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Hitchcock a frontrunner in Jersey

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08:27 AM ET 04.12 | The Devils have tried older guys and rookie head coaches, and they may be, at least after the John MacLean era, more interested in an experienced head coach such as Ken Hitchcock. He is the most logical choice. Some would call him Jacques II because their coaching philosophies are the same, based on the Montreal Canadiens style. Hitchcock, who last coached the Columbus Blue Jackets, is a little more offensive-minded than Lemaire. He also respects Ilya Kovalchuk and would be able to get along with the $100 million winger.

The Star-Ledger

Ken Hitchcock, Getty Images Ken Hitchcock, Getty Images
April 12, 2011  08:44 AM ET

A little more offensive-minded than Lemaire.

Don't get me wrong, I like and respect Jacques but a box of rocks is "a little more offensive-minded."

April 12, 2011  09:00 AM ET

He failed in Philly and failed in Columbus why would NJ want him?

April 12, 2011  09:07 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

He failed in Philly and failed in Columbus why would NJ want him?

I wouldn't give him an "F" when he was with either of those teams. The teams played well, but I don't think they had the talent to be really competitive. I will agree that he probably wouldn't take New Jersey deep into the playoffs, but then again that losing streak at the end tells me that Lemaire's magic might have been wearing off too.

April 12, 2011  09:09 AM ET

I just threw up reading this. The only saving grace on this is that Richard Chere who is the writer of this article is a buddy of Hitch so he is skewed and thankfully has no real insight.

April 12, 2011  09:17 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

I just threw up reading this. The only saving grace on this is that Richard Chere who is the writer of this article is a buddy of Hitch so he is skewed and thankfully has no real insight.

Not to worry Nardo. Hitch is with Burkie's bum-buddy Nonis at the World's. Perhaps there's some blue and white in his future?

April 12, 2011  10:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

A little more offensive-minded than Lemaire. Don't get me wrong, I like and respect Jacques but a box of rocks is "a little more offensive-minded."

Ken Hitchcock in Jersey won't do! It' ll be a huge distraction evry time a ref yells at him, "Go have another doughnut, you #%* &@~!"

April 12, 2011  10:25 AM ET

NJ should be looking at Pete DeBoer in my opinion.

April 12, 2011  10:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

NJ should be looking at Pete DeBoer in my opinion.

Ottawa should have a good look at Craig McTavish. He certainly did far better with the Oilers than the Quinn - Renney duo given the talent (or lack thereoff) he had to work with. The Oilers never finished last two years in a row under his tutelage like they have with Renney, yet nobody seems to be asking for Renney's head on a platter like they did with MacT.

April 12, 2011  10:36 AM ET

Why would Hitch want that job? With the openings out there, he'll likely have a number of options, so why pick NJ, with the most notorious coach killing GM in the league? Hitch ends up in Calgary, is my call.

NJ should be hiring another re-tread, for sure, just not one as strong minded, strong willed, and in demand as Hitch (didn't work with Sutter - good results, but took off). A guy like Michel Therrien would jump at this chance, has experience, and coaches the way Lou likes. Or Guy Carbonneau, who I've mentioned before. Not Kirk Muller - I don't think Lou wants to watch another coach cut his teeth next year.

And geez, the way some people are talking (Habs fans), Julien might just be looking for a new job after the first round too. Lou could re-hire yet ANOTHER ex-coach!

April 12, 2011  10:39 AM ET

Personally I think he would be a great fit in Joisey.

A tight fit but a good one.

April 12, 2011  10:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Ottawa should have a good look at Craig McTavish. He certainly did far better with the Oilers than the Quinn - Renney duo given the talent (or lack thereoff) he had to work with. The Oilers never finished last two years in a row under his tutelage like they have with Renney, yet nobody seems to be asking for Renney's head on a platter like they did with MacT.

Agreed, but Ottawa has already unofficially committed to Dave Cameron - it just can't be announced until the Memorial Cup is over, since he's the host coach and his team is favoured.

I like MacT in Minnesota. Young team, little talent, not much direction. Sounds like home to MacT, I'm sure, haha. I think he could work with their lineup, given the chance - IF they want to change their style like they've said since Lemaire left. Otherwise, Carbo again in Minny.

In fact, Minny has lots of options. Unlike NJ where they will want to get a coach who can work with their lineup, Minny is a blank slate because they have no talent or ability anywhere. John Anderson or Pete DeBoer could just as easily take this team over too.

Ted Nolan to Florida.

