Scott Stevens Deserves To Be A Devils Assistant Coach


When the New Jersey Devils and GM Ray Shero announced John Hynes would be the next head coach, pretty much everyone was happy. Someone who had to be somewhat disappointed was Devils legendary defenseman Scott Stevens. Stevens interviewed with Shero for the head coach position prior to Hynes being selected. Scott Stevens wasn’t as qualified as Hynes, but that doesn’t mean he cannot continue the work he did last season.

As part of the three-man coaching staff that took over after Peter DeBoer was fired last season, Scott Stevens helped the young defensemen grow. Perhaps the best example of Scott Stevens’ work last season was in the improved play of Adam Larsson. Below is what Stevens had to say on how Larsson’s game improved last season.

"“He gained confidence, he got stronger in his one-on-one battles, his skating, his stick. He was playing against top players. We were asking him to do a lot, but I think he cherished the role and it’s only going to help his game. He did a great job defensively.”"

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At the end of last season both

Adam Oates

and Scott Stevens had expressed their interest publicly in the vacant head coach position. With Oates having already served as the head coach in Washington, Shero knew what he could expect from him in the Devils role. However with Scott Stevens no one knew the type of head coach he would likely turn out to be. In the end, his inexperience was likely the determining factor in the eyes of Ray Shero and Stevens knows he did what was best for the organization.

"“There’s no question I believe the Devils are going to be rebuilding and he’s probably the way to go. Go with a guy that is young and has worked with young players and developed young players and earned their respect.”"

This quote is also very important because of the emphasis of working with and developing young players. Scott Stevens proved he could work well with young players (the defense) and help further their development last season. He may not have the amount of experience needed to be a head coach in this league, but he does have the knowledge and ability to help young players grow. In order to keep the young defensemen on track growth wise I feel the Devils should keep Scott Stevens on as an assistant coach.

“I haven’t looked elsewhere, the Devils are my first choice, no question about that.”Scott Stevens

Being an assistant coach is a role that Scott Stevens has already said he’d be more than willing to accept. ““I’m just interested in being in hockey whether it’s a head coach at some point or an assistant,” he said. Stevens is the type of coach that John Hynes could utilize behind the bench due to his established relationships with the current team and his NHL experience. Having a combination of Stevens and another assistant coach of Hynes’ choosing would give the Devils an excellent group of leadership behind the bench.

The New Jersey Devils have a lot of things they need to accomplish this off-season. Finding two assistant coaches is on their to-do list, but it doesn’t need to be an extensive search. Having a coach like Scott Stevens willing and ready to join on the new coaching staff is something Shero and Hynes need to utilize. He has earned his spot alongside Hynes and it would be a big mistake to leave him off next year’s coaching staff. Here’s to hoping they make the right decision and bring Scott Stevens back.

Next: New Jersey Devils Are Undergoing A Change In Team Culture