The New Jersey Devils won’t be playing any more hockey for quite some time as one of the teams not included in the 24-team format, but that doesn’t mean they can take a vacation. The front office has plenty of work to do this offseason, including making a decision on interim GM Tom Fitzgerald and interim coach Alain Nasreddine.
On the coaching side, reports have surfaced over the last several weeks the Devils have shown interest in several top names. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet writes that New Jersey is “eyeing at least four candidates” with Nasreddine, Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, and John Stevens the known contenders.
Laviolette comes with the most experience as an NHL head coach, with over 1,300 games behind the bench. He also comes with a ton of regular season success—only one team coached by Laviolette has finished under .500—but doesn’t have nearly as much in the postseason.
Gallant meanwhile is another coach with plenty of success, though his last two stops have ended abruptly. After taking the Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season and getting them back to the playoffs in year two, the organization made a switch in 2019-20.
Obviously at this point there is no rush in bringing in the next Devils head coach, especially if next season doesn’t start until January. But for a franchise that once went to the playoffs 19 times in 20 years (including four trips to the finals and three cups) there must be a lot of anxious energy to get things back on track.