NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 17: (L-R) President/ CEO/ General Manager Lou Lamoriello of the New Jersey Devils and John MacLean address the media after MacLean was introduced as the Devils new head coach during a press conference at the Prudential Center on June 17, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)

Merry Christmas: John MacLean Fired As Coach Of New Jersey Devils

The New Jersey Devils have fired head coach John MacLean. At least he doesn't have to worry about a last place team over the holiday. Jacques Lemaire does, however, as he's been named interim head coach.

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Which Devils Bloggers Predicted The Firing Of John MacLean?

At the beginning of November, Mike Chen at SB Nation's From The Rink held a roundtable discussion with four Devils bloggers -- John Fischer of In Lou We Trust, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy, Steve Lepore of SB Nation New York and Chris Wassel of The Program.

Chen asked the guys if coach John MacLean would be fired, and if so, when he'd be fired. Well, now that it's happened, let's look back and see who was right.

-Prediction: Does Lou fire MacLean, and if so, at what point in the season?

Chris: Lou Lamoriello will ultimately not fire John MacLean.  The team is too good not to at least somewhat turn this around and then make a run late in the season.  The bigger question may be this.  Would a guy like Mike Haviland been a better hire than MacLean who Lamoriello clearly had reservations about hiring?  After all, Coach MacLean had what amounted to a six or seven year internship in the Devils' organization before taking the reigns.

Clearly work needs to be done.  The team is stuck with MacLean and MacLean is stuck with them.  Time for each side to deal with it.  Point blank!

Greg: Yes, and within the next month.

John: Before the Anaheim game, I stated that if the Devils drop both that game and the LA game, then MacLean's on notice.  They did win the Anaheim game, and it would make more sense to let the road trip play out and .  I will say this, though.  If MacLean can't get this team to .500 by the end of November, then I'd say he's a dead man walking.   The root issues may not be solved with a new head coach, but there needs to be reason to believe they are being addressed by MacLean and his staff working with the players.  This requires that progress is made and results are earned.

Steve: If, at 35 games, the Devils are more than 5 games under .500, John MacLean will be gone. I think Lou can only let this go so long, and Christmas seems the right time.

All but one of them predicted the firing, and Lepore was apparently bang on with his prediction.


Devils Fans React To Firing Of John MacLean

Over at our Devils blog, In Lou We Trust, fans are reacting to today's news that coach John MacLean has been fired. Here's ILWT's Kevin Sellathamby:

It was too late. Not going to make a difference. Is Lemaire going to solve any problems at the moment? He's probably going to improve the defense, as in getting people to actually do something instead of standing around while Jay Beagle walks in and roofs one past Martin Brodeur. Is he going to turn the Devils into world beaters? I doubt it.

One unique reaction overheard on XM Radio earlier today, re: why they chose Jacques Lemaire over some other coach. Remember back to last season. Lemaire was fired by the Devils "retired" following their first round playoff exit last season, but the Devils kept him on in a role -- similar to what they're doing with MacLean now. It's a common move when you still owe a guy money. You know, keep him around and make him useful.

So, perhaps, the Devils still owe Lemaire money, and hey, why not make him coach again and make him earn that money in a more useful way? ILWT sees it much more simply. The Devils are simply biding their time, waiting to make the correct decision in who they hire long-term.

As for Lemaire, some might wonder if it's really necessary for him to remain with the team for the remainder of the season. If you ask me, maybe Lou's going through all the potential coaching candidates. He's probably going to be extra careful with all the candidates, seeing as he doesn't want another MacLean.

For more reaction from Devils fans, head over to In Lou We Trust.


Merry Christmas: John MacLean Fired As Coach Of New Jersey Devils

All you really need to do is look at the standings to understand today's news.

The New Jersey Devils, the worst team in hockey, have fired their head coach just 33 games into his tenure. According to a report by Montreal's CKAC Radio, which has since been confirmed by the Newark Star-Ledger, the Devils have sent head coach John MacLean packing and will replace him with former coach Jacques Lemaire on an interim basis.

The team since has confirmed the decision. General manager Lou Lamoriello also announced that Lemaire will coach the team until the end of the current season, but that a new coach will be hired over the summer.

Over the summer, John Fischer of SB Nation's Devils blog, In Lou We Trust, analyzed the hiring of MacLean. He ultimately settled on this opinion:

I'm not as down on this hiring as I initially was with Lemaire last summer, but I can't say that I'm thrilled. I'm somewhere in the middle, per the poll choices. Truth be told, there weren't a lot of great options available; no one that stood out as an ideal candidate.  All the same, my opinion is moot. MacLean's the head coach whether I love it or loathe it.  Besides, I eventually learned to like the Lemaire hire last summer, perhaps that will happen again during the upcoming season.

It will be interesting to see how many Devils fans will welcome back Lemaire, and if, like Fischer, they can learn to like the move when all is said and done.

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