The New Jersey Devils will reportedly introduce John Hynes as the club’s new head coach at a press conference on Tuesday at noon.
Hynes spent this season as head coach of the American Hockey League’s Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins.
Devils GM Ray Shero is quite familiar with Hynes. While the GM of the Penguins Shero promoted Hynes, 40, to be the head coach in Wilkes Barre-Scranton in 2010.
Hynes also has a prior relationship with Devils’ goaltender Cory Schneider.
“I actually had coach Hynes when I was playing for the under-18 team (2003-04). He was the head coach of the U.S. team and then he was an assistant at the world juniors,” Schneider told Rich Chere of The Star-Ledger. “Obviously it’s been a little while since then, but I do remember him being extremely detailed and prepared and a great motivator.
“He’s definitely a younger guy and I know we’re trying to transition that way. I had a great experience with him and hopefully he’s the right fit for us.”
Hynes posted a 231-126-27 record in five AHL seasons and took the Penguins to the playoffs in each season.
The topic of 3-on-3 overtime is one of a few topics on the agenda for Thursday’s competition committee meeting.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes we could see a 3-on-3 overtime format tested during the preseason, but not implemented for the 2015-16 regular season.
Also on the agenda for this week’s meeting is the coach’s challenge, the idea of the center in the defensive zone putting his stick down first during face-offs and the salary cap escalator.
Recommendations made at the competition committee meeting would have to be voted on by the NHL’s Board of Governors in late June prior to being implemented for the 2015-16 season.
The aforementioned topics were all initially discussed at the March general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Florida.
General managers Ken Holland, Don Maloney, David Poile along with Ed Snider will represent league (with Colin Campbell in a non-voting role) at the meeting in New York.
Mike Cammalleri, Cory Schneider, Kevin Shattenkirk and Daniel Winnik represent the NHLPA (with Mathieu Schneider in a non-voting role).
New Jersey Devils co-owner Josh Harris is frustrated about the fact that his team hasn’t advanced to the postseason since he bought them along with David Blitzer in August 2013 and if they miss the playoffs again next season, he would be disappointed. But he wants to take a long-term view of the Devils, even if it means that there might be some short-term pain.
“There are no shortcuts … we’re going to make decisions that allow us to be an elite team and that’s not being one and done in the playoffs,” Harris told the Bergen Record. “Being one and done in the playoffs is not really interesting from my point of view. So, that means being deep in the playoffs and in the hunt for the Stanley Cup and ultimately competing for the Stanley Cup and winning the Stanley Cup. So, putting a time frame on it, if it takes a little time to achieve that, we’re going to make decisions that are consistent with that goal. And I can’t put a time frame on it. I can tell you I want it to be as fast as possible.”
The Devils already have a great goaltender in Cory Schneider and their defense is promising too, but the Achilles’ heel has been their offense. New GM Ray Shero will work to address that, but based on Harris’ comments, he might be unlikely to offer up much in the way of picks or prospects for veteran help.
It’s worth adding that when asked if the Devils would consider offers for the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Harris felt it was important to keep everything on the table. However, given their long-term mandate, the circumstances in which they would move that pick are probably narrow.
Lou Lamoriello announced today that he’ll be handing over the general manager’s job to Ray Shero while retaining his position as team president. Shero appreciates all that Lamoriello has done since taking over in 1987, but in light of New Jersey’s recent struggles, he also wants to do things a bit differently.
“Lou and I have discussed a lot of things as far as philosophy. I’m not Lou and I’m not like Lou. And he’s not like me. We’re different,” Shero told NJ Advance Media. “There are a lot of different philosophies that we do share, but when you look Pittsburgh and New Jersey they are certainly different teams.
“You look at the Devils and it’s about his defensive philosophy. That’s been very successful for them. But in terms of where the are now and moving forward to be successful, let’s be honest. There has to be a complement of that with a philosophy of offensive hockey and scoring more goals. If not, there is not much room for error. Without that, goaltending and team defense can only take you so far.”
Shero has a lot of experience with offensively gifted teams from his days with Pittsburgh, but then, he had plenty to work with in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Devils ranked 28th in goals per game last season, but it’s not as if their defense-first approach has always gone hand-in-hand with offensive anemia. New Jersey was a middle-of-the-road team offensively in 2011-12 when it last made the playoffs and went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Back then the Devils had Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrik Elias, and Zach Parise leading the charge though. Parise and Kovalchuk have since left the team while Elias turned 39 in April.
Filling the void left by the departure of superstars is an extremely difficult task, but it’s the one Shero inherited. He’s already got a strong goaltending tandem in Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid and a promising blueline. Whether or not he is able to elevate the Devils’ offense to at least respectable levels could determine how his tenure with New Jersey will ultimately be viewed.
The New Jersey Devils have shored up their goaltending position for the foreseeable future, signing backup Keith Kinkaid to a two-year extension on Monday.
The deal, first reported by the Star-Ledger, will keep Kinkaid as Cory Schneider’s No. 2 through 2017 and comes on the heels of Kinkaid’s first full season in the role, during which he fared reasonably well — the 25-year-old went 6-5-4 in 19 appearances, posting a .915 save percentage and 2.59 GAA.
An undrafted free agent that the Devils signed out of Union College in 2011, Kinkaid spent nearly three full seasons with AHL Albany before making the jump to the bigs.
UPDATE: Per the Bergen Record, it’s $1.45 million over the two years for Kinkaid on a one-year deal, meaning he checks in with an average annual cap hit of $725,000.