New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald interviewing head coaches

Omnisport

New Jersey Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said on Thursday the team are interviewing coaching candidates and current coach Alain Nasreddine is among them.

The Athletic reported that the Devils interviewed former Vegas Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant in mid-April. Gallant was fired by Vegas on January 15.

When Nasreddine was hired to replace John Hynes on January 3, the Devils were 9-13-4 and ranked 23rd in the league on the penalty kill. New Jersey went 19-16-8 and improved their penalty kill from 23rd in the league to first after Nasreddine took over.

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The Devils are now interviewing coaches, with Nasreddine among the candidates.

"I'm not going to sit here and hide and say that's not going on," Fitzgerald said.

"There's been a process that has been ongoing for quite some time that involved talking to other candidates, and Alain has put himself in that situation too.

"He's deserved the right to talk to me as the interim general manager, talk to our presidents, CEOs and our ownership group, on selling himself on why he should be able to keep his job."

Devils goaltender Cory Schneider backed Nasreddine and hopes the 44-year-old remains with the team.

"I enjoyed playing under him and we had a great relationship," he said on Wednesday.

"It's a tough business so who knows what direction [the Devils are] going to go, but I really hope that 'Nas' will be here. If not as a head coach, still part of the coaching staff, because he's a valuable asset."

The Devils are not among the 24 teams in the NHL return-to-play plan that will compete for the Stanley Cup.

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