NJ.com- The Devils will name John Hynes as their next head coach, a source confirmed Monday evening. Hynes is the current head coach for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The press conference is expected to be at noon on Tuesday.
Woohoo! You know what's the best part of hiring a first time NHL head coach? That I get to be overly optimistic because I have literally no pedigree, or lack there of, to overanalyze and rip to shreds. I don't know much about John Hynes, but I do know he'll be raising a Stanley Cup in just over a year's time and that's good enough for me. Seems the team he coached, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, has finished with the lowest goals against average four of the last five years. Is that good? Does that lend itself well to the strong defensive and goaltending core that the Devils have built? Does that fit in well with the defensive mentality that has become such a staple in New Jersey? If his track record of back to back Eastern Conference Finals appearances holds up it seem the Devils are AT WORST one of the final four teams in the league next May. Hard to imagine anything differently.
The one thing that does concern me is that Ray Shero decided not to stray too far from his history in Pittsburgh. Not too sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but a thing it is indeed. At least he has years of experience and success with dealing with younger players. That is something that is much needed in the Devils organization as the team presumably looks to focus on restocking it's forward prospect pool. All in all, I have no idea what to expect. That seems pretty par for the course to begin a summer that looks to be a busy one for the Devils new GM. For now, I will maintain that this is the best coaching hire in the history of professional sports until proven otherwise*. I'll let Shero have this one seeing as he'll probably give me something else to bitch about in the coming months.
P.S. My brother used to work for Wilkes-Barre and bring down stat sheets to Hynes after games. He always insisted that my brother stay and have a beer after wins. I don't know if he'll be successful in New Jersey, but let's hope so. That way we can all drink in the good times, instead of drinking away the bad ones. Cheers to a new coach and his alcohol problem! As former linebacker Bryan Cox so eloquently put it, "A man without some kind of habit got a lot of skeletons. Ain't no question. Somebody's buried in his basement, he got about three wives, serial killer ... got to have a vice."
...Drink up Coach.
*If Stevens isn't part of this coaching staff I am slamming a 30, lighting a torch and starting the riots.