The New Jersey Devils slow start out of the gate isn’t good for anyone. The team must show their star player, Taylor Hall, that the team is competitive in order to convince him to stay and sign a long-term extension, and the team must now worry even more that Hall may choose not to re-sign if they can’t get things together. However, what about their head coach, John Hynes?
A poor start in a season (0-2-2) in which the team went out and traded for P.K. Subban and Nikita Gusev, while drafting Jack Hughes with the first-overall pick, is a disaster. While four games is hardly a reasonable sample size to immediately shake up the team with a coaching change, a few more losses and changes might be required to get the team to bounce back before the Devils fall into too deep a hole that might be impossible to get out of.
In fact, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks writes that Hynes is already on the hot seat if things continue heading south. Hynes has been with the Devils since the 2015-16 season and has only made the playoffs once, and that was the year that Hall carried the team on his back to squeak into the playoffs. With the amount of talent that general manager Ray Shero has brought in, many fingers will be pointed at Hynes for not being able to unlock the team’s offense, which hasn’t been able to put things together as of yet.
Of course, Brooks also points out that Shero is not prone to firing coaches during the season very often as the GM is a loyal man to his coaches, which likely suggests that Hynes will be given every chance to turn the team’s success around. On top of that, Shero hired Hynes back when he was an assistant GM in Pittsburgh and he hired the coach to be an assistant coach with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Hynes has worked his way up the ladder with Shero and eventually moved over to New Jersey in 2015.
Regardless, Hynes could be the first coach who could see a pink slip this season. Unfortunately, another issue with firing their head coach, the Devils also have to consider Hall as well. There aren’t a whole lot of quality options who could take over that might necessarily be better than Hynes, although Brooks wonders whether Scott Stevens could be a solid candidate if the team does want to go that way.
So, the question is, would firing Hynes solve the Devils problems?
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