The New Jersey Devils on Tuesday named assistant coach Alain Nasreddine interim head coach shortly after John Hynes was relieved of his duties as head coach.
Hynes, who had served as the 17th head coach in Devils franchise history, cedes control on the bench to the assistant who has been with him since he was hired in June 2015. Otherwise, the Devils’ coaching staff remains the same — with the sole exception of pro scout Peter Horachek’s move to a bench job as an assistant to Nasreddine.
Here is what you need to know about the Devils’ interim coach:
Where is Alain Nasreddine from?
Nasreddine, 44, grew up in Montreal, Que. and played for the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs and Chicoutimi Sagueneens in junior hockey.
Did Alain Nasreddine play in the NHL?
Nasreddine played 74 career NHL games as a defenseman between 1998-2008. He was part of the first-ever Florida Panthers draft class in 1993 (sixth round, pick No. 135) but did not find his way into a big-league game with his first franchise. He would get his shot with the Chicago Blackhawks on October 10, 1998, against — you guessed it — the New Jersey Devils, but he wound up with the Montreal Canadiens by the end of that season and played just 15 games altogether his rookie year.
The blueliner bounced from team to team throughout much of his NHL playing career but found a consistent home within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization between 2003-08. He bounced between AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Penguins’ roster, playing 44 NHL games in 2006-07 — the most in his NHL career.
How long has Alain Nasreddine been coaching?
Nasreddine’s connection with Pittsburgh’s organization didn’t end when his playing days did. Then-Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero — who now manages the Devils — hired Nasreddine as an assistant coach with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in August 2010. The head coach of that team at the time? None other than John Hynes.
Nasreddine, Hynes and Shero all remained with that organization until the trio moved to New Jersey in a succession of moves in the 2015 offseason.
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