NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — This year’s New Jersey Devils have been plagued by injury and illness, and after firing coach Pete DeBoer, general manager Lou Lamoriello took an unorthodox step.

Instead of hiring a new coach to run the team for the remainder of the season, general manager Lou Lamoriello announced on Saturday that he is going to return to the team’s bench and will be joined by Adam Oates and Scott Stevens, CBS Sports reported.

No official titles had announced for Oates or Stevens as of Saturday, CBS Sports’ Adam Gretz reported. The Devils would only say that Oates will work with the forwards and Stevens will work with the defense.

The Devils did not fare any better Saturday night with the new setup. They lost 3-1 to the Rangers. But Lamoriello retained his optimism.

“It was interesting – watching, listening, and seeing what was transpiring,” Lamoriello said. “I thought it was extremely positive. The bench was extremely alive. We were not overly frustrated.

“There were some changes made within a 24-hour period, so we knew there would be a few breakdowns. Overall we have to build off what we saw,” he continued.

It was an NHL-record 14th coaching change made by Lamoriello. The Devils were 3-8-5 in their final 16 games under DeBoer.

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