and Chris Terreri is on board as the team goaltending coach. Imagine joining the Devils and having that coaching staff to deal with.
Yikes. If you think that Lamoriello might be unfamiliar with Adam Oates, think
again. Lamoriello coached against Oates in the 1985 NCAA National
Championship game. Oates’ RPI Engineers defeated Lamoriello and Terreri’s Providence Friars 2-1. Hockey fans who grew up through the 80s are now checking to see if they are indeed getting that old.
Oates will be on board to help the Devils with their power play and will
lend a helping hand with the team’s centers on techniques in the
face-off circle. Working under Rick Tocchet in Tampa Bay last year in a similar role, Oates helped coach the Lightning to the 8th best power play in the NHL scoring 19.33% of the time. The Devils checked in as the 11th best power play in the league last year, but as was shown in their five-game playoff loss to the Flyers, their power play was miserable when they needed it most going 1-17 in losses in Games 4 and 5.