What will Lemaires' future be?
Jacques Lemaire told members of the media that he will announce whether he plans to return to lead the New Jersey Devils next season after the completion of today’s game against the Bruins at the Rock.
Lemaire has said repeatedly that if he does come back to coach it will be for the Devils and nobody else. Today he confirmed that no matter what he will remain with the organization in some capacity.
“This will be my team, this will be my team no matter what,” Lemaire said.
Lemaire took over for rookie Head Coach John Maclean after GM Lou Lamoriello asked him for help. The Devils were in the NHL’s toilet at the time. The injury-
riddled team had an NHL-worst 20 points and abysmal 9-22-2 record. Lemaire took over and led New Jersey back into playoff contention before there late season swoon killed any hopes they had. The Devils are 28-17-3 since Lemaire took over.
Its not known whether his defensive style of coaching would work for another full season. Basically It suited the teams needs this year because Lemaire was able to make the most out of a team with an anemic offense.
If Lemaire decides not to come back, don’t expect Lamoriello to wait too long to find his replacement. Devils Assistant coach Adam Oates is one possibility to succeed Lemaire. But, the Devils have been down that road before and that’s why there in the position they are now.
Regardless, this should be the start to an intriguing off season in New Jersey.
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Lemaires’ Decision Looms Large For Devils
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