Fire&Ice- The Devils’ season ends tomorrow. But coach John Hynes will be plenty busy soon.
USA Hockey named Hynes the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team which will compete in next month’s World Championship in Russia.
"John has been involved with U.S. teams on multiple occasions in the past and we're excited to have him leading our team at the men's world championship," Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey said in a statement. "John's teams are always well prepared and his extensive knowledge of our player pool is a big benefit as well."
Hynes, 41, is about to wrap up his first season as an NHL head coach — and been lauded for his work with a young, up-and-coming team. Now Hynes will make his debut as head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
It may go without saying, but the Devils season isn't exactly ending in optimal fashion. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing considering the franchise is in need of quality prospects, and a postseason berth has long been an afterthought. Still, the way this season is coming to a close could very well affect the way people evaluate the performance of John Hynes. A performance that nearly every Devils would have to tell you was a pleasant surprise. He's not the potential Jack Adams candidate that he was when he helped revived a 0-3-1 Devils team to a playoff position, but he's also not at fault for the mess of injuries and trades that made his lineup damn near AHL caliber. Honestly, I am just glad that people outside of New Jersey are acknowledging the work he did to go the Devils within spitting distance of the playoffs for a vast majority of the season, because it was an effort that's absolutely worthy of accolades.
I am also glad that he is being trusted with what is sure to be a young lineup at the World Championships, because this Devils team is only getting younger and it's previous head coach was so bad at developing kids that they would have been better off bringing in Jerry Sandusky. The fact that a group of higher-ups think that John Hynes is the most adequate leader for American men bodes well for the Devils, as does the fact that he was able to make that impression while behind the bench for a team that was expected to finish dead last in the NHL. Point being, the relationship between John Hynes and the New Jersey Devils appears to be a solid one with as much long term potential as an NHL Head Coaching job can possibly hold. Considering the preseason expectations, I think all Devils fans would have been happy to hear that in September.