Devils Fire John Hynes
On Dec. 3, the New Jersey Devils announced that they have fired head coach John Hynes and replaced him with assistant coach Alain Nasreddine on an interim basis. Pro scout Peter Horachek will also join the coaching staff as an assistant.
“John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” said general manager Ray Shero said in a statement. “John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team that values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce. We are collectively disappointed in our performance on the ice and believe changes were needed, starting with our head coach. I have been consistent in my desire to build something here in New Jersey that earns the respect of teams throughout the league and pride in our fans. That is not where we were heading and for me to tolerate anything less was not acceptable.”
Hynes coached the Devils for four-plus seasons, taking over to begin the 2015-16 season after Pete DeBoer was let go. He has amassed a record of 150-159-45 during his time in New Jersey and ranks second in team history in games coached, wins and points behind Jacques Lemaire. Hynes also led New Jersey to its first playoff appearance in six years in 2018.
Nasreddine played 74 NHL games in his career and over 700 AHL games. He was the captain of the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2004-2006. After playing, Nasreddine was an assistant coach for Wilkes Barre/Scranton from 2010-2015 before being hired as an assistant for the New Jersey Devils in 2015.
“Nas has a long history as a respected leader both as a player and a coach in the respective roles he has served for his teams,” Shero said. “His experience as a captain and alternate captain on the ice, in addition to his responsibilities behind the bench, will serve him well as he leads this team through necessary changes to alter our current trajectory.”
This season (before games are played on Dec. 3) the Devils are 9-13-4 for 22 points, second to last in the NHL. Their -31 goal differential is also second-worst in the league. After making splash trades for PK Subban and Nikita Gusev as well as picking Jack Hughes with the number one overall pick, New Jersey has had to endure a difficult campaign in the final year of star forward Taylor Hall’s contract.
Nasreddine makes his head coaching debut on Dec. 3 as New Jersey hosts the Vegas Golden Knights.