New Jersey Devils Show Tom Fitzgerald Isn’t A Lock For GM

New Jersey Devils owner Joshua Harris (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
New Jersey Devils owner Joshua Harris (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils just went through a very important NHL Trade Deadline with current interim GM Tom Fitzgerald. The most recent news we’ve heard shows that doesn’t mean he’s getting the job.

This New Jersey Devils team looks a lot different this week than it did at the beginning of the month. In the past two weeks, the Devils traded Blake Coleman, Wayne Simmonds, Andy Greene, Sami Vatanen and Louis Domingue.

That’s a lot of NHL talent that any general manager might trade in one two-week span. It’s crazy for the interim GM of an NHL team to make those kinds of moves. The decisions of Tom Fitzgerald over the last 14 days have a long-standing impact on this hockey team. It seemed like the Devils were ready to go as all in on Fitzgerald as he went on the rebuild.

That’s what makes this weekend’s news that the Devils were holding interviews for the GM job that much more surprising. They brought in former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis for an interview for the current position.

However, the candidate himself seems interesting to say the least. Everyone we seem to hear from on Gillis thinks that he’d have no interest in a GM job. Vancouver Sun reporter Patrick Johnston seems to think this isn’t a GM interview at all.

"If Gillis were to join the Devils, doubt he’d be the GM. Certainly not in the conventional sense. From speaking with him over the last while, that not a role he’s terribly interested in. You’ll be shocked to hear he wants to work with a group that’s thinking in new ways."

Gillis was fired by the Canucks back in 2014, and hasn’t worked as a GM since. He spent five years studying the game and the new direction hockey was going in. He told Sportsnet he didn’t want another GM job, so this turn of events is interesting to say the least.

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Maybe the fact of who the Devils interviewed is important, but it’s the fact they’re interviewing anyone at all this close to making major, team-changing moves like they did. Less than one week after the trade deadline, the Devils are looking at people to replace the person who made those major decisions.

We all basically assumed that Fitzgerald was the guy when he took control of so many moves, especially the Blake Coleman deal. He got an amazing haul in Nolan Foote and a 1st-round pick. The other trades brought them a total of three likely draft picks and three prospects. He may not get the chance to see how those draft picks and prospects turn out.