Who Could Be New Jersey Devils Next Head Coach After Lindy Ruff Firing?

Lindy Ruff's time as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils is officially over. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald now faces the biggest decision of his Devils tenure when he begins his head coaching search. There are plenty of good options, but who is the right one to take a budding young Devils team to the top?

New Jersey Devils v Vancouver Canucks
New Jersey Devils v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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The Lindy Ruff era is over. After almost four seasons as head coach, general manager Tom Fitzgerald finally relieved Ruff of his duties on Monday evening. The move came after a California swing that saw the team lose to the lowly Anaheim Ducks and a no-show against the Los Angeles Kings.

Lindy Ruff's tenure as the head coach of the Devils was a fascinating one. He was a surprise hire after serving as an assistant with the New York Rangers. However, Ruff was tasked with a challenging and unforgiving job: develop the bevy of youth in the organization into a league powerhouse.

Unfortunately for Ruff, three out of the four years were downright bad. Years one and two of his tenure were excusable, but after a franchise record-setting third year, the 2023-24 season was a disaster. He is deserving of his flowers for what he accomplished in 2022-23, but with a target on their backs this season, the Devils completely flopped.

For now, the Devils will ride out the remainder of the season with assistant coach Travis Green as the interim head coach before Fitzgerald embarks on the most important offseason of his career. Similar to his last coaching search, the net should be cast wide, and there should be no stone left unturned. Until we get an official hiring in the summer, here are just a few of the names that could be in contention.

Travis Green - Interim Head Coach

Let's get the easiest one out of the way. Green was hired this past offseason as an assistant and associate head coach, replacing Andrew Brunette. The first few months of his tenure went about as well as they could've gone. Tasked with running the power play, the Devils had the number one unit in the league through the first two months, clicking at over 40%. Nowadays, the power play is lucky if they don't give up a shorthanded goal.

Nevertheless, Green has head coaching experience with Vancouver from 2017-2022, taking them to the Western Conference semi-finals in 2019-20. Green will have a 21-game audition to make his case for the full-time gig. If he can drastically turn the team's game around and at least get close to a playoff spot, Green has a legitimate shot at the job.