It's tough with this postseason's shortcomings so fresh in our minds, but I've gotta give a big thanks to Jacques here.
There are a handful of guys that, without them, the Devils never become "The Devils." Lou is one of them. Marty and Stevens are two more. And Jacques Lemaire is definitely another.
Lemaire brought the ineffable system. That system has become the Devils trademark (and arguably a stereotype). Without it, there is no way in hell that team in '95 sweeps the Wings. Without that sweep, who knows if this team even stays in New Jersey. But they swept and they stayed. And even after Lemaire left, his system stayed and three more Cup Finals berths and two more championships followed.
The system now looks outdated, and apparently so is Jacques. He came back for a swan song and, at times, this past season was pretty awesome, but it didn't end well. Lemaire has now taken his leave. Perhaps his system will too. That much remains to be seen, but this much is certain: We all owe Lemaire a big thanks.
So thank you, Coach. Best of luck to ya!
Can't agree more. Haven't posted in years but the disrespect being shown this man is shocking. Jacques is one of a handful of people that brought the Devils to NHL prominence. (His name is also on the Stanley Cup 11 times.) 95 would not have happened without him and as the poster said this team could have easliy been the Nashville Devils. Another cup or two could have easily happened on his watch---but is was on his watch that the expectations for excellence year in and year out took hold. Best of luck coach and thanks for the memories.