Jacques Lemaire, to the surprise of absolutely no one who follows hockey at all, is the new head coach of the Devils.  God help us all.

I’m going to give this a month or two before deciding whether it’s a bad move or not, but it doesn’t feel good right now. Lemaire is terribly old-school, and the Devils were finally turning into a strong forechecking team, and a pretty exciting one at that.

On the other hand, Lemaire, while successful with the Wild, wasn’t THAT successful, and he’s gotta know that at his age (64 in September), this is his last shot to prove that he can win in the new NHL. Maybe he can change. Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

Hey, at least Brian Rolston can be counted on for a good chunk of goals this year. It was under Lemaire that he scored 30+ per season for three years before signing with the Devils last year.

For those wondering, Lemaire brings Mario Tremblay with him as assistant coach. The Devils retain Tommy Albelin, and Johnny MacLean moves down to Lowell as the new head coach there. Congrats to Johnny Mac, as this, I think, essentially guarantees him the Devils head coaching job in two years.

It’s definitely a decision that leaves us much to discuss for the rest of the summer. Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?


  1. The only thing I really like about Sutter was the forecheck. He was right to make Langs captain, but he treated Elias like crap, and I have no respect for that.

    Lemaire is kinda the opposite — the only thing I don’t like about him (at least with this roster) is the trap. If he can keep some of Sutter’s system in place, and help guys like Bergfors, Corrente, Halischuk Eckford, Pelley, and even Zajac and Clarkie develop, this team could be scary good. If he reverts to the trap, I see Parise and Zajac regressing, and Martin and Oduya looking less and less comfortable, and it goes to hell.

  2. This is 100% the right move.

    The team’s 2009 and 2008 demise can be blamed on lax, sloppy defense. The Devs need to get back to basics, and Jacquy is the dude to do it. All this “new NHL” bullshit is just that, bullshit. Defense and goaltending still win championships, just like in 1995, 2000, and 2003.

    Don’t over think this one.


  3. sutter sucked big time this will be a massive improvment u will all c.

  4. Dago Red says:

    I’m giving this one a wait ‘n see. I think it’s unfair to tag Lemaire as a trap-only coach. It suited the Devs’ purposes perfectly back when they boasted a defense corps that was head, shoulders, and both nipples above any other team of that era and, before other teams copied them, it fueled a goal-scoring boom for the Devs. (Remember Scotty Bowman’s smug remark before the 95 finals? – “You can’t trap what you can’t catch.”)

    When Lemaire took the reins in MN he had a young, inexperienced team that NEEDED a system in order to be competitive. Coming from a Canadians team that, during his career, put a huge emphasis on scoring goals, I find it hard to believe he can’t adjust to a more offensive-minded roster.

  5. next year the kool aid will be served 4 cups at a time.

  6. anything right now is better because of what happened with ol Elf Ears … I hope Lou fills out the roster with decent players so we can still be competitive and attempt to get into the playoffs again … 1st season with a new head coach is always iffy at best.. maybe 40 games or so then we should have a better feeling about where the team is going