Devils Fire Head Coach John Hynes

Alain Nasreddine Named Interim HC

Alec Gearty
December 03, 2019 - 4:34 pm
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John Hynes' time with the New Jersey Devils reached its end Tuesday afternoon.

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The Devils have fired Hynes following a disappointing start to their 2019-20 campaign. Hynes' firing comes in wake of the Devils' embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, which brought New Jersey's record to 9-13-4, essentially the final straw for Devils' brass. 

General manager Ray Shero expressed his disappointment in the Devils' on-ice performance. New Jersey scored 65 goals in 26 games, which ranks 30th out of 31 teams. They've also allowed the third most goals (94), which forced veteran goaltender Cory Schneider to suffer a demotion to the American Hockey League. 

"John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic," Shero said in a statement. "John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult.

"We are a team that values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce. We are collectively disappointed in our performance on the ice and believe changes were needed, starting with our head coach. I have been consistent in my desire to build something here in New Jersey that earns the respect of teams throughout the league and pride in our fans. That is not where we were heading and for me to tolerate anything less was not acceptable."

The Devils were looked upon as a darkhorse playoff contender prior to the season. With No. 1 pick Jack Hughes and star defenseman PK Subban on board, New Jersey, who failed to reach the postseason in 2018, were poised to return to the playoffs. 

John Hynes watches play from the bench.
USA TODAY Images

New Jersey, however, struggled through the season's first half. Hughes sustained a lower-body injury, Subban tallied five points since he arrived to New Jersey and star forward Taylor Hall, an unrestricted free agent following the season, continued to be the subject of trade discussions. 

Hynes finished 150-159-45 and one playoff appearance in his Devils tenure, which spans across nearly four and a half seasons. He's also the third NHL coach to be fired this season. Toronto fired longtime coach Mike Babcock in favor of Sheldon Keefe as a result of their poor start. Calgary's Bill Peters parted ways with the organization following a prior incident involving a former player. 

Alain Nasreddine has been tabbed as Hynes' successor. He will serve as the Devils' interim head coach starting Tuesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights. The 44-year-old was one of the first assistant coaches to join Hynes' staff in 2015. 

"Obviously a lot of emotions," Nasreddine told reporters. "A lot of mixed emotions. Just found out a couple of hours ago so a lot goes through your mind. Can't help but think about John and the trip we've had the last 10 years. Those are not great circumstances. It is an opportunity but it's going to take time to settle in."