Toronto Star

Devils GM decides to split coaching responsibi­lities


NEWARK, N.J.— In an arrangemen­t he called “unique,” New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello on Saturday unveiled replacemen­ts for Peter DeBoer, whom he fired as head coach the day before.

Lamoriello chose two familiar faces, Scott Stevens and Adam Oates, as co-coaches, but said neither would hold a title. Lamoriello also said he would be behind the bench for an unspecifie­d period.

“It’s been a very interestin­g last 48 hours,” Lamoriello said. “I tried to come up with the best way for our team to do certain things with the personnel we have.”

Lamoriello has twice previously taken over after firing a Devils coach.

Along with DeBoer, Devils assistant Dave Barr was fired. Mike Foligno, Chris Terreri and Tommy Albelin were retained.

In a setup similar to a football coaching staff, Stevens will have “complete autonomy over the defence,” Lamoriello said. Stevens was an assistant under DeBoer for two seasons but resigned suddenly in September because of what Stevens said was “a difference of opinion on how we played the game at times.”

Oates, who also was an assistant under DeBoer, coached the Washington Capitals for two seasons but was fired after missing the playoffs last season. Oates said he had been “watching a lot of hockey” since he lost his job in April.

According to Lamoriello, Oates will be in charge of the Devils’ forwards. When DeBoer was fired, the Devils had scored just 76 goals in 36 games, and Oates will probably take over the power play, which he also oversaw as an assistant in New Jersey. When asked who would have the final say over personnel decisions, Lamoriello said it would be a “joint, team effort.” Stevens and Oates echoed that sentiment.

“I think everything is going to be collective right now,” Oates said. “It’s a team effort. Scotty and Lou have said it — we’re all on the same page and we have one goal, and everything will be talked out.”

Lamoriello added that there were “no promises made” to anyone and that he intended to have one coach next season.

 ??  ?? Adam Oates, left, and Scott Stevens will be co-coaches for the Devils, replacing the fired Peter DeBoer.
Adam Oates, left, and Scott Stevens will be co-coaches for the Devils, replacing the fired Peter DeBoer.
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