This season I’ve been sticking to game recaps/reviews but had to interrupt the normally scheduled programming for a breaking news update of moderate importance. Of all things, I found out about coach John Hynes’ extension while listening to WFAN during the 11 AM update, host Evan Roberts made mention of Devil news and I was worried it had to do with either Taylor Hall’s injury or an update on Andy Greene who also left last night’s game due to injury. When I heard in fact it was an extension for Hynes, I was…bemused to a degree.
I haven’t been as anti-Hynes as a lot of Devil fans this season and still like and respect the man personally, but to be honest last night’s game really soured me a lot on the current staff including the head coach. When you have veteran defensemen continually making rookie mistakes, they’re either not getting taught anything or the system is just horribly wrong. I never figured he was getting fired in-season, mainly because the win-now urgency clearly isn’t there from the organization. Not to mention there really wasn’t anyone on the staff worthy of even being an interim in-season replacement. And as I’ve said before Joel Quenneville was a pipedream, no GM is going to hire a high-wattage head coach and pay him more money/give him more control and clearly Shero has prerogative in hiring and firing coaches unlike some organizations (cough Philly cough).
I wasn’t neccesarily expecting an in-season extension either but it probably isn’t a real surprise given his contract was likely up at the end of the year (he was hired four years ago and hadn’t been extended before so this was likely an option year or his last year on his initial contract). With word coming out it was a multi-year extension, it’s safe to say Hynes is now under contract at least through the end of 2020-21. You can argue whether or not Hynes’ ills and the team’s step back this year was because of goaltending, or decisions made above him with GM Ray Shero’s quiet offseason. If there is a good thing about this extension it’s that Shero didn’t scapegoat Hynes for his own failings toward making the team better this season compared to last year.