As reported by Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.ca, he said, “It has previously been reported the New Jersey Devils coaching candidates were Alain Nasreddine (incumbent), Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, John Stevens and a “mystery candidate.” He then said, “Hearing that is New York Rangers assistant Lindy Ruff, head coach in BUF (1997-2013) and DAL (2013-17).”
From the data I have overseen from his coaching over the years, he collected between Buffalo and Dallas a total record of 382-482. Part of this was done though 17 games with the Buffalo Sabres. In Dallas with a 482 win percentage, there were 11 skaters and two goalies at the age of 30 and seemed to have scored 183 points out of the teams 596 points scored which is 30.7% of the teams scoring in that 2016-17 season with a lot of veterans.
To me, Ruff’s last final winning season with Dallas is where 12 players scored a total of 666 points (yes the heretics anthem, Slipknot, Devils reference) that season where the average top 12 players on Dallas averaged 55.5 points under Lindy Ruff from Jordie Benn scoring 12 points and Tyler Seguin 89 points that season. The problem under Ruff the next season were goals against statistically at 2.60 vs. the NHL’s 2.23 GAA.
As a podcaster and a contributor here at TPA covering this Devils article, I find Lindy Ruff to be a few years removed as a head coach and despite him being New York Rangers assistant coach not long ago, I believe his strategy would work as a head coach in Newark, New Jersey.
To be quite direct, my realistic picks are Peter Laviolette and Gerard Gallant unless Gallant isn’t interested in being the bench boss in New Jersey. So therefore having Tom Fitzgerald to me seems like he will pick Peter Laviolette after the recent Darren Dreger insider report on TSN with Pierre LeBrun. To me, Peter Laviolette has a very active and current resume that proves his track record with a lot of young players that are stars in the NHL. That comes from his days in Carolina, Philadelphia and even working with a P.K. Subban and Roman Josi in Nashville.
If I am in Fitzgerald’s shoes, Lindy Ruff is just another candidate to get a feel for the coaching market. I do believe Fitzgerald will make a coaching hire before the NHL Entry Draft and given the options they’re looking at, my choice at the moment is Peter Laviolette. By the way, the NHL Draft Lottery is live on Sportsnet on June 26th at 8:00pmET.