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Breaking News: Sheldon Keefe Former Head Coach Of Maple Leaf announces he will be returning back next season ….

I've Lost Patience': Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe Frustrated by  Amount of Bench Minors to Start Season - The Hockey News Toronto Maple  Leafs News, Analysis and More

 

Sheldon Keefe was recruited by the New Jersey Devils less than two weeks after being sacked by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He will be tasked with making the young squad, led by a great forward, a Stanley Cup contender.
Tom Fitzgerald, the general manager of the Devils, made the hiring announcement on Thursday, stating that Keefe would be made official at a press conference on Tuesday.

Fitzgerald remarked, “Having met with several qualified individuals and hearing how desirable this post was to them, this was an energizing experience for me.” “When Sheldon became available, I immediately put him at the top of my list, and I was overjoyed when he accepted to be a part of what we are doing here. He is a great communicator, values teamwork, and will apply his prior knowledge to help this squad contend for the Stanley Cup.

Keefe led Toronto to five straight playoff berths with the help of Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews. Jack Hughes and Nico Hischer, two teenage forwards from New Jersey, were selected first overall in the draft.

In a statement, Keefe said, “This is a great time, and I’m honored to be a member of the Devils’ organization.” “I find it very appealing to be able to lead this youthful, energetic team and to see the potential that is still untapped.”

Keefe is the third coach the Devils have had since March and their fifth since 2019. They missed the playoffs despite firing Lindy Ruff late in the season and temporarily installing Travis Green in his place. Green departed to become the Ottawa Senators’ coach.

The 43-year-old, who spent the last four plus seasons with Toronto, winning just one series while making the playoffs, is taking on his second head coaching position in the NHL. That’s why the Leafs hired Stanley Cup-winning coach Craig Berube in search of a fresh perspective.

The Devils were unable to outscore their issues and ended with the sixth-worst save percentage in the league. The regression occurred one year after the team advanced to the 2023 playoffs’ second round.

This past season, New Jersey finished 38-39-5, a 31-point decline from the previous one. They suffered multiple injuries, the most serious of which was a torn pectoral muscle that kept defenseman Dougie Hamilton out of action for 20 games. Defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler was also sidelined due to a concussion and a broken foot. Hughes missed twenty games and Hischier missed eleven.

Michael McLeod, a crucial faceoff player for New Jersey, was also lost in February after he was charged with sexual assault in Canada in 2018.

Last year, the team’s main issue was their goaltending, which was inconsistent due to Vitek Vanecek, Nico Daws, and Akira Schmid. When it acquired Jake Allen at the trade deadline, New Jersey received assistance after the fact, but the netminding problem would persist throughout the upcoming season.

The Devils have Jesper Bratt (27-56) and Timo Meier (28-24) up front in addition to Hughes (27 goals, 47 assists) and Hischier (27-40). Jack’s brother, defenseman Luke Hughes, set a franchise record with 47 points (9–38) in his debut campaign.

Ruff guided the Devils to a record-breaking 112 points in 2022–23, up 49 points from the previous campaign. After a career-best season from Jack Hughes, they took second place in the Metropolitan Division. In the first round, New Jersey overcame the Rangers in seven games, and in the second round, they were defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes in five games.

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