5 Best Options for the NJ Coaching Vacancy

Rob Niedermaier Avatar

With the firing of HC Lindy Ruff in February and Travis Green leaving for Ottawa, here’s who I think would be the best options for the vacant HC job in NJ.

Jay Woodcroft: Fired by the Oilers after a disastrous 3-9-1 start to the 23-24 season. Woodcroft looks to hopefully get hired by a team and have a strong rebound in the 24-25 season. He helped the Oilers make the Western Conference Finals in 22-23 and helped create the chemistry of McDavid and Hyman together. His lines and willingness to find proper fits with line combos would be a massive help to the Devils.

Dean Evason: Minnesota let the successful bench boss Evason go after having a 5-10-4 start in the 23-24 season. A proven Regular Season winner with .646 winning percentage while being Minnesota’s Coach. He has all the tools to help NJ make the playoffs behind the bench. The highly underrated coach would be a match made in heaven in NJ with his system and holding players accountable.

Sheldon Keefe: Recently let go by Toronto after another 1st round exit. Keefe is another proven Regular Season winner with 212-97-40 record for his career in Toronto. He helped Auston Matthews turn into 2 time 60+ Goal Scorer while at the helm of the Leafs. Keefe could definitely right the ship in NJ and unlock Jack Hughes’ full potential. If Keefe can find some playoff magic he’d be a great guy to lead NJ to the next level

Mike Sullivan: Sullivan is still under contract with Pittsburgh however if the rumor mill is true, he could be allowed to talk to other teams about HC vacancies. If Sullivan becomes available he would be the best option on the market and the guy I’d want in NJ. A proven winner with 2 Stanley Cups with a career .602 winning percentage Sullivan would make any team instantly better.

Craig Berube: After having a 13-14-1 start with the St.Louis Blues in the 23-24 campaign. The Blues decided to let the Cup Winning Coach go. Berube seems to be all but a lock for the Toronto Maple Leafs HC vacancy hence why he’s only #5 on this list. Berube is another proven winner in his time with the Blues. A Stanley Cup winner and a former Jack Adams Award finalist. He would be a perfect fit in NJ with the talent they have.

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