New Jersey Devils set to hire Rangers assistant Lindy Ruff as head coach

Former New York Rangers goaltender turned NHL Network analyst, Kevin Weekes, is reporting Wednesday that Lindy Ruff will be named the new head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

All signs pointed to this being Ruff’s final season

Lindy Ruff is beloved and still considered the best head coach the Buffalo Sabres have had. So much so that the Rangers granted him permission to speak with the Sabres this past summer for their vacant coaching position. Although he didn’t get the job, he told a Buffalo news station that “the fire still burns” and he wants to be a head coach again.

After this television interview I spoke with a team source to see if Ruff was leaving the organization. At the time it was relayed to me that Ruff was still with the team and would remain Quinn’s assistant for at least one more season.

Now it appears Ruff will indeed be getting that head coaching position he wanted for almost two years now.

Ruff as the New Jersey Devils coach

We learned within the last few weeks that not only did Ruff interview for the New Jersey job, he is was very much in the running. That was with some stiff competition as both Peter Laviolette and Gerard Gallant were up for the coaching position.

I think Lindy Ruff has a legit shot at the New Jersey coaching job. I had heard that external GM candidates asked the Devils to allow them some input, but a few people told me Ruff is very much in this picture no matter what.

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What remains to be see is how the Rangers and Ruff will handle this situation. My speculation is that they will let Ruff finish out the season alongside David Quinn. This does have the potential to be an awkward distraction as well.

The hiring is expected to be made official Thursday with a formal announcement.