Doesn't sound like Robinson is the guy or Lou isn't talking, yet.
Robinson, Lewis left out of Devils' plans?
GM Lamoriello has direction in mind
Published in the Asbury Park Press 07/13/05
BY MIKE KERWICK
If Larry Robinson is going to be introduced as the next head coach of the Devils, it's news to him.
If Dave Lewis is going to be offered the keys to New Jersey, nobody's bothered to tell him.
Robinson said Tuesday afternoon that New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello had not contacted him to inquire if the former Devils head coach was interested in returning to lead his old team. Lewis said he had not heard from Lamoriello either.
"I tend to think Lou has somebody in mind," Lewis said. "I haven't heard anything."
Robinson and Lewis, the recently deposed head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, were believed to be the top two candidates to fill the void created when a second bout with cancer forced Pat Burns off the Devils' bench. Now it sounds possible that neither one will take the reins in New Jersey if and when the NHL returns for the 2005-06 season.
"I think we know what direction we're going to go," Lamoriello said.
Lamoriello said he will not necessarily wait until the official completion of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before making a decision.
"We might still do something this week," Lamoriello said.
If not Robinson or Lewis, then who? Maybe Bobby Carpenter, a former Devils forward who was Burns' top assistant in New Jersey. Carpenter has no NHL head coaching experience, but was the head coach of New Jersey's AHL affiliate, the Albany River Rats, during the 2001-02 season.
Lamoriello has been known to pull off surprises. He stunned just about everyone when he hired Kevin Constantine in January of 2002. At the time, Constantine was the general manager of the Pittsburgh Forge.
Robinson led New Jersey to the Stanley Cup in 2000, then took the Devils back to the Finals in 2001. He was fired in January of the following season.
Now a special assignment coach with the Devils, Robinson said he last talked to Lamoriello a few weeks ago, but not about returning as coach.
"I think if the opportunity came about and I was asked to do it, I probably would certainly think about it," Robinson said.
Lewis, a player for those terrible Devils teams from the early 80s, went 96-41-21-6 in two seasons as Detroit's head coach. Early playoff exits hastened his departure.
"I'll put it this way," Lewis said, "I still have coaching in my blood."
Lewis leaves for Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday for a fantasy hockey program. He said he has nothing but fond recollections of his tenure in Jersey.
"We loved New Jersey," Lewis said. "We lived in Morris Plains. My wife and I just absolutely loved the town. Our kids went to school there. We had nothing but great memories of New Jersey."
Three former NHL coaches unlikely to get the job are Mike Babcock, Paul Maurice and Robbie Ftorek. Babcock is expected to be the guy to replace Lewis in Detroit. Maurice, former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes team that knocked the Devils out of the playoffs in 2002, recently signed on to coach Toronto's top minor league affiliate. Ftorek, one Devils insider said, may not even be back coaching Albany next season.
Hartford Wolfpack general manager Jim Schoenfeld, another potential candidate, is more likely to be named the next head coach in Hartford sometime this summer. Schoenfeld was head coach of the first Devils team to make the playoffs back in 1988.
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