Newark, N.J. — New Jersey Devils Lindy Ruff is apparently still under contract. The assumption was that Ruff’s contract expired at the conclusion of the 2023-24 season. However, on the first day of training camp at RWJBarnabas Arena, we learned that’s not necessarily the case.
According to the Devils, Ruff had an option in his contract he signed before the 2019-20 season that included an option for a fourth year. On Thursday, New Jersey Hockey Now learned that Ruff has indeed exercised that option. The Devils head coach will continue to operate under the contract that was believed to have expired in June.
That’s not all, however. Both Ruff and General Manager Tom Fitzgerald explained that they’re working towards a new contract for Ruff that extends beyond the 2023-24 season.
“Lindy and I are working towards extending beyond this year,” Fitzgerald explained. “We’ll get there and we’re working on it.”
“To be honest, Lindy knows how I feel about him as our coach,” Fitzgerald continued. “He knows how David (Blitzer), Josh (Harris), and Tad (Brown) feel about him as the coach of their team. It’s just one of those things where when you do have a year left like he does, maybe there was no urgency in the summer for me. But, I know this was my plan and my recommendation to ownership is to extend Lindy beyond this year.”
So, what we do know is that Ruff will be the head coach of the Devils in 2023-24. We also know now that it’s under the same contract he began his Devils tenure with. The question that lies ahead now is, how long will Ruff remain? It seems plausible to believe New Jersey will want to keep the Jack Adams runner-up around for a few more years. Especially given how far he led the Devils in 2022-23 after a few years of turmoil. We’ll see how quickly this extension works itself out.