1) OK, if this were any other team we would assume this was a panic move. With the move being made by one of the most respected hockey execs in the game, Lou Lamarello we have to assume there is a real reason behind this bold/unexpected move.
2) Lou has of course done this before. Firing a coach, Robbie Ftorek and replacing him with Larry Robinson before the playoffs and going on to win a Cup. For a team with so much success the past 12-15 years they seem to have quite the turn over in coaches. Perhaps this IS a panic move by Lou. perhaps he didn't like the trend the team was taking the past month. Figuring that he can't change his roster at this late date, but can change the man behind the bench.
3) We figure that, like the last time Lamarello took over as coach, John McClean will be the de-facto coach of the team with Lou being the "Figure head" (literally) standing behind the players. McClean will be making the on ice moves with Lou of course getting the final word. If things go as before, Lou will largely remain silent during games, with occasional input between periods.
4) If the Devils fail to go far into the playoffs this move will be second guessed. However, Lou has bought more than his share of goodwill with his vast resume of great decisions, so he has nothing to worry about as far as job security is concerned. We at FAUXRUMORS were surprised when Julien was hired in the first place. We felt McLean had earned the spot and would be elevated after last season. If NJ succeeds this time around its JM's job to lose. Then again Lou is NEVER predictable.