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Why should John Hynes be fired?
John Hynes was hired by general manager Ray Shero at the beginning of the 2015-16 season. After many successful seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins’ AHL club, Hynes was selected to replace ex-Devils head coach, Pete DeBoer. So far, in the almost two full seasons as head coach, Hynes has compiled a record of 63-67-20 and has yet to qualify for the playoffs. Now keeping in mind that the Devils are in the midst of a rebuild, it still doesn’t give Coach Hynes a free pass to keep his job for next season.
In his first two seasons, he has coached his team to the bottom two in the league in terms of both team Corsi rating and team goals for. Hynes has also seen his player’s abilities to grow and succeed limited by creating puzzling line combinations and making certain players healthy scratches. Players such as Reid Boucher, Stefan Matteau, Jacob Josefson, Beau Bennett, Pavel Zacha, Seth Helgeson and even veteran Michael Cammalleri have all been victim to this treatment. The Devils have often been bland, and on most nights, are out-played, as evident by the teams terrible Corsi rating.
Now many may argue that Hynes hasn’t had much to work with, and they may have a point. These past few weeks have been a clutter of rookies and a lack of experience in and out of the lineup. But this is the time you need to develop your youth, not throw all of them on the same line and hope they succeed. Players like Taylor Hall, Adam Henrique, and Kyle Palmeiri need to be split up and paired with younger players in a lost season. I would love to see Zacha and Hall together, or Palmieri and Wood. Hynes isn’t setting his players up to succeed and in a rebuild, this is vital.
If Hynes is fired, who are the possible replacements?
Gerard Gallant: The 53-year old Gellant most recently coached with the Florida Panthers.
Bob Hartley: The 56-year old Hartly most recently coached with the Calgary Flames.
Michel Therrien: The 53-year old was relieved of his duties just a month ago while coaching the Montréal Canadiens.
Marc Crawford: The 56-year old Crawford has a ton of experience and is currently serves as the Florida Panthers assistant coach.
Paul MacLean: The 59-year old is loaded with coaching experiencing and is currently serves as the Anaheim Ducks assistant coach.
Rich Kowalsky: The 44-year old has been within the Devils’ organization for years, and has established himself as a very capable AHL-coach. He has yet to hold an NHL-coaching job.
Which candidate should be selected?
The individual who should be selected as the new head coach of the New Jersey Devils is Albany’s Rich Kowalsky. He’s a 44-year old who has been with the Devils’ organization for 11 seasons. He has coached the Albany Devils since his promotion from Trenton after the 2009-10 season. Kowalsky, who bounced around through different minor leagues in his playing career, has done a wonderful job since coming to Albany. He holds a 250-204-66 record in his seven year tenure as head coach. He will be going to the playoffs, most likely, for a third time in seven years. It amazes me how he wasn’t hired by the New Jersey Devils after the firing of Pete DeBoer. The Devils are also very lucky that no other NHL team has taken Kowalsky away from them.
Many people may disagree with this decision, and understandably so. Hynes was hired from an AHL team, and like Kowalsky, lacked any NHL experience before taking the job. So, a comparison can be made between the situation of the two individuals. Many may also look at Kowalsky’s record and not think that it is all that impressive. But, Devils fans need to remember how weak of a prospect pool the Devils had over those years. Lou Lamoriello struggled with drafting the right people and bringing good prospects to the AHL team.
With what Kowalsky has had to work with and all the success he has endured, it has been impressive. He has been responsible for the maturation of several players such as Mark Fayne, Adam Larsson, Adam Henrique, Jon Merrill, Joseph Blandisi, Keith Kinkaid, and Miles Wood just to name a few. In summary, it takes a lot of hard-work and dedication to an organization to be the individual that develops and coaches young players. Kowalsky has proven he is a stellar AHL coach and that it is time for his promotion.
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