NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Facing the prospect of missing the playoff for the first time since 1997, the New Jersey Devils fired rookie coach John MacLean on Thursday and brought back the firm hand of Jacques Lemaire to try to salvage the season.
After six years without a Stanley Cup, the New Jersey Devils are handing over the team to the coach who led them to their first NHL title.
Jacques Lemaire, who coached the Devils for five seasons in the mid 1990s and led them to the Cup in 1995, is New Jersey’s coach again. He was hired on Monday, some five weeks after Brent Sutter resigned and eventually took over as coach of the Calgary Flames.
By all accounts, the Minnesota Wild would have been far less successful with someone other than Jacques Lemaire behind the bench.
After supervising every game since their birth as an expansion franchise nine years ago, Lemaire believes the Wild are better off without him. His players, with full respect, didn’t argue.
April 14, 2009
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