New coach John Hynes (NJ.com)
With almost every other head coaching vacancy filled up (and Detroit expected to hire its own AHL coach), the Devils had their pick of what was remaining out on the head coach market and GM Ray Shero unsurprisingly chose to hire someone familar for his first big move with the Devils, with word leaking out the team will name Wilkes-Barre coach John Hynes as the new head coach in a noon presser tomorrow. Also not surprisingly, Pittsburgh will receive compensation for this hire, most likely in the form of one of our three third-round picks next season.
Make no mistake though, nepotism aside Hynes is a worthy candidate in his own right given his excellent record in five seasons with Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate (231-126-27), making the playoffs every season despite having largely questionable young talent. And in what’s music to Devil fan purists’s ears, WBS was #1 in the AHL four out of his five seasons in lowest GAA. Clearly with where this team is at they need to get back to accentuating defense first although his system isn’t entirely one-dimensional given their +49 goal differential this season. By all accounts Hynes is also highly regarded in terms of his communication skills and hockey acumen, according to this blog from a Pittsburgh newspaper:
Hynes will also become the youngest head coach in the NHL, at 40 years old he’s barely older than current franchise mainstay Patrik Elias.