New Jersey Devils: Who Will Be Head Coach Next Season?

New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils, Utica Comets
Assistant coach Kevin Dineen: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The In-House Option: Kevin Dineen

Perhaps an intriguing option for the Devils is already in their organization. Kevin Dineen has been everywhere in his coaching career, including a head coaching job in Flordia during the Devils’ Stanley Cup run in 2011-2012. He has also been a coach for Anaheim’s AHL affiliates, Canada’s Women’s National Hockey Team’s Head Coach, and an assistant for John Quenneville in Chicago (2014-2018).

Dineen has obvious benefits: the ties with the prospects in Utica. Guys like Holtz, Clarke, Nemec, Bahl, and Foote all have experience with Dineen and could benefit from the continuity. With prior head coaching experience, Dineen may be the best equipped to lead the Devils among these options.

The issues with Dineen are important to discuss, however. While he has overseen an improved Utica side, he has not shown the ability to be successful with a very good roster. He had an insane stretch to start his coaching career in Utica, winning a record 12 straight to start the 2021-22 season. However, the consistency was never there, and the team ended up finishing roughly .500. The development of the prospects has been commendable, but being a coach is more than that, and Dineen’s inability to take this roster, especially the 2021-22 iteration, to the promised land or even into the later rounds of the AHL Playoffs is troubling.

Next. 5 Biggest Questions Headed Into Devils Offseason. dark


In conclusion, there are several options for the Devils to explore this offseason when it comes to their opening as head coach. They could opt to stay with the current setup or take a risk on “new blood.”

Bringing Spencer Carbery could be the best option. He is highly thought of around the league and, at just 41 years of age, will be able to grow with the team as well. The potential for an improved powerplay is also very intriguing, though that may not be as simple as it sounds. He seems like a coach with modern ideas and has won at every step of the coaching totem pool.

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