John Hynes is officially the new coach of the New Jersey Devils. Hynes was introduced to media at a Tuesday press conference and Devils GM Ray Shero said that, though he interviewed a number of candidates, Hynes was the only coach offered the position. The Penguins get a 2016 third-round pick as compensation for the Devils hiring their now-former AHL coach.
After five seasons in the AHL with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, John Hynes is making the jump to the NHL as the new bench boss for the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils named Hynes their new head coach – the 17th in team history – at an introductory press conference Tuesday afternoon. It was reported Monday that Hynes was one of the front runners, but the Devils made the news official putting an end to speculation surrounding who would eventually be named the new coach and take the reins from Adam Oates, Scott Stevens and Lou Lamoriello, the three-headed coaching monster that worked behind the New Jersey bench last season.
“John Hynes is an individual with extensive coaching experience on the collegiate, professional and national levels,” said Shero. “He has been successful at each one and we are fully confident in what he will bring to the Devils’ organization.”
Shero added that at no point had he offered the position as Devils coach to any other individual, but said he did talk to “a number of different coaches” throughout the process.
Over his five seasons in Wilkes-Barre, Hynes led the Penguins to the playoffs each year, including two straight conference final appearances. Though he was unable to get the Penguins into the Calder Cup final, continued success at the AHL level is far from a guarantee and a 231-126-27 record over five years in the minor league is impressive. At 40, Hynes becomes the youngest coach in the NHL.
“I felt very comfortable as a coach, coming in here, knowing the way that Ray wants to do things, wants to run things, expects from his coaches,” Hynes said. “To me, that’s really important. To be on the same page as a coach with the ownership group – Ray Shero and Lou Lamoriello – was really important for me.”
Regarding the futures for both Oates and Stevens, Shero said there haven’t been any decisions made about who will be Hynes’ assistants next season. Oates ran the forward group last season, while Stevens controlled the defense. When asked about providing Hynes with assistants for next season who have NHL experience, Shero told media he would discuss the future of the staff with Hynes – and allow him to get introduced to current staff – before there are decisions made about how to proceed.
“I really believe it’s incumbent upon us as a group and, of course, as a coach for John, he hasn’t met a lot of people on the coaching staff, so it’s important to use this time to get to know some of the people,” said Shero.
Because the Devils hired Hynes away from his position with the Penguins, New Jersey will owe Pittsburgh compensation. It was reported by The Record’s Tom Gulitti that in exchange for hiring Hynes, the Penguins will receive the Devils’ third-round selection in 2016.