December 3, 2019 / 10:54 PM / 2 days ago

Devils fire Hynes, promote assistant to interim coach

FILE PHOTO: Nov 30, 2019; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes watches the action during the third period of their game against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils fired coach John Hynes hours before the team’s game on Tuesday night.

The Devils (9-13-4, 22 points) entered the night last in the Metropolitan Division with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. They lost their past two games — against the New York Rangers and at the Buffalo Sabres — by a combined score of 11-1.

The team announced that assistant coach Alain Nasreddine will be the interim head coach and that New Jersey pro scout Peter Horachek will join the staff as an assistant.

“John played an integral role in the development of this team in establishing a foundation for our future and we are grateful for his commitment, passion and unmatched work ethic,” Devils general manager Ray Shero said in a statement.

“John is a respected leader, developer of talent and friend which makes this decision difficult. We are a team that values and takes pride in accountability to the results we produce. We are collectively disappointed in our performance on the ice and believe changes were needed, starting with our head coach.”

Hynes, 44, was in his fifth year as the head coach of the Devils, posting a career record of 150-159-45. New Jersey missed the playoffs in three of his four seasons, but the team had higher expectations for 2019-20 after trading for three-time All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban, signing free agent wing Wayne Simmonds and selecting center Jack Hughes with the first pick in the draft.

This will be the first head coaching experience for Nasreddine, who appeared in 74 NHL games across five seasons from 1998 to 2008. He has been an assistant coach in New Jersey since July 2015.

—Field Level Media

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