Rumor: Lindy Ruff to be targeted by the NJ Devils
The latest rumor from Elliotte Friedman has Lindy Ruff on the short list of potential head coaches for the NJ Devils.
It has previously been reported the NJ coaching candidates were Alain Nasreddine (incumbent), Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, John Stevens and a "mystery candidate." Hearing that is NYR assistant Lindy Ruff, head coach in BUF (1997-2013) and DAL (2013-17).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 23, 2020
The other candidates for the Devils are Alain Nasreddine, Gerard Gallant (Florida/Vegas), Peter Laviolette (Nashville), and John Stevens (LA Kings). The most successful on this list are Ruff, Gallant, and Laviolette.
The Rangers hired Ruff before the 2017-2018 season as an assistant to Alain Vigneault. He does have the head coach pedigree with Buffalo and Dallas. Put in charge of the defense upon his arrival, his best results have been mediocre. That is within the head coach’s system, though.
Ruff’s effectiveness has been questioned each time a defenseman leaves New York and succeeds. Ruff has had minimal success defensively, both with the Rangers and with his head coaching stints elsewhere. It is worth noting that Vigneault and David Quinn hold most of the responsibility for the defensive shortcomings.
This is just a rumor, but given how teams like to recycle coaches, it wouldn’t shock me to see Lindy Ruff get that coaching job with the Devils. Even if that happens, don’t expect an immediate turn around defensively for the Rangers.