Assistant coach John MacLean and goaltending coach Jacques Caron were retained from Claude Julien’s staff while former Devils defenceman Tommy Albelin also was named an assistant coach.
Contract terms were not disclosed by Devils president Lou Lamoriello.
“I ran my own organization and I know the importance of loyalty,” Sutter said. “I know the importance of people understanding how things work.”
Jacques Laperriere, who had been an assistant coach for the past four seasons, will not return to the staff. Lamoriello said that he will remain with the organization and work with defencemen in the minor leagues.
The biggest surprises were the return of Robinson and the retention of MacLean, who applied for the head coaching job only to see it given to Sutter earlier this month.
Robinson coached the Devils from late in the 1999-2000 season to midway through the 2001-02 season. He also returned for 32 games in the 2005-06 season until stress and health concerns forced him to resign abruptly.
“To have a guy with his knowledge and his experience, just not as a player but as a coach is huge not just for myself but John and Tommy, too,” said Sutter, who has never been an NHL head coach. “I think the way this staff is laid out is perfect for my needs as a coach.”
MacLean, who will be entering his sixth season as a Devils assistant, and Robinson will work with Sutter behind the bench during games. Albelin, who spent 12 of his 18 NHL seasons with New Jersey, will watch games from above the ice and be in contact with the coaches.
There was some concern that the 42-year old MacLean might not want to come back after being passed over for the top job. He ran most of the team’s practices in the second half of the 2005-06 season when Lamoriello took over for Robinson behind the bench, and he did the same job late last season when Julien was fired and replaced by Lamoriello with three games left in the regular season.
Sutter said he spoke with MacLean after being hired and told him that he wanted him back.
“He is a solid team guy. You know he bleeds New Jersey Devils,” Sutter said.
Robinson, 56, will enter his 11th season with the Devils. The Hall of Fame defenceman was an assistant coach on the Devils’ first Stanley Cup championship team in 1995. He left to become the Los Angeles Kings coach from 1995-99.
MacLean played 14 of his 19 NHL seasons with New Jersey. He played on the 1995 championship team and was an assistant under Pat Burns on the 2003 Cup championship team.
Caron has been the goaltending coach since 1993, making him Martin Brodeur’s only goaltending coach.