New Jersey Devils fire coach Lindy Ruff, name Travis Green interim replacement

Mon, Mar 4, 2024
NHL News (AP)

New Jersey Devils fire coach Lindy Ruff, name Travis Green interim replacement

The New Jersey Devils fired coach Lindy Ruff on Monday and named assistant Travis Green as the interim replacement for the rest of the season.

General manager Tom Fitzgerald made the surprising move with less than 30 games left to play. The Devils have lost five of seven to fall further out of playoff contention, seven points back of division rival Philadelphia.

Ruff, 64, was in his fourth season with the team. The Devils reached the second round of the playoffs last year.

"I hold our entire organization to the highest levels of accountability to focus on being a competitive team that expects to be a perennial playoff contender," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we are not currently at that level, and I needed to make this decision.

"This was an extremely difficult conversation to have with Lindy based on the relationship that he and I have. He was the right coach to develop our young players on the ice, and above all else, he is a tremendous person."

The Devils gave Ruff a multiyear extension before the start of the season, which was his last under his previous contract. Chants of "Fire Lindy!" could be heard at home games during a rough start and again more recently as New Jersey's struggles continued.

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Green, who was in his first year with the team as an associate coach on Ruff's staff, takes over Tuesday at the morning skate ahead of the Devils' next game, which is against Florida. He spent parts of five seasons as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks from 2017-22.

"Travis has key experience running benches at the junior, AHL and NHL levels and knows that there are no shortcuts to success," Fitzgerald said. "He is a high-demanding individual who is familiar with the group and excited about working to get us back on track."

Ruff is the seventh NHL coach to be fired this season. All of his other assistants will remain in place.

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STEPHEN WHYNO DC-based hockey writer covering NHL, Capitals and Commanders twitter mailto "
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