The New Jersey Devils haven’t exactly told us what they are doing at the head coaching position. Does the Boston Bruins firing of Bruce Cassidy change how they feel about Lindy Ruff?
The New Jersey Devils have not really said what they are doing with the head coaching spot next season. As of now, we just know everyone is under evaluation. That was the mantra from Tom Fitzgerald during exit interviews. However, the Devils also let Lindy Ruff conduct the exit interviews with the players.
We’ve been waiting for a shoe to drop to show whether the Devils were going forward with Ruff next season or if they are going on another coaching search. Many just assumed that the Devils were sticking with Ruff thanks to the radio silence, but the Bruins reminded us that anything can happen.
Wait, what? The Boston Bruins just let Bruce Cassidy go after six seasons with the team. He made the playoffs every season. He was a head coach for the Washington Capitals in the early 2000s, and then he had to wait 13 years to get another chance. He made the most of it, and the Bruins were one of the best teams in the league during his tenure.
The New Jersey Devils should consider a change in head coach. Bruce Cassidy changed the coaching market completely.
Should the Devils change their coaching decisions after Bruce Cassidy became available? They should, right? If Cassidy is allowing a team like the Devils to be a part of his search, then it makes a lot of sense. He’s one of the best coaches in the league. While he has failed to get far in the playoffs, he’s incredibly consistent. He took a talented Bruins team and turned them into a powerhouse.
The Bruins are probably looking at a really down year next season. Brad Marchand is going to miss time, Patrice Bergeron could retire, the goalie situation is still not 100% settled (although that’s the least of the team’s worries), and the team is looking at one of the biggest drops in talent over one offseason. It makes sense if the Bruins were looking at a rebuilding year that they’d want to do that with a coach who could build with them.
The Devils are looking to finish their rebuild. They have the talent. They need the structure. Cassidy will bring that with him.
It’s been a strange coaching market this offseason. Barry Trotz was surprisingly fired a few weeks ago. The Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, Detroit Red Wings, and the Dallas Stars have all announced they have openings for head coaches. There are also unresolved interim coaches in Florida, Edmonton, and Chicago. The only coaching opening that’s been filled is the Islanders, who hired an internal candidate.
The Devils coaching situation hasn’t been resolved yet. At least, it hasn’t been publically. The right candidate will change things. Cassidy might be the right candidate to transition to the next era of Devils hockey. He’s proven he can go through the trials and tribulations of the regular season. He can come in and teach this young core how to do it.