New Jersey general manager Ray Shero has reached into his ties with the Pittsburgh Penguins to pick the Devils’ next head coach, John Hynes, a person with knowledge of the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday night.
Shero has chosen the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach to run the once-proud team that has failed to make the playoffs the past three seasons.
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The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team did not confirm the hiring. The team plans to introduce the new coach at a news conference Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Hynes has coached the Penguins’ AHL farm team for the past five seasons, making the playoffs each year. He was the AHL’s coach of the year in 2010-11.
New Jersey went 32-36-14 for 78 points this past season, missing the playoffs by 20 points. It was the sixth-worst record in the NHL and the team’s worst in a full season since getting 66 points in 1988-89.
Pete DeBoer, who led the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, was fired as head coach in December after a 12-17-7 start. The Devils finished the season with team president and then-general manager Lou Lamoriello running them with assistant coaches Adam Oates and Scott Stevens.
The 72-year-old Lamoriello stepped aside as general manager early last month and Shero was hired. Lamoriello maintained his role as president.
Prior to joining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hynes spent six seasons as a head coach with USA Hockey’s National Development Team Program, posting a 216-113-19-9 record. He is a former Boston University player who won a national title in 1995.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has produced several NHL head coaches. Dan Bylsma, who recently was hired to be the Buffalo Sabres coach, is a former Wilkes Barre/Scranton coach who led the Penguins to a Stanley Cup title.
Michel Therrien of the Montreal Canadians, Todd Richards of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Mike Yeo of the Minnesota Wild are former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaches.
DeBoer coached the Devils to the Stanley Cup Final during his first campaign with the Devils in 2011-12 when they lost to the LA Kings in six games.
The Devils failed to make the playoffs the next two seasons and after a slow start last fall, DeBoer was let go before the new year.
DeBoer was recently hired to coach the San Jose Sharks.