With the New Jersey Devils having very little success over the past decade, how does each coach rank on the coaching scale?
Over the past ten years, the New Jersey Devils have gone through many changes in their franchise. The only constant change, however, is the position of head coach. The Devils had five head coaches this decade, three of which lasted more than a few years. These coaches were either great hires or complete failures, leaving this fanbase with bad memories.
This is not new to the Devils franchise. They have three different head coaches for each of their Stanley Cup wins. But what coaching rating does every coach get over the past ten years? And which of those coaches was the best in the last ten years?
Peter de Boer and Adam Oates: Coaching degree: B+
After Jacques Lemaire retired in the 2010-11 season, it was up to Lou Lamoriello to find a suitable replacement as head coach. In July of that year, the Devils hired Peter DeBoer after his stint with the Florida Panthers ended. In his first year, DeBoer certainly made the Devils a team that could do some damage.
DeBoer’s coaching style not only helped guys like Adam Henrique find their way in the competition, but made Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrick Elias work under his system. It also helped that DeBoer had a dedicated team coach in Adam Oates who made the Devils one of the best in the league that year.
DeBoer led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals that year, which they eventually lost to the Los Angeles Kings. However, DeBoer seemed to be the coach who could lead the Devils to an elite team in the NHL. However, things started to change for DeBoer after the end of this season.
Due to the 2012-13 lockout, the season was reduced to 42 games. In the first 17 games of that season, DeBoer coached the Devils to a 10-3-4 record, which was one of the top records in the Metropolitan Division. Unfortunately, early March came and that changed both the dynamics of the team and DeBoer’s coaching ability.
The team suffered a major downfall for the remainder of that season after Martin Brodeur fell with an arm injury. The team finished with a 19-19-10 season and failed to make the playoffs. The next two seasons see DeBoer in his worst seasons, as the first half of the 2014-15 season would mark the end of DeBeor’s run as a coach. Lou would fire DeBoer in December of that year. Adam Oates, Scott Stevens and Lamoriello himself would take over the coaching duties after DeBoer was fired. While Oates may not have turned the team into one that could come back and make the playoffs, he made what he did with the roster and had a .500 record as a coach. While DeBoer and Oates may not have led the team to many more Stanley Cup Playoff runs, they did make the team interesting enough to watch and enjoy.