Devils fire Ray Shero, make Tom Fitzgerald interim GM

James O'Brien

It turns out Cory Schneider getting recalled is far from the biggest New Jersey Devils news on Sunday. In a surprisingly timed move, the Devils decided to fire GM Ray Shero, instituting Tom Fitzgerald as interim GM.

Technically, the Devils stated that Shero and the team “agreed to part ways.” Read the full statement from Fitzgerald and team executive Josh Harris:

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“The New Jersey Devils and General Manager Ray Shero have agreed to part ways, effective immediately.

“Ray is a talented hockey executive and I am confident he will have great success in the future. However, Ray and I are in agreement that the Devils need to move in a new direction and that this change is in the best interest of the team.

“In the coming weeks and months, we will be launching a formal search for a new General Manager.

“We are very optimistic about our future and have a lot of talent, both on and off the ice.

“Tom Fitzgerald will serve as interim General Manager and he will receive support from Martin Brodeur, who will serve as an advisor to and on hockey operations.

“Our organization remains deeply committed to creating a sustainably winning franchise. Our fans deserve nothing but the best hockey. We thank them for their continued support as we work toward our goals.”

As you can see from the statement, Martin Brodeur will serve in the role as advisor to hockey operations.

The Devils face the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning not very long from now on Sunday. The timing is curious, opening the door for hypotheses. Did Shero and the Devils disagree on how to approach the trade deadline? Maybe the two sides even couldn’t hash it out on a specific player? Did something else happen?

Either way, the 2019-20 season has been a big letdown for a Devils team that made large investments (P.K. Subban and Nikita Gusev trades, lucking into Jack Hughes) without much in the way of improvements. If the Devils are going to get things together, it won’t be with Shero at the controls.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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