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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Bruce Boudreau
Most Recent Stop: Vancouver Canucks

Bruce Boudreau’s last stop was just a mess. It seemed like he was a sitting duck in 2022, only being there until the Canucks decided to fire him. That’s not a good situation for anyone to coach in, especially a guy with more than three decades of experience. Boudreau’s career started when he was still play, acting as a player-assistant in the IHF in 1990. Since then, he’s won championships in the ECHL, AHL, and he’s coached for four different NHL franchises. 

Yet, he’s lacked the NHL success of some of the other coaches on the list despite being one of the oldest still trying to do this. He’s been to the conference finals once in 15 years of coaching, and he lost. He makes the playoffs often, so there’s that, and he’s very well liked across the league, which is also nice, but the Devils need to get this one right. If Fitzgerald hires the wrong guy, it’s likely he’s going down with the ship. 

Will he trust his franchise with another man likely past his prime? Boudreau is 69 years old. How long can he realistically do this? Even if this is just a “for now” hiring, the Devils need to set a plan of succession for Boudreau. This would lead to another hiring process on its own, and then the Devils would leave itself vulnerable to losing that coach like it lost Andrew Brunette

Boudreau is a big name and a fine coach, but his age is always going to be the number-one reason GMs are hesitant to hire him. He also doesn’t have a Stanley Cup to his name, which hurts his ability to sell his style. We’ll see, as Boudreau is a popular name right now.