This afternoon the New Jersey Devils held a press conference introducing John Hynes as the team's new head coach. The announcement is exciting news for the organization as the front office is now set with Ray Shero as the general manager and John Hynes as the head coach, the club moving forward in a younger direction as they rebuild the team.
The announcement makes Hynes the youngest head coach in the NHL at the age of 40, as the continuation of hiring younger coaches across the league continues. Hynes has no NHL experience and will make the transition from the AHL to the NHL in this upcoming season with the Devils, but his lack of experience does not mean that Hynes is not ready to lead at the NHL level. Hynes is a very qualified candidate coaching the AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to a 231-126-27 record over the course of his five seasons as head coach and leading the team to at least the second round of playoffs in each of these seasons. Last season, his AHL Penguins gave up the least amount of goals in the league, allowing 163 and had a healthy amount of goals for with 212 leading to a plus 49 goal differential.
During the press conference in Newark, GM Ray Shero started off the introduction by talking about the direction he wants the team to move in and the type of identity that Devils hockey needs to encompass. Shero highlighted three important characteristics that the Devils could be described as under his reign as general manager: fast, attacking, and supportive. Being a fast team does not just mean fast skating, it also means fast decision making, fast puck movement, and overall fast execution of plays. Being an attacking team is one that wears down their opponent, being aggressive and relentless on the puck both offensively and defensively. Being a supportive team is making the team one unit and working in unison. Shero feels that with John Hynes as the new head coach of the Devils, he can take his style of coaching and discipline his players into this specific mindset to create this new Devils hockey identity.
As a motivational and defensive minded coach with a fresh and young mentality, John Hynes should help bring the Devils back to prosperity with the young defensive talent currently available in the organization and hopefully draw young and exciting talent to the organization in years to come.