By Michael Russo
The worst kept secret in hockey — or worst kept speculation in hockey — literally since last winter appears to be coming into fruition. According to CTV in Calgary, Brent Sutter will step down as the coach of the Devils today.
Sutter’s tenure there ended in devastating fashion. In Game 7 back in April, the Carolina Hurricanes went from being 1:20 away from their season ending to ending the season of the Devils with 32 seconds left.
I’d expect that Jacques Lemaire will at least get a phone call to see if he’s interested in returning to Jersey.
Lemaire, who has yet to sign on as a consultant in Tampa for some reason, made it crystal clear after he left Minnesota that he does want to coach again. But he also made it crystal clear that if he ever were to coach again, it has to be for a general manager he has a relationship with. And he said it has to be on the East coast.
Well, there aren’t a lot of options with so many limitations.
Lemaire coached the Devils from 1993-98, winning a Cup there in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. He and GM Lou Lamoriello still have great mutual respect for each other, proof by the hour they spent in the stands chatting each other up when the Wild was there in March.
Only time will tell, but this has been my gut feeling from the moment Lemaire said he wanted to coach again after the season finale in Columbus. Just to make clear, this is pure conjecture though.