5 Coaches Currently In Jobs New Jersey Devils Must Keep An Eye On

The New Jersey Devils most important decision this offseason is to hire a new coach. There are five coaches who might be available if things don't go right in the playoffs.
Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan
Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Sheldon Keefe
Toronto Maple Leafs

This one needs some work. Sheldon Keefe seems like he should be a championship-level coach, but he hasn't won much with the Maple Leafs. Yet, when new GM Brad Treliving came in, he immediately gave Keefe a two-year contract extension despite the trepidation around his tenure. Now, he's entering another playoff race. He does that with a historic season from Auston Matthews and William Nylander looking like a top-20 player.

This is the season for the Maple Leafs to make a run. Of course, there's one issue with that. It's the same issue the Devils have had for most of the season. The Leafs never really fixed their goalie issue. Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll is their duo with Martin Jones as the emergency option. None of them have a save percentage over .910.

We've seen coaches get fired because of bad goaltending. It's very likely that's what happened to Lindy Ruff this season. Even if the Devil got normal below-average goaltending, they would be in a playoff spot. Keefe can make that excuse if goaltending costs them in their likely playoff matchup with the Bruins, but excuses only go so far.

The question then should be, do the Devils want Keefe? It could very well be that the spotlight of Toronto is not worth it, and it's impossible to succeed as a head coach. The Devils have a much easier media landscape, and Keefe could focus on being a good coach and not answering strange media questions. However, it does matter what else is out there. The Devils should be shooting for the very best coaching option available.