In coach Pete DeBoer‘s two years behind the bench for the New Jersey Devils, there has been a revolving door of assistants. After last season’s surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals and DeBoer’s first as the team’s head coach, both Larry Robinson and Adam Oates left during the off season.
Oates moved south to become coach of the Washington Capitals and longtime Devils coach Robinson went west to be an assistant for the San Jose Sharks when his contract expired last summer. Now, after spending just one season in the Garden State, assistant coach Matt Shaw has departed to become the GM and head coach of the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL.
For DeBoer, the move came was unexpected.
“”It was a little bit of a surprise, but when you have good people there are always other opportunities,” DeBoer explained in an interview in The Star Ledger. “It was the same with Larry (Robinson) and Adam Oates last year. I think it just shows we made a decision bringing (Shaw) in. He has an opportunity to grow as a coach and take a role he hasn’t had before. I understand why we wants to do it. We’ll have to find another good guy.”
At the moment, DeBoer does not have any candidates in mind even though one of his ex-rivals from across the Hudson, John Tortorella is currently looking for work after being fired from the New York Rangers.
“It’s still real preliminary,” DeBoer continued. “Lou (Lamoreillo) and I are planning to get together this week at some point to discuss where we go from here. Obviously, we have to compile a short list and do some interviews. With the draft in New Jersey that should be easy to do this year. We’ll try to find a suitable guy.”
GM Lou Lamoriello, who usually doesn’t leave much to chance, probably has a list of his own already.
“I have some names I’m kicking around in my head.” DeBoer elaborated. “I’m sure Lou has some too.”
Fans are hoping the new assistant can help generate some offense especially on the power play, which was supposed to be Shaw’s area of expertise. The word most often used to describe the Devils’ play with a man advantage last season was inept.