NHL Rumors: Just Who Will Be New Jersey Devils Next Head Coach

The New Jersey Devils are still looking for a head coach. During his end-of-year presser, team President and General Manager Tom Fitzgerald stated that he wanted to hire a head coach by the NHL Draft, which will be held on June 28-29, 2024, in Las Vegas.

It was a disappointing season for the Devils. Fitzgerald had to fire Lindy Ruff. Ruff found a job back in Buffalo. Travis Green was the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Though he would be interviewed, the Devils would look outside the organization.

NHL Rumors: Craig Berube – New Jersey Devils, and the Toronto Maple Leafs

Green ended up becoming the coach in Ottawa. The clock is starting to tick on the coaches and the landing spots, and the Devils do not want to be left holding a chair or settling for someone less than any of their top options.

As Ryan Novozinsky of Advanced Media NJ.com writes, the Devils could hire four potential coaches as their new head coach.

Novozinsky lists Sheldon Keefe, Craig Berube, Jay Woodcroft, and Todd McLellan. Each coach is qualified to coach the Devils.

Keefe will interview for the Devils’ head coaching position. According to Pierre LeBrun, the Devils sought and were granted permission from the Leafs. Keefe’s winning percentage of .625 is the best in Maple Leafs history and the highest amongst coaches over the last five years.

NHL Rumors: Coaching Candidates for the New Jersey Devils

Woodcroft is also in the mix for the position. We saw what he did in Edmonton, and with Tom Fitzgerald wanting a coach who can work with the analytics department, the fact he had the Oilers in the top 5 of all the major analytics categories is why he is in the mix.

Now that the Maple Leafs job is open, Berube will command a market. He is the disciplinarian the Devils need for this group to take the next step. However, it will cost the Devils as well. As documented on NHLRumors.com, it would have been done if the Devils wanted Berube.

NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, New York Islanders, and the Toronto Maple Leafs

McLellan has interviewed with the Devils and was brought back for another interview; however, he might not be the guy Fitzgerald is looking for. Though a good coach, the style of play does not fit the roster the Devils are constructing.


With the Toronto market open now, Berube reportedly is the leading candidate for the Maple Leafs position. Given Tom Fitzgerald’s needs, either Sheldon Keefe or Jay Woodcroft will get the job.