Since the resignation of Brent Sutter, many names have been tossed about as far as prospective replacements, from the expected (John MacLean), to the qualified (Peter Laviolette), to the downright strange (Ted Nolan). But if the Lamoriello-run Devils are notorious for anything, it's going off the board. When everyone at the 1990 draft loved Trevor Kidd, the Devils loved Martin Brodeur. When players like Brian Rafalski and John Madden went undrafted, the Devils decided to give them a chance. And while most people are convinced the next head coach of the Devils will be off the expected list of candidates, NorthJersey.com believes otherwise, and have certainly converted me in the process.
The above article pegs current Chicago assistant coach Mike Haviland as the man for the job, and despite his name’s resemblance to Niclas Havelid, you don't need to look very far into his bio to find out why.
Sure, as the article says, "he won ECHL titles as a head coach with Atlantic City and Trenton and then coached the Blackhawks' AHL affiliate (in Norfolk, Va,. and Rockford, Ill.) to three consecutive playoff appearances and was named the league's coach of the year in 2006-07," so he's got plenty of winning experience, even before the recent success of the Blackhawks. And sure, "he has been a winner at every level with a winning percentage of at least .600 in six of his seven seasons as a minor league head coach with playoff berths in all seven seasons.”
But here’s the kicker: he's from Middletown, New Jersey. His family has resided in Sea Girt, NJ for the duration of his coaching career. It's ironic, but it also eliminates any possibility of pulling a Sutter.
Successful, experienced, a winner at heart, and he resides just a 45 minute shot down the Turnpike. Sounds like the perfect choice to me.