NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Ray Shero has reached into his ties with the Pittsburgh Penguins to pick the New Jersey Devils’ next head coach, John Hynes.
The Devils general manager chose the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach to run the once-proud team that has failed to make the playoffs the past three seasons. Hynes was introduced at a news conference Tuesday.
Shero said Hynes, who becomes the NHL’s youngest head coach at 40 years old, will emphasize the fast, attacking and supportive style of hockey that he hopes to install in New Jersey.
“I did not offer this job to any other person,” Shero said.
Hynes has coached the Penguins’ AHL farm team for the past five seasons, making the playoffs each year. He was the AHL’s coach of the year in 2010-11.
“I felt very comfortable as a coach coming in here, knowing the way that Ray wants to do things, how he wants to run the team,” Hynes said. “To me, that’s really important. … I’m really excited and honored to be the head coach of the New Jersey Devils.”
New Jersey went 32-36-14 for 78 points this past season, missing the playoffs by 20 points. It was the sixth-worst record in the NHL and the team’s worst in a full season since getting 66 points in 1988-89.
Pete DeBoer, who led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, was fired as head coach in December. The Devils finished the season with team president and then-general manager Lou Lamoriello running them with assistant coaches Adam Oates and Scott Stevens.
The 72-year-old Lamoriello stepped aside as general manager early last month and Shero was hired. Lamoriello maintained his role as president.
Prior to joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hynes spent six seasons as a head coach with USA Hockey’s National Development Team Program, posting a 216-113-19-9 record. He is a former Boston University player who won a national title in 1995.
“I don’t think you get an opportunity to be in this situation if you haven’t had great mentors along the way,” Hynes said.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has produced several NHL head coaches. Dan Bylsma, who recently was hired to be the Buffalo Sabres coach, is a former Wilkes Barre/Scranton coach who led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup title.
Michel Therrien of the Montreal Canadians, Todd Richards of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Yeo of the Wild are former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaches.
DeBoer was recently hired to coach the San Jose Sharks.
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