Devils to hire Sheldon Keefe as next head coach

The Devils have their next head coach.

Former Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe will take over behind the Devils bench, according to multiple reports.

Brian McGonagle, co-host of the “Spittin’ Chiclets” podcast – aka Rear Admiral – was the first to announce the news and reported that Keefe will be introduced at a news conference at the Prudential Center on a date yet to be determined.

Sheldon Keefe
Sheldon Keefe has found a home with the Devils. NHLI via Getty Images

His new contract with the Devils will be for four years, including the two years owed to him by the Maple Leafs, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported.

Keefe had spent six seasons as coach of the Leafs and had an overall record of 212-97-40.

Under Keefe, the Leafs had qualified for the playoffs all five years he was there, but only made it past the first round once.

He was fired after Toronto was knocked out of the playoffs, but the Bruins after a seven-game first-round series ended in a heartbreaker in Boston.

Keefe made a farewell video to Leafs fans from what appeared to be a boat following his firing.

Keefe now takes over a Devils team that failed to live up to expectations this season after a strong playoff run in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs that included eliminating the Rangers.

New Jersey finished 38-39-5 in a season in which Lindy Ruff was fired as head coach after 61 games of the campaign, with Travis Green leading the Devils to an 8- 12-1 as interim coach.

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, top center, calls out to his players during the third period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Bruins of Boston, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Boston.
First center Sheldon Keefe calls out to his players during the third period of Game 2 of a first-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series against the Boston Bruins, Monday, April 22, 2024, in Boston. P.A.

Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said at the end of the season that he would conduct a thorough coaching search.

“I owe it to the organization that I’m scouring the coaching world looking for who I believe would be the perfect coach for this group to move forward given what’s available,” Fitzgerald told reporters.

New York Post

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