Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Three Headed Monster?
1) That's was the description one NHL insider told Fauxrumors the new Devils coaching strategy is headed towards (if not already there). To refresh non NJ Devils followers, 2 weeks ago, right after X-mas GM LOu Lamarello fired coach Pete DeBoer and replaced him with an Islander-esque move of having "co-coaches". Scott Stevens would handle the defense, and Adam Oates would in essence be the offensive coordinator. Now originally we were told that Lou had no intention of also going behind the bench, but our sources tell us that at the last second he decided it would be best if there was someone who the players could relate to as being the boss, even if he were a mere 'figure head'
2) So why describe this as a 3 headed monster? Well, as our insider told us, both Stevens and Oates were hoping to get the big gig after DeBoer was let go. When they got the call from Lamarello Christmas eve, the story goes, both expressed eagerness to take over and move the team in the direction they feel could get the franchise back to success. When told of Lou's 'unique' concept of co-coaches both men were skeptical, but felt that in time they would be named the head guy.
3) So already, we're told divisions are occurring in 'the room'. As Lamarelllo should have foreseen, factions have already formed in the Devils dressing room. Most of the forwards want Oates to be named head coach, while the defense, and definitely Cory Schneider want the defense-first Stevens to be named the permanent top guy. One of our NJ sources have even said that there is friction even during games among the 2 coaches. Both trying to impress the boss who is seen most games hands folded and not really doing much more than observing and making an occasional remark to a player.
4) Lamarello is not a stupid man, and he has to know whats going on all around him. As such he is going to have to make a choice BEFORE the All star game in a few weeks. The problem is that the 'loser' of this decision will likely not stay on to be a loyal assistant. Stevens already left the team last summer over difference with DeBoer and feels his time has come to be given the reins. Oates probably feels likewise, but we can't confirm this. Therefore in our opinion Lou should make his decision sooner rather than later before the season, already tenuous, becomes a total lost cause.