MacLean takes over Devils bench

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:51 PM ET

Oshawa-born John MacLean is the next coach of the New Jersey Devils, as general manager Lou Lamoriello did the expected and stuck close to home with his selection.

MacLean, 45, is the franchise's leading goal scorer and spent years in the Devils system as an instructor, most recently with the Lowell, Mass., farm team. He scored 347 goals for the Devils, including the overtime winner that qualified them for their first playoff trip in 1988.

His hiring means the Devils aren't undergoing a radical shift in their neutral-zone-trap mentality, though the recent coaching turnover and quick playoff exits have concerned some veterans.

"Every year over the past few seasons we’ve been scratching our heads for that same decision: 'Who's going to be the next guy?'" goalie Martin Brodeur said to local media, prior to Thursday's announcement. "We're trying to be consistent. We’ve been like that with our players, we need to start doing that with our coaches, also.

"I think it came as a shock to everybody that Jacques (Lemaire) left us (retiring at age 65). It came as a shock that Brent (Sutter) left us (in 2009). So now we're up against the same situation again, to find somebody that can lead us to where we need to go.

"Stability is where we built our success in New Jersey. We have to regain that."

The Devils have hit a dry patch with just two playoff series wins since their most recent Stanley Cup, in 2003.

MacLean was teammates with current Devils Brodeur, Patrik Elias, Jay Pandolfo, Brian Rolston and Jamie Langenbrunner.


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