Devils Hire Ruff as Head Coach

The New Jersey Devils have hired Lindy Ruff as their new head coach, as per’s Kevin Weekes.

Ruff, 60, has served as an assistant coach with the New York Rangers since the 2017-18 season. He will cross the Hudson River to take on his first head coaching gig since 2017.

Ruff will bring 1493 games of NHL head coaching experience — amassed over 15 seasons with the Buffalo Sabres between 1997 and 2013 and four seasons the Dallas Stars between 2013 and 2017 — to the Devils’ bench. As a head coach, he owns a 736-554-78-125 record, ranks fourth among head coaches in NHL history in regular season games coached and fifth among head coaches in NHL history in regular season wins.

Buffalo Sabres Lindy Ruff
Lindy Ruff brings nearly 1,500 games of NHL head coaching experience to the Devils. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

He will replace interim head coach Alain Nasreddine, who took over from John Hynes last December when Hynes was fired after his Metropolitan Division team got off to a 9-13-4 start. The Devils ultimately finished 28-29-12 prior to the COVID-19 season pause and will not participate in the NHL’s 24-team playoffs beginning in August.

Prior to his coaching career, the Alberta-born Ruff played 691 career NHL games over parts of 12 seasons for the Sabres and Rangers, recording 105 goals and 195 assists for 300 points.

Fitzgerald Set to Become Permanent Devils General Manager

Weekes also reported the Devils are expected to remove the “interim” tag from GM Tom Fitzgerald.

Tom Fitzgerald New Jersey Devils
Tom Fitzgerald will have his interim tag removed. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Fitzgerald began with the Devils as assistant GM in 2015 and was named interim GM in January after Ray Shero was fired. Prior to his career with the Devils, he spent time with the Pittsburgh Penguins organization as director of player development and assistant GM, winning the Stanley Cup in 2009 as the former.

Related: Devils Rollercoaster Season Continues With Shero Firing

Fitzgerald, 51, played 1097 NHL games between 1988 and 2006 with the New York Islanders, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins.

Fitzgerald holds the seventh-overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Check out THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide for in-depth draft coverage on all 31 teams, including the Devils.