Tag: coaching search

Guy Boucher Getty

Report: Hynes may be front-runner for Devils job (while Boucher’s out)


The New Jersey Devils’ pursuit of a new head coach continues, and while they may once again come out and refute the latest reports, it sounds like we can cross off some names and promote another.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that John Hynes (coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) may be the current front-runner. Meanwhile, McKenzie notes that one can probably cross former Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher (pictured) off the list of possible candidates, as it appears that he’ll continue to coach in Switzerland.

That last bit of news may be a bummer to some, as many found some entertainment in hypothesizing about the source of Boucher’s Bond villain-style scar. The guy also tended to make some humorously dramatic facial expressions, as you can see from this post’s main image.

(You could also make a joke about upping the use of the 1-3-1 trap in New Jersey, if you’re into especially nerdy hockey humor.)

Hynes certainly makes sense from a familiarity standpoint, as new Devils GM Ray Shero is quite familiar with him. Beyond that, he’s enjoyed quite a bit of success in the AHL and seemed to have a good chance to nab the Penguins’ gig last summer, at least according to betting odds.

By no means is this official, but McKenzie does discuss what would happen next if the Devils do make the decision:

Babcock decision looms: ‘I’ve talked to all the teams I’m talking to’

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers

Plenty of teams have been said to show some interest in Mike Babcock, even if it sounds like it may come down to the Buffalo Sabres or Detroit Red Wings. Whatever the case may be, it sounds like #BabWatch won’t last a whole lot longer.

If nothing else, the lauded head coach told MLive.com that he’s close to making a decision, and his interviewing process is finished.

“Just going to re-visit everything one more time (with Red Wings GM Ken Holland),” Babcock said on Monday. “I’ve talked to all the teams I’m talking to.”

He noted that he expects to sit down with his family tonight and that he’ll probably announce his choice on Wednesday. Of course, with the nature of hockey news and these sensitive choices, it’s possible something will come up sooner (or perhaps even later).

Let’s hope for the former, because the scuttlebutt can get wild in times like these. Also, this Photoshop might be seared into a brain or two:

Yet again: Jacques Lemaire will not be the Devils coach next year

Jacques Lemaire

When the season ended, there were plenty of teams who were looking to replace their head coaches. It’s interesting that the Devils are the only team that had their coach retire; and they’re the only team that is still looking for their head man. Even the Winnipeg Jets, who still had a head coach, have since moved, fired Craig Ramsay, and hired Claude Noel. All while the Devils continue to take their time and still don’t have a head coach.

As time goes on, there have been some questions whether Jacques Lemaire may consider a return to New Jersey for yet another go-around.  After all, the Devils looked like a completely different team when Lemaire took over for the fired John MacLean in December last season.  Tom Gulitti spoke to Lemaire about the Devils head coaching position on NorthJersey.com—and it certainly doesn’t sound like he’ll be coming back anytime soon.

““I’m waiting for Lou to make his decision,” Lemaire told me via phone this afternoon. “I’m excited like the fans, I guess, to find out who it’s going to be.”

Lemaire said he has no idea who it will be, but knows for certain who it won’t be.

“It’s not going to be me,” he said.”

That is the 900th denial from Lemaire for those keeping track at home. Unfortunately, until Lou Lamoriello and the Devils find a man to replace him behind the bench, he’ll have to keep enduring the same speculation. Since he denied there was any chance of returning, the attention turned to former head coach Larry Robinson for a day. Robinson has been in town running the prospects camp this week for the Devils, but as Lamoriello said that he’s not a candidate at this time. Going further, he said that he’s not “going to get into who is or who isn’t a candidate.” For fans who want to speculate, he’s not really giving them much to work with.

Over the summer, a few names have been rumored for the Devils coaching vacancy. Guy Carbonneau’s name came up when he resigned from his positions with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Michel Therrien was the reported front-runner a week ago and Ken Hitchcock has been linked to the position since the day it became available. But as Lamoriello has said, he won’t comment on an potential candidates for the head coaching position.

One the one hand, it doesn’t seem like there’s any rush to name a coach anytime soon. The prospect camp is the only big event between the draft and training camp—and Robinson has already taken the lead. The draft was run by Lamoriello in June and the summer is just a time for preparation. From an organizational standpoint, the only real deadline they’re facing is training camp in September. But from an pragmatic perspective, this isn’t something any team would want to drag on for the entire offseason. The new coach will want to have his say for any potential assistant coaches as well as some time to get acclimated to his new lineup. There’s no rush—but sooner they decide on coach, the better.

