Yesterday, the New Jersey Devils announced that Assistant General Manager Tom Fitzgerald would be joining John Hynes’ coaching staff as an assistant. According to Amanda Stein on Twitter, the decision and idea to have Fitzgerald join was made by Hynes himself. With a number of fans calling for the coaching staff to be dismissed after the team’s 0-4-2 start, something had to give. This move would be termed “questionable” at best; to me, it feels like a rash reaction, and the wrong rash reaction at that.
I appreciate the players saying all of the right things; Hall spoke about his positivity, Zajac spoke about his desire to help right the ship and Schneider added more about his experience and background. Hynes even spoke about how he can aid the team going forward. I have no doubt that Fitzgerald will be a professional (as he has been in his time in the organization) and that he’s going to do his best to help the players that he’s working with. But is this move the right move?
It’s hard to say with any certainty in the infancy of this move, but I’m still going to state my own opinion on the matter. With the amount of talent on the team, as we’ve said before, this start is unforgivable; the onus appears to be on the players, however, from everything that has been seen in the media. I don’t think this should be the case; past teams have shown us the impact that poor coaching can have (2010-11 Devils anyone?) and this Devils team is infinitely more talented than the squad iced last year.