New Jersey Devils: 3 Biggest Decisions Of Offseason For Tom Fitzgerald

General manager Tom Fitzgerald of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
General manager Tom Fitzgerald of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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New Jersey Devils
Head coach Lindy Ruff of the New Jersey Devils. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Decision #3: Find a Great Coaching Staff

here is the most significant decision Fitzgerald must make during the offseason. Lindy Ruff has been with the Devils for almost two whole years. The team hasn’t changed itself and is now at the bottom of the league. While it’s not just Ruff’s fault, this is happening, and it’s clear that whatever coaching style he is attempting doesn’t work. In the past couple of months, Ruff’s undoubtedly made a lot of coaching errors. One big one was not deciding to call a timeout earlier in the Florida Panthers game when the Panthers started to come back. Ruff isn’t the only person on the coaching staff who must go. Mark Recchi and Alain Nassreddine both also need to be let go.

Hiring Recchi may have been a good idea on paper to improve the powerplay, but the powerplay has been the worst powerplay we’ve seen in recent years. It feels like the Devils have given up more shorthanded goals than scoring on the powerplay with Recchi there. While Jack Hughes not being there is an issue, it’s still on Recchi to change it so it can still work, and it’s just not there. Alain Nassreddine is also a coach who needs to be let go and has been around for a while. Nassreddine’s work on the penalty kill is also inconsistent at times, and while he is not as bad as Recchi, he still needs to go.

Where do the Devils go from here on in the coaching staff? If Fitzgerald wants to make a good decision on the coaching staff, he should call up Kevin Dineen and his staff from Utica to coach here. Former Devils legend Sergei Brylin is on that staff and has made their powerplay the 2nd best in the Eastern Conference and the 5th best powerplay in the AHL. Having that kind of powerplay would be excellent for the team.

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Ryan Parent would also be a good assistant coach for the team as he has also had success in Utica. If the Devils decide not to go this route, there are other coaches they could try and bring in. One important name that fans want is coach Rikard Grönberg who is currently with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland. Gronberg is undoubtedly a good idea for an NHL coach who can help change the way this roster can produce since it’s such at a young age. While there are other coaches out there, these are possibly the best options for Fitzgerald to get. Hopefully, one of these coaches will be what Fitzgerald decides during the offseason.