All we know for sure is that Jacques Lemaire won’t be that man.

Anxious to find out who will coach the Devils? You won’t find out this week

New Jersey Devils Introduce John MacLean As Head Coach
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Aside from Lindy Ruff in Buffalo or Barry Trotz in Nashville, there aren’t many coaches who can say they’ve enjoyed genuine long-term job security in the NHL. Even keeping that general atmosphere of instability in mind, New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has developed a reputation for being an especially reactionary executive when it comes to firing coaches.

(It’s not bad luck alone that explains why he will hire his seventh coach in seven seasons, after all.)

Perhaps that checkered past explains why Lamoriello is taking his sweet time to name a new bench boss this time around, then. The Devils are the only team in the league that is without a head coach, leading to plenty of speculation (some if it even reasonable) during the last few months.

Some thought that Kirk Muller or Guy Carbonneau might inject some new life into the Devils scheme. Others wondered if the team might go with a safer “retread” such as former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Michel Therrien or former Devils foe Ken Hitchcock. All kinds of interesting names have been bandied about, but nothing has come to fruition so far.

Lamoriello told assembled media members that the rumor mill will be able to keep generating hot air for at least the rest of this week, too.

“We will have a coach in the very near future, but not this week,” Lamoriello said.

Lamoriello was also asked if any of the coaches running the team’s camp, including Larry Robinson, Scott Stevens, Adam Oates, Chris Terreri, Jacques Caron, former Trenton (ECHL) coach Kevin Dean or Albany coach Rick Kowalski, would be in line for the position.

“I’m not going to get into discussions with reference to the coaching staff or anything of that nature,” he said. “There’s (no coach) that has been named, so you can interpret it any way you want.”

As usual, Lamoriello is doing things his own way. The most torturous part for impatient types is that he didn’t even commit to making a decision next week, either. That being said, he might want to make that choice soon with Zach Parise’s potential arbitration hearing on the horizon. We’ll keep you informed whether he makes that choice this week, next week or in a month or three.

Craig Ramsay will not coach Winnipeg next season, search narrowed to Noel and Haviland

Image (1) thrasherscoachramsay-thumb-250x347-20816.jpg for post 3526

The writing must have been on the wall when Craig Ramsay was told that he’d have to interview for his own job, but Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff made it official when he told Ramsay he would not be retained for next season. The move isn’t terribly surprising as the team has already opened the interview process for a new coach. In fact, it was rumored that Cheveldayoff was going to bring in his own coach from the day he was hired. Still, the decision must hurt as Ramsay still had a year on his three-year contract.

Bringing in a lame-duck coach for an interview sounded uncomfortable to say the least. If the GM wasn’t happy with the direction of the team, they why would he bring in the former coach for an interview? The always classy Ramsay expressed that it was an awkward process for all involved, but respected the way Cheveldayoff handled an extremely difficult situation:

“The whole situation was pretty awkward. Kevin handled his part well. They just didn’t feel they could make a significant commitment to me. He must have had other coaches in mind.”

“It was tough on everybody. It’s too bad it took so long. … I’ve been in the league for 40 years. I don’t want to stop coaching. Hopefully, something pops up. It will work out.”

The second part of Ramsay’s quote is certainly worth noting. Even though most of the head coaching vacancies stayed open for an extended period of time, most of the openings were filled last week amidst a flurry of hirings. Now Ramsay is left without a chair as the music is about to stop in the NHL coaches’ annual game of musical chairs. If he were given his walking papers when Kevin Cheveldayoff took over the GM role on June 7, Ramsay could have had the opportunity to apply for openings in Minnesota, Dallas, or Ottawa. As of today, only New Jersey and Winnipeg have head coach openings.

Then again, this was a different situation that called for different solutions. It’s normal for a new GM to want to bring in his own guys to make it “his team.” Since it’s a new team with a new GM in a new city—it’s natural for the team to be led by a new head coach as well.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the search for a new head coach has been narrowed down to Chicago Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland and Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel. Included in the same article is speculation that a final decision could be made this week before the NHL Draft in Minnesota this weekend.

Both of the remaining candidates have ties that could give them the inside track to the job in Winnipeg. Haviland has been an assistant with the Blackhawks over the last three seasons. For the last two seasons, he’s worked with Cheveldayoff who had been the assistant GM under Stan Bowman. On the other hand, True North is familiar with Claude Noel since they also own the Manitoba Moose.

Neither applicant has ever held a permanent head coaching position at the NHL level—a fact that could change as early as this week.