Earlier today EVP/GM of the New Jersey Devils Ray Shero announced, on behalf of Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer, that a multi-year contract extension deal has been made with head coach John Hynes.
Hynes’s Career Pre NJ Devils
Hynes started off as an assistant coach for the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2000-01. For the 2002-03 season, he was made assistant coach of the University of Wisconsin. The next 6 seasons were spent as the head coach of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. During his tenure there, he led the team to 3 medals at the IIHF U18 Men’s Championship.
When Hynes was made head coach of the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the 2010-11 season, they ended the regular season with a record of 58-21-1 and up being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. For the next 4 years as their head coach, he would lead the team to 4 more consecutive playoff births, including 2 appearances in the conference finals.
Tenure with the Devils
Hynes was named head coach of the Devils in 2015. Coming into a struggling organization, he had a tough road ahead. Hynes preaches accountability, grit, compete and being a self-starter. He has changed the culture of the team both on and off the ice. He fully involves his assistant coaches, scouts, management and players in order to reinforce this new culture.
Last season is when everything came together in perfect harmony. Taylor Hall had a league MVP year, Nico Hischier had a stellar rookie season and with Cory Schneider being injured, Keith Kinkaid stepped up and stood strong in goal. Everything and everyone was clicking and the chemistry was flowing. The season culminated in a playoff run, which ended early, but nonetheless a playoff run which reinvigorated the fans.
Since taking over the helm of the Devils in 2015, Hynes has led the team in a strong direction, giving the team a playoff birth during the 2017-18 season for the first time in years. Yes, it has been frustrating for the fans over the recent years but the Devils are improving. Despite the obvious struggles during this rebuilding era for the Devils, extending Hynes’s contract is the right move. Having had 19 different head coaches since the 1987-88 season, Hynes brings a sense of stability to the Devils organization and his extension further cements the fact that senior management is buying in to his coaching style and techniques.
Stats: hockeydb.com; nhl.com; teamusa.usahockey.com; espn.com;
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals