Many in the New Jersey community believed that the New Jersey Devils who are in need of a permanent general manager in the future, would likely just hand the reigns over to interim GM Tom Fitzgerald. After all, he did a solid job at the trade deadline, picking up a number of solid picks and prospects for several bottom-six options. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, reports that the team will not just hand the team over to Fitzgerald and have already begun interviewing with former Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis.
While the Devils are likely to take their GM search into the offseason before naming one and Fitzgerald will be a highly-considered candidate, the Devils were able to get an interview with Gillis on the fact that the 61-year-old isn’t affiliated with any NHL team at the moment. Any other candidates the Devils will want to interview will have to wait until the offseason.
Gillis took over general manager duties in 2008 and stayed in that position until 2014 and was instrumental in the team reaching the playoffs in five out of those six seasons, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals during the 2010-11 season in which the Canucks lost in seven games to the Boston Bruins. While his tenure was successful, Gillis might be best remembered as the GM who handed goaltender Roberto Luongo a 12-year, $64MM contract that Vancouver is still paying off until 2022.