Chiming in late here, but I was disappointed initially. /r/Devils seems to be on suicide watch, and /r/hockey was hugely critical of the move as well. So, naturally, I'm assuming this is probably a decent move because it seems like most folks on reddit don't have a clue and tend to react in the wrong direction almost every time.
The guy is 60 years old - he's probably not the solution for the next decade. Let's hope he serves as a solid 'bridge coach' while the kids develop and learn how to be professionals. I know it sounds crazy to be talking about the next head coach when we've just hired Ruff but.. let's see where we're at in 3-4 years when Nico, Jack and the surrounding cast are in their true primes. Maybe Ruff will have everything rolling and we'll stick with him.. or maybe we part ways and look for the coach that will "get us over the hill".
Laviolette seems to fall into the latter category to me - a guy that will take a competitive team and make them contenders. I don't know if he's the guy to lead a rebuild.. and at 5M per I don't necessarily blame the owners for scoffing a bit.
ALL THAT SAID - Gallant was who I wanted.
Nailed it with this, I agree. We have tons of kids and, perhaps, a lack of true structure right now. We need a "program runner", not a rookie HC who's figuring it out as he goes.
I just hope he's able to develop our young kids well and doesn't resort to favoring veterans. Or put another way - I hope he's not your typical "old school" head coach who hands sh!t to veterans on a silver platter and keeps the kids nailed to the bench in crunch time.
Oh man, Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.. top-tier. Doesn't get better.