John Hynes went just over one month without an NHL coaching gig, a run that ended when he was named to the Nashville Predators top spot on Tuesday.
Hynes takes over for Peter Laviolette, who was fired Monday. Hynes was dismissed by the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 3 after the team got off to a 9-13-4 start.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to join an organization with a history of success, a team with immense talent and a phenomenal fan base,” Hynes said in a statement. “This organization has a strong foundation, from its ownership and executives to the entire front-office staff, and I’m excited to come in and try to maximize this team’s abilities.”
The Predators were off to their own underachieving start this season, going 19-15-7 before Laviolette was dismissed. The final straw was a 5-4 shootout defeat to the struggling Anaheim Ducks on the road Sunday night.
Hynes, 44, was 150-159-45 in five seasons with the Devils, taking them to the first round of the 2017-18 playoffs, where they were defeated in five games by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“John Hynes is a bright young coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans,” Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. “We love his coaching resume and are confident that he has learned from every stop during his career, and has the best skill set to get the maximum potential out of our team.”
The Predators play at home against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, then will hit the road for games at Chicago, Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Nashville is in sixth place in the Central Division with 45 points, ahead of just the Chicago Blackhawks. The Predators are five points behind the Jets for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
—Field Level Media