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Two Head Coaching Candidates Interviewed by the Devils Revealed

Former Devils forward Jay Pandolfo and NCAA Frozen Four champion David Carle interviewed for the previously vacant Devils head coaching position.

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New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils hired Sheldon Keefe as the 31st head coach in franchise history, the 22nd in Devils history. The new Devils bench boss received a four-year contract fresh off his firing from the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was a long and detailed orientated process for the Devils, but they finally came to a conclusion on Keefe last week as the best fit behind the New Jersey bench. However, in his introductory press conference, it was revealed upwards of 10 head coaching candidates were interviewed, and two of them were revealed on Tuesday.

General Manager Tom Fitzgerald sat beside Keefe excited he secured his top head coaching choice. Yet, the Devils’ GM shed light on the fact that he didn’t just claim his search for a head coach to be detailed and thorough but explained he interviewed upwards of 10 candidates for the previously vacant head coaching position.

“It was extensive to start. I cut that down a little bit but if I had to guess, [I talked to] 8-10 [coaching candidates],” Fitzgerald explained to the New Jersey media. “I’m a pretty curious person. There were a lot of guys that I spoke to that I knew weren’t ready for the job. But curiosity put them in front of me knowing that certain individuals talked to will be NHL coaches at some point down the road here. That’s always interesting that I got a chance to talk to this young person back in the day.”

According to Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, two of those coaching candidates did not have NHL head coaching experience. One is former Devil/NHLer Jay Pandolofo, and the other is 2024 NCAA Frozen Four champion, David Carle.

Pandolfo played for the Devils from 1997 to 2010 before he retired after the 2012-13 season. He was named the head coach of Boston University in May of 2022 and led the Terriers to the Frozen Four in his first season behind the bench, securing first place in Hockey East with an 18–6–0 record.

Carle is an extremely successful head coach at the NCAA level bringing the University of Denver two Frozen Four Championships in 2019 & 2024. After he led the Pioneers to another championship this spring, Carle has been named USCHO.com Coach of the Year for the 2023-24 season in a vote of USCHO.com staff members.

In six seasons behind the bench in Denver, Carle’s led them to an absurd 148-62-16 record which translates to an absurd .690 win percentage.

The Devils (rightly) made their choice hiring Sheldon Keefe. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of, or both of, Pandolfo and Carle behind NHL benches soon.

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