After resuscitating a lifeless New Jersey Devils team, Head Coach Jacques Lemaire has decided to walk away for a second time in as many seasons.
Lemaire announced after Sundays 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins that he will not be coming back to coach the Devils next season. However, he will remain with the team as a special assignment coach.
The Stanley Cup winning coach said that he had not made up him mind as little as two days ago but ultimately decided that he had made the right decision when he retired at the end of last season.
“It demands a lot. I want to enjoy life. I want to enjoy the family. I thought that I did make the right decision last year, “Lemaire explained, “I’m happy I took the job the rest of the season. I had fun. It was a huge challenge for me.”
Lemaire made it clear that he enjoyed coming back this season and his only regret was that the Devils were unable to qualify for the playoffs.
“I thought the guys responded well. Like I mentioned this morning, the only regrets I have is not making the playoffs.”
Lemaire is confident the Devils will not have another season like this one and said that he would be back next year to watch the Devils in the playoffs.
“As I mentioned to the players, if they take charge, they will make the playoffs,” Lemaire said.
He notified the players before the game that he would not be returning behind the bench for 2011-12.
Now New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello is back to square one. Earlier today, the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers both fired their head coaches and now with Lemaire’s departure there are three head coaching vacancies. The New Jersey GM must act fast and not have a repeat of last off season. Lamoriello waited most of the summer before making a decision to replace Lemaire with rookie head coach John Maclean. It’s hard to imagine he would put the team and it’s fans through that again.
It appears the first domino has indeed fallen in what promises to be a busy off season for the Devils.
Mr. Lamoriello you’re now on the clock.
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Devils’ Lemaire Calls it Quits Again
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