April 12, 2011  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Why would Hitch want that job? With the openings out there, he'll likely have a number of options, so why pick NJ, with the most notorious coach killing GM in the league? Hitch ends up in Calgary, is my call.NJ should be hiring another re-tread, for sure, just not one as strong minded, strong willed, and in demand as Hitch (didn't work with Sutter - good results, but took off). A guy like Michel Therrien would jump at this chance, has experience, and coaches the way Lou likes. Or Guy Carbonneau, who I've mentioned before. Not Kirk Muller - I don't think Lou wants to watch another coach cut his teeth next year.And geez, the way some people are talking (Habs fans), Julien might just be looking for a new job after the first round too. Lou could re-hire yet ANOTHER ex-coach!

Because all the teams looking for a coach NJ has the best track record and most success. And the coach needs to be strong minded to work for Lou. The weak are the ones who can't handle it. The coaches who have had the most success in NJ are Lemaire, Robinson, and Burns. Strong minded and strong willed.
I'm on the Kirk Muller bandwagon. Captain Kirk can return. Lou can't be afraid to hire a rookie coach just because the last one didn't work.

April 12, 2011  10:59 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

A tight fit but a good one.

Actually he looks like half the man he once was..............maybe even 40%?

April 12, 2011  11:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

He failed in Philly and failed in Columbus why would NJ want him?

he is trying to revive the clutch/grab, big slow guy style of hockey

April 12, 2011  11:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Why would Hitch want that job? With the openings out there, he'll likely have a number of options, so why pick NJ, with the most notorious coach killing GM in the league? Hitch ends up in Calgary, is my call.NJ should be hiring another re-tread, for sure, just not one as strong minded, strong willed, and in demand as Hitch (didn't work with Sutter - good results, but took off). A guy like Michel Therrien would jump at this chance, has experience, and coaches the way Lou likes. Or Guy Carbonneau, who I've mentioned before. Not Kirk Muller - I don't think Lou wants to watch another coach cut his teeth next year.And geez, the way some people are talking (Habs fans), Julien might just be looking for a new job after the first round too. Lou could re-hire yet ANOTHER ex-coach!

If Julien does not get to the Conf finals or Cup finals, he might looking for a job

April 12, 2011  11:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Ted Nolan to Florida.

who did Ted Nolan piss off so much that he has been black balled twice now?

April 12, 2011  11:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

who did Ted Nolan piss off so much that he has been black balled twice now?

1. was sleeping with somebody's wife in Buffalo, is the word. Didn't get along with Muckler and didn't get along with Hasek.

2. Didn't agree with Garth Snow's "vision" of the future of the Isles and told him off on the way out.

His success can't be argued though. The biggest issue now is that he has pulled the race card (he's Native). Dangerous card to play, especially if uncalled for. Makes everybody nervous to give you a chance, thinking they'll be called a bigot when the inevitable firing time comes.

April 12, 2011  11:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I wouldn't give him an "F" when he was with either of those teams. The teams played well, but I don't think they had the talent to be really competitive. I will agree that he probably wouldn't take New Jersey deep into the playoffs, but then again that losing streak at the end tells me that Lemaire's magic might have been wearing off too.

Exactly. He did good in Philly and I was a bit annoyed to see him go. The Flyers were in the process of going thru coach after coach when it was the players that needed to get better. I think if Hitch had better players, he would have done well. He could do well with the Devils. Clearly, the Devils are a good team and don't need a total rebuild. It would be interesting to see what he could do, especially if Brodeur still has a year or two left in the tank.

April 12, 2011  11:33 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Because all the teams looking for a coach NJ has the best track record and most success. And the coach needs to be strong minded to work for Lou. The weak are the ones who can't handle it. The coaches who have had the most success in NJ are Lemaire, Robinson, and Burns. Strong minded and strong willed. I'm on the Kirk Muller bandwagon. Captain Kirk can return. Lou can't be afraid to hire a rookie coach just because the last one didn't work.

No doubt on the track record. They also have a track record of coaches lasting 2 seasons, at most. Not much security there. Lemaire has been fired or quit 3 or 4 times now, Robinson's quit twice and Burns we need not talk about (RIP). Why work under those kinds of conditions when you can go to Calgary and work for a supportive GM in a hockey town?

Robbie Ftorek was strong minded. Got the rug pulled out from under him a week before the playoffs.

I respect the Devils as an organization, and Lou as a hockey man. But if I'm a coach with a borderline HOF resume and all the choices in the world, NJ (and Lou in particular) isn't my first choice. All I'm saying.

 
April 12, 2011  11:40 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Actually he looks like half the man he once was..............maybe even 40%?

But he's like Oprah.

Fat Ken, skinny Ken, fat Ken, etc.

I prefer fat guys to stay fat. They seem more jolly in their natural state.

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