John Hynes hired by NJ Devils, becomes NHL’s youngest coach

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Photo via pittsburghpenguins.com
Photo via pittsburghpenguins.com

John Hynes was born on Feb. 10, 1975. 

Patrik Elias was born on April 13, 1976.

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The former will coach the latter next season.

Hynes, 40, will be announced at the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils at a Tuesday press conference, as the AHL Wilkes Barre-Scranton coach gets the big promotion from his former boss.

He replaces Lou Lamoriello, Adam Oates and Scott Stevens as Devils coach. He has the strength of three men!

GM Ray Shero promoted Hynes to the Baby Penguins’ head coaching gig in 2010. Hynes made the playoffs in all five years he was head coach, although his teams lost in the second round three times and the conference finals twice. He had a record of 231-126-27.

To the surprise of absolutely no one that believes Lou Lamoriello still has more than a guiding hand in crafting the Devils, Hynes played his college hockey at Boston University.

What kind of coach is he? Rich Chere of the Star Ledger writes: “Wilkes-Barre/Scranton gave up the fewest number of goals in the AHL this past season, but the team also scored goals. The club's goals-differential was plus-49.”

As far as compensation to the Penguins, Tom Gulitti writes:

The only hold-up, as of early this evening, was settling with the Pittsburgh Penguins on the compensation for Hynes. Under a recently added NHL rule, the Penguins are entitled to a third-round draft pick from one of the next three drafts.

The Devils, who would have choice of which year the pick comes from, have three third-round picks in 2016: their own, one acquired from Detroit in the Marek Zidlicky trade and a conditional one acquired from Florida in the trade for Jaromir Jagr. As a stipulation of the Jagr trade, the Devils get the better of either Florida's 2016 pick or Minnesota's (acquired in a different deal by Florida).

The other names in the mix for the Devils were Dan Bylsma, who was Shero’s coach in Pittsburgh when they won the Stanley Cup, and reportedly Phil Housley, the Nashville Predators assistant coach and former Devils defenseman.

Shero said he was looking for a coach “that can motivate” and “that can teach.” From the moment he took the gig, he had the long view on the team’s success: “This isn’t a short-term thing here where next year we’ve got to make the playoffs,” he said. “Of course, you [do] want to make the playoffs.”

Hynes seems to fit that long view. Philosophically, his dogma starts at the blue line. It seems a bit more offensive than, say, Guy Boucher, another name linked to Jersey. And at 40 years old, he’s someone that can relate to younger players and, in the end grow with the team as it rebuilds to success.

At least, in theory. We’ll learn a lot more when Hynes meets the media on Tuesday. 

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