The New Jersey Devils head coaching situation is still being evaluated. Lindy Ruff spoke to the media on Monday and did not give a definitive answer on his future.
It’s the day many New Jersey Devils fans have been waiting for, but we still don’t have answers on the future of head coach Lindy Ruff. The man tied for the fifth-most wins in the history of the NHL won’t learn whether he can try and move up on the list, at least for now. He spoke to the media on Monday, and he says he isn’t entirely sure what comes next. Pucks and Pitchforks beat reporter Dan Rice was covering the presser.
We learned when asked if he was specifically going to come back and coach the New Jersey Devils next season, Ruff said “we’re all being evaluated”. That includes his assistant coaches Alain Nasreddine, Mark Recchi, Chris Taylor, and Dave Rogalski. Everyone could be gone, nobody could be gone, or Ruff could be forced to bring in a new staff.
Ruff went on to say that playoffs are a must next season. They won’t accept competing next season, as they had set as expectations this season. Next year, it has to turn into a postseason berth.
It’s not the news most fans wanted. In fact, the non-answer probably makes no one happy, but fans should be patient. The Devils are going to evaluate who they could actually hire before firing/promoting Lindy Ruff to the front office. What if the Devils want to hire someone quickly, but then they learn Sheldon Keefe, Bruce Boudreau, or Barry Trotz becomes available? What if the same thing happens and they already signed on to keep Ruff? They need time to evaluate this when it’s not so fresh in their minds.
They took a ton of time to make a hire last time, and the process did not go well. They interviewed Gerard Gallant and Peter Laviolette, but both asked for more than the Devils were willing to give. They ended up in Washington and New York, two direct rivals of the Devils. Meanwhile, the Devils felt like they were settling for Ruff. He’s done well at what he’s good at, developing talent. However, wins have not followed.
Give it time, and hopefully the Devils make the right decision. We won’t know if this is the right decision until we see the results. We hate patience, but unfortunately, that’s what we need right now.