The Devils finally did something about the mess their mess of a 2010-11 season.
The defending Atlantic Division champions fired head coach John MacLean (right) and replaced him with his predecessor Jacques Lemaire.
After serving as the team's coach of it's AHL affiliate, MacLean, a former player, was promoted this past offseason to head coach to replace Lemaire who was heading into retirement.
The Devils have struggled mightily this season stumbling to a 9-20-2 record for 20 points, fewest in the NHL. New Jersey is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 1995-96.
Lemaire is one of the most accomplished coaches in NHL history. His 588 wins are the eight-best total in NHL history. And he led the Devils to the franchise's first Stanley Cup title in 1995. Last season, the directed the team to a 48-27-7 record and an Atlantic Division title.
MacLean is the second Atlantic Division coach to be fired this season. The Islanders dismissed Scott Gordon Nov. 15 and replaced him with Jack Capuano.
EN Says: This move had to be made, but the Devils' problems are much larger than MacLean or even Lemaire. The ill-fitting signing of Ilya Kovalchuk has hurt this team in a multitude of ways. Even if you throw out his huge salary cap number which prevented the team from using a complete lineup for a handful of games, Kovalchuk has never been fully enveloped into the Devils' team-first approach. That's not to say he's a selfish individual, he's just not a guy who has ever succeeded in the confines of a highly-structured environement like the Devils organization.
Additionally, injuries - most notably Zach Parise's wonky knee - have hurt this team quite a bit.
Will this move help the Devils, yes. But it might be too late.
(Photo: Bill Kostroun/Associated Press)