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The Devils cut ties with their head coach

The Devils cut ties with their head coach

Given that they were not performing as expected heading into the final quarter of the regular season, the New Jersey Devils opted to fire coach Lindy Ruff on Monday.

The Newark-based team is only sixth in the Metropolitan Division, less than ten points away from the playoffs, while most observers saw them as vying for the top spot.

General manager Tom Fitzgerald made the decision after returning from the team's three-game trip to California. If the Devils can defeat the San Jose Sharks, they then bow to the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. However, GM took some of the blame, even though RAF was the only one to suffer.

“I hold the entire organization accountable to focus on being a competitive team that expects to make the playoffs year after year. Unfortunately, we're not at that level and I had to make a decision,” Fitzgerald admitted.

Ruff, a highly respected coach in his profession, spent just under four years at the helm in New Jersey. After missing the playoffs twice, he led his team to second place in the Metropolitan League and the second playoff round in the 2022-2023 season.

Green dominates

Assistant coach Travis Green took over, succeeding the 64-year-old coach, who was sitting on the bench. The former Vancouver Canucks flyer will serve as interim coach until the end of the campaign.

“It was a very difficult discussion with Lindy because of the relationship I had with him,” Fitzgerald said. He has been the right coach to develop our young players on the ice, and more than anything, he is an exceptional person.

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“Travis has a wealth of experience behind the bench in the minors, the Major League and the National League, and he knows there are no shortcuts on the path to success. He is someone who asks a lot, is familiar with this group and is excited to get us back on the right path,” the general manager continued.

Ruff's career in the National League began in 1993 as an assistant with the Florida Panthers. He is best known for leading the Buffalo Sabers for nearly 15 years. He also managed the Dallas Stars between 2012 and 2017.