The Devils have promoted from within and named one of their greatest players, John MacLean (right), as their next head coach. MacLean served as the head coach of their AHL affiliate in Lowell last season and had a record of 39-31-4-6 while leading that team to its first playoff appereance since 2000. Prior to that, MacLean served as an assistant coach under various head coaches with the NHL team.
MacLean, 45, is the all-time leading goal-scorer in Devils/Rockies/Scouts franchise history with 347 goals and is second to current Devils forward Patrik Elias in points with 701. MacLean was a member of New Jersey's first Stanley Cup team in 1995.
Former Penguins head coach Michel Therrien, still under contract to the Penguins, was considered a finalist for the position.
EN Says: Consdiering it looked like Therrien or Chicago assistant John Haviland were the two finalists for the job, this is a bit of a surprise. But it is refreshing to see a new face behind an NHL bench instead of a retread which is what Therrien would be.
The Devils will be the same exact structured team which contends for the Atlantic Division title and will likely get a top four seed in the Eastern Conference next season. But it's the playoffs where MacLean will need to make a difference. Since last winning the Stanley Cup in 2003, the Devils have not advance past the second round under coaches Pat Burns, Lamoriello, Brent Sutter or Jacques Lemaire. MacLean needs to find away to get this team over the hump.