Let’s start with the obvious. This one might be cheating since Sergei Brylin has been coaching within the New Jersey Devils organization for nine years now, but he’s never done it at the NHL level. He followed the Devils’ AHL affiliate from Albany to Binghamton and now to Utica. He’s seen the team play terribly, and now he’s back to a team that’s actually pretty good. He’s getting a lot out of the team’s AHL roster, and he’s hoping to help the team make a comeback against the Rochester Americans in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Brylin has been in the AHL long enough to prove himself as an assistant coach. It would make a lot of sense for him to get the call up to the main roster.
Brylin is one of the few players who was on the roster for all three Stanley Cup wins. He’s someone who scratched and clawed his way into the NHL. Those are the types of players who become great NHL coaches. He can show a struggling player how to turn it around. He can put a star player in their place if need be. He has three Stanley Cup rings, so he demands respect whenever it is deemed necessary.
Brylin would come in and bring calm to the coaching staff. He knows what it takes to build a winner. He’s someone who can push the Devils in the right direction, and he’s someone we know the front office respects. This isn’t the same front office that won those three Stanley Cup rings, but they respect the past enough to honor it in the right ways. Sarge deserves a shot in the NHL, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to move up.