3 coaches not currently in the NHL the Devils can pursue following Lindy Ruff release

The New Jersey Devils will be embarking on a coaching search come the NHL offseason, so which coaches not currently in the NHL could they target?
Lausanne HC v ZSC Lions - National League
Lausanne HC v ZSC Lions - National League / RvS.Media/Monika Majer/GettyImages
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Matt McIlvane, San Diego Gulls

Matt McIlvane made his return to North America this season following a four-year stint in Austria with EC Salzburg. He also served as an assistant in Europe with EC Salzburg and EHC Munchen. After a successful stint, the Anaheim Ducks came calling, and despite a not so great season for the AHL’s San Diego Gulls so far, McIlvane’s overall head coaching experience should warrant him strong consideration this summer. 

It’s also worth mentioning that McIlvane improved the Gulls dramatically in his first season in San Diego. In 2022-23, they were among the worst teams in the AHL, with just 43 points and a 20-49-2-1 record. This year, McIlvane already led them to 46 points in just 51 contests; still not an ideal record, but a dramatic improvement nonetheless. 

Should the Devils take a chance on McIlvane, they are getting a coach who is used to working with and developing young talent, and that would mesh well in Newark. Thanks to his experience, McIlvane should also help the Devils do a better job in handling young players in the system if hired, and that could go a long way. 

Further, with Greg Cronin closing in on the end of his first season with a rebuilding Anaheim Ducks team, it doesn’t look like McIlvane would move up within the system any time soon, so if another organization comes calling, he should answer. 


(Data provided by theAHL.com and Elite Prospects as of March 5th)