5 New Jersey Devils Head Coaching Options Available Right Now

The New Jersey Devils fired Lindy Ruff after one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history. Now, Tom Fitzgerald has to find the perfect head coach for this team. Who could he target that has no obligations to overcome?
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The New Jersey Devils need a new head coach. They fired Lindy Ruff on March 4th after a disastrous West Coast road trip. It was clear this team was not going to succeed under Ruff. It wasn’t happening this season, and that likely meant it wouldn’t happen in the future. This team was broken and it needed another voice.

Fitzgerald went with Travis Green, Ruff’s Associate Head Coach and the former Vancouver Canucks head coach. His experience in a high-pressure environment made many think he could take over the main role eventually. Unfortunately for the Devils, the team fell further and further out of the playoff race despite the teams ahead of them constantly losing. 

It’s clear that the Devils need a brand new voice in the room. Ruff was the seventh coach fired this season. That means there are a lot of coaches still available who could be really good for the Devils. Let’s talk about them. 

Craig Berube
Most Recent Stop: St. Louis Blues

We’ve heard a lot of people calling for Craig Berube to get a shot to be the Devils’ next head coach. Most like him for one reason. He’s tough on his players. He doesn’t accept mistakes, and he will tell this team to play the right kind of hockey.

Berube famously took a team that was in last place all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. The Blues won the Cup in 2019 with Berube holding the interim title. He eventually got the big job, and they even won the very competitive Central Division in the Covid-shortened 2020 season. Berube would lead the Blues to the playoffs two more times, but facing the reality of back-to-back seasons where they missed the playoffs was enough for St. Louis to move on. 

There is one piece of this that’s hard to overcome: his system is aggressive like Ruff’s. However, his system requires more responsibility. If the Devils hire Berube, they do need to make some defensive upgrades to make sure they never repeat this season again.