TSN Insider Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the New Jersey Devils continue to work on signing head coach Lindy Ruff to a multi-year extension. Ruff had the option on his contract picked up for this season but will be a free agent at the end of the 2023-24 season. Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald told Lebrun that the intention is to sign Ruff long-term, but didn’t give any details as to whether or not there are any sticking points or holdups in the negotiations.
Last season, Ruff led the Devils on their first playoff run since 2018 with a record of 52-22-8 finishing second in the Metropolitan Division. The Devils knocked off the New York Rangers in the first round in seven games before falling in the second round to the Carolina Hurricanes. For his career, Ruff has coached for three organizations (Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, New Jersey) and has a career record of 834-652-78.
In other coaching news:
- LeBrun added that he believes the Los Angeles Kings and Head Coach Todd McLellan are also working on an extension at this time. Few details were given, but much like Ruff, McLellan is in the final season of his existing contract. In four seasons with the Kings, the 55-year-old has guided the club to a 141-115-34 record that includes back-to-back first-round playoff losses to the Edmonton Oilers. McLellan’s contract negotiation could be interesting as he reportedly is making $5MM in the final year of a five-year $25MM contract he signed in April of 2019.
- LeBrun said on TSN Insider Trading that the Carolina Hurricanes and Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour have yet to discuss an extension. Much like Ruff and McLellan, Brind’Amour will be a free agent at the end of the year. Lebrun did speak to Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon who said that the Hurricanes do intend to engage Brind’Amour and get him signed to a contract extension very soon. Brind’Amour is widely considered to be one of the top coaches in the NHL and would likely initiate a large bidding war if his services were ever offered up on the open market.