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Devils’ coaching move could be close

73 posts in this topic

http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/hockey/124530473_Gulitti__Devils__coaching_move_could_be_close.html

A source has said the Devils' goal is to hire a head coach they believe can end the constant turnover behind the bench and grow in time with a team that will be a young one in the coming years, as veterans such as Martin Brodeur, Colin White and Brian Rolston move on. They thought they had that guy in Sutter, but he left after only two seasons to be closer to his family and businesses in Alberta.

The Devils gave John MacLean a try last season, but an imperfect storm of circumstances and his inexperience overwhelmed him. Although some think that might deter Lamoriello from hiring someone without NHL head coaching experience again, he's rarely done what people have expected.

That's why recent whispers that Mike Eaves might be preparing to leave the University of Wisconsin are so intriguing.

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WCHA - Eaves

There's some interesting things in Eaves' bio here. Seven years in Wisconsin now (so maybe he could stay for more than a year at the Devs, pretty please?). Second season - led his team to a big turnaround. Mmmhmm. Ex head coach of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP), accelerating elite kids. Good. Led the USA juniors to a gold medal in 2004. Excellent. However ... ex assistant head coach of the Flames, Pens and Flyers ... so I wonder if that was his choice to see different systems, or he just didn't work out in the big league.

So I think he has good credentials, but he really needs a good mentor for the camp and first half season to avoid the JMac Syndrome. I would love for Jacques to stick around to do that transition properly this time.

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WCHA - Eaves

There's some interesting things in Eaves' bio here. Seven years in Wisconsin now (so maybe he could stay for more than a year at the Devs, pretty please?). Second season - led his team to a big turnaround. Mmmhmm. Ex head coach of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program (NTDP), accelerating elite kids. Good. Led the USA juniors to a gold medal in 2004. Excellent. However ... ex assistant head coach of the Flames, Pens and Flyers ... so I wonder if that was his choice to see different systems, or he just didn't work out in the big league.

So I think he has good credentials, but he really needs a good mentor for the camp and first half season to avoid the JMac Syndrome. I would love for Jacques to stick around to do that transition properly this time.

Looking at his wiki bio the bouncing around doesn't bother me. In most cases he left an assistants job to take a head coaching position elsewhere. Plus assistants tend to bounce around anyways because of head coaching moves

Edited by jkrdevil

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I want Hitch..there's not much of an age diff. We can't afford tryng another rookie coach

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Itd be nice to atleast have this situation handled by July 1st so Lou can focus on the roster.

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Another rookie Head Coach would be playing with fire, Should be interesting to see which way Lou goes.

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Lou pick for sure if it goes through. I will be positive about it though.

It's easy to crucify a rookie coach, but this guy has a good pedigree.

National team experience, NHL experience, and literally turned Wisconsin around in a season. His European league experience may help him relate better to our glutton of Europeans who are all going to be very substantial for us going forward. They're not Clarksons.

What I do think this says about our direction is that this is a pick to last and to give time to. This isn't a "we're close to the Cup" pick. The Devils are exhibiting patience and negatively perceived aswasting time perhaps.

This guy is adding fuel to it.

http://twitter.com/#!/bruceciskie/status/84694674958323712

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WCHA - Eaves

. However ... ex assistant head coach of the Flames, Pens and Flyers ... so I wonder if that was his choice to see different systems, or he just didn't work out in the big league.

So I think he has good credentials, but he really needs a good mentor for the camp and first half season to avoid the JMac Syndrome. I would love for Jacques to stick around to do that transition properly this time.

I think its important to look at the timing of those NHL jobs as well. He got a head gig in Finland in 96 while an assistant under someone who had the job firmly in hand. He's also relatively young, even now. Didnt last long there though, only a season. Maybe homesick? Interested to hear what happened there. Came right back to the Pens and was there 3 years during the rotten years (97-2000) and then was nat'l team coach. Then went to coach his almamater which makes perfect sense after coaching those dreadful Pens.

The biggest question mark to me is the Finland gig. Curious to see what happened there. However, in terms of his other jobs, he lasted everywhere he went and each change makes sense.

I'd not choose him based on what I know and what I think the team needs, but I dont think its high risk. We're not going to tank under this guy.

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i am not against this move but was wondering has there ever been a successful coach who came from the ncaa to coach the nhl?

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I think 3 years down the road, he would be a great fit here. He could be a good pick now though, it depends on how the older guys like him.

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i am not against this move but was wondering has there ever been a successful coach who came from the ncaa to coach the nhl?

I can't answer this in full, but it would set a current precedent. As of right now, there are no coaches in the NHL who came directly from the NCAA.

I doubt its unprecedented, but it doesnt seem to be a regular occurrence at all.

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if were were to get a coach from the ncaa, I would get Dean Blais who coached in North Dakota, has some NHL experience in Columbus and is now coaching the University of Nebraska Omaha program

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I would be ecstatic with Eaves. Great coach, class act and has a good relationship with Parise. He would be a breath of fresh air in that he's relatively young and has no ties to the organization.

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I would be ecstatic with Eaves. Great coach, class act and has a good relationship with Parise. He would be a breath of fresh air in that he's relatively young and has no ties to the organization.

Eaves might be the thing that gets Parise to consider a long term deal.

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I haven't heard of Eaves, but the more I do, he does sound like he might be the right man for the job.

I'm still stubborn and hope for Mike Haviland, though. He's won on every level of hockey he's traversed - yes, he even has a Stanley Cup on his resume as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks - so it only seems probable that the head coach is the next step for him. And he has the Jersey roots.

Edited by Confusious

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Sounds like a good choice, just worried about the whole rookie coach thing burning us again.

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I won't lie. I'm as worried as everybody when I hear rookie coach and Devils in the same sentence, but its not every rookie coach that fails and if the choice is well made and the guy has a great record then why not ?

Of course I would feel much better if we simply went and signed a Hitchcock or any other well known coach, but if Lou goes for a Mike Eaves then fine, but this time lets not wait till we are 9-22-2 to make a replacement.

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so is hitchcock no longer on the devil's short list?

Edited by grcenter47

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so is hitchcock no longer on the devil's short list?

He recently said that he received no call from Lamoreillo so I guess that for the moment he's not on the shortlist.

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I don't know if there will be any similarities between having a rookie coach this year like last year. I mean we have no Langenbrunner and if Zach digs on him then there may be some more agreeable players on the roster.

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Throwing a crazy idea out there. Maybe Parise said he'll sign for less if Eaves is brought in. I can't see Zach not signing long term with a former coach he speaks highly of is brought in. In one of those Q&A things on TG's blog, I believe he mentioned he was one of his favorite coaches. It didnt seem like he thought that highly of the Devils coaches.

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