Devils Set to Hire John Hynes as Head Coach

Just one year and 23 days separate John Hynes from Patrick Elias(the member with most seniority on the Devils current roster), but multiple reports out of New Jersey tonight say that the current head coach of the American Hockey League’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will become the 16th head coach of the New Jersey Devils in franchise history.  Hynes will reportedly take over the interim trio of Scott Stevens, Lou Lamoriello, and Adam Oates.

Hynes has been part of the “Baby Pens” staff since 2009, when current Devils GM Ray Shero hired him to the Penguins staff. He served as an assistant to Todd Reirden until 2010, when Reireden was promoted to the big club, also as an assistant. Hynes seems to be a typical Lamoriello hire on paper. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton led the league in goals allowed, but also were able to score a ton. Their goal differential was a plus-49 this past season.

Hynes inherits a team in transition.  All of the “old guard,” with the exception of the aforementioned Elias has left.  Of course, there is the issue of building a future through the upcoming draft. The Devils seemingly have dodged the loss of their draft pick to the Ilya Kovalchuk debacle through intelligent trades.  While it is unknown how much input Hynes will have in roster choice, one would have to imagine that one of the first meetings Shero and Hynes will have is how to attack the 7 unrestricted free agents including Scott Gomez, Bryce Salvador, and Peter Harrold, as well as the 4 restricted free agents.

One notable name on the list of RFA’s is defenseman Adam Larsson. Larsson led all Devils defensemen in scoring(3-21-24), and if Hynes’ system reads the way it seems, Larsson looks to be a key piece in a two way system that will likely require aggressive play on both ends of the ice.

Another key component on Hynes’ resume is his experience developing youth. Before being added to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s staff, Hynes spent 6 seasons as head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, earning a 216-113-19-9 record over that span. In addition to that, he led the US U-18s to three medals between 2004 and 2008 in the World Under-18 Championships, earning a bronze in 2008, a silver in 2004, and a gold in 2006. He also was the bench boss for the Team USA at the 2008 IIHF World Juniors, and was and assistant on the 2004 team that won the gold medal at that same tournament.

Tweets about the likely hiring:

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