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Report: New Jersey Devils Head Coaching Search Timeline Becomes Unclear

Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald is still mulling over who his next head coach will be, and the decision might hinge on one candidates decision to return to the NHL.

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Last week, it was reported that the New Jersey Devils would have liked to decide on their head coach within seven to 10 days. That report was eight days ago.

As of Wednesday morning, Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald has not named a new head coach. The only thing that has happened is Travis Green was hired in Ottawa as the next bench boss of the Senators.

All we know is there will be a new head coach. Candidates remain Sheldon Keefe, Jay Woodcroft, Craig Berube, & Todd McLellan. We’re just not sure when one of them, if any, will be hired by New Jersey.

Despite Pierre LeBrun’s report that the Devils will make a hire sometime this week, a new report has surfaced that states the timeline has become a little fuzzy.

According to Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman via the latest 32 Thoughts the Podcast, New Jersey may not be as close to a decision as initially believed.

“Well, Devil’s fans, I’m sorry to put you through a bit of a roller coaster here,” Friedman said. “I’ve had a couple of occasions where people have kind of thought it was close, but a couple sources who I think are really smart say, don’t jump to any conclusions yet.

“There was a time I thought Berube was the lead candidate. There was a time I thought Woodcroft was the lead candidate. I know they’ve shown interest in McLellan, and I think there was also a time when I thought Keefe was the lead candidate. To give you some ideas out there, at different times in the last 24 to 48 hours, people who I think are pretty plugged in have said, ‘Chase this guy or chase that guy. That’s the guy.'”

Friedman explained earlier in the show that he believes Berube is the guy in Toronto. He concedes that nothing is done until it’s done and explains Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving is taking his time, but no one should be surprised if Berube ends up coaching Auston Matthews and Co. next season.

One of the factors that is seemingly holding up the Devils’ timeline is whether or not former the former Maple Leafs head coach wants to jump right back into a coaching position.

“So the Devils are definitely keeping people guessing,” Friedman concluded. “I just think one of the things with Keefe, who I definitely think is a contender here is, & what people are asking, does he really want to coach right now? And I think we’re still kind of waiting on that answer. So that’s what I would say. I know for the Devils fans, it’s not as clear as you would like, but I don’t want to make anything up, at least not today.”

The good news is that no one else has hired one of the Devils’ candidates, therefore, all of their options are seemingly still before them. However, the Devils will want to make their decision sooner rather than later, before one of their desired options is no longer available.

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