Reports: Devils turn to recently fired coach to lead team

The New Jersey Devils appear to have a new head coach.

The franchise is expected to tab Sheldon Keefe, as first reported by the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast and later confirmed by TSN’s Darren Dreger and other outlets.

Keefe previously spent the past five seasons as the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he made the playoffs every season and advanced past the first round just once.

Keefe was fired on May 9 after the Maple Leafs’ loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the first round.

New Jersey is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2023-24 season where the team missed the postseason despite being tabbed as one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference and the Stanley Cup.

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The Devils hold the No. 10 pick in next month’s NHL draft after finishing with a 38-39-5 record.

The Devils fired Lindy Ruff in March. He had led the team to a franchise-record in points the previous season, along with a first-round series win over the New York Rangers.

Travis Green, who had been named Devils interim coach, was hired by the Ottawa Senators.

NHL coaching carousel

Once the Devils officially announce the Keefe hiring, there will be three NHL teams (Winnipeg Jets, San Jose Sharks and Seattle Kraken) with coach openings.

The Los Angeles Kings removed the interim tag from Jim Hiller on Wednesday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs (Craig Berube), Buffalo Sabres (Lindy Ruff), Senators (Green) and St. Louis Blues (Drew Bannister had his interim tag removed) made earlier coaching announcements.

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour agreed to a multi-year extension.

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