Sheldon Keefe reportedly offered new head coaching gig in the East

Dean Chaudhry
May 22, 2024  (11:30)

Sheldon Keefe looking on behind the bench of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro - USA Today Sports

With Craig Berube having been hired by the Maple Leafs, it sounds like the next coach coming off the market will be Sheldon Keefe if he wants the job in New Jersey.

The former Toronto Maple Leafs bench boss was widely viewed as one of the top coaching candidates on the market and it sounds more and more likely that he will be hired in the next coming days - if not sooner.
The New Jersey Devils fired head coach Lindy Ruff on the 4th of March and replaced him with Travis Green as the interim for the remainder of the season. Ironically enough both head coaches have found greener pastures early in the off-season with the former being hired by Buffalo and the latter heading to Ottawa.
With the Devils seen as one of the better landing spots, primarily because of their young nucleus, they had their eyes set on Berube, Keefe, and ex-Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft. The Leafs swooped in and hired Berube, leaving the Devils in the dust and forcing them to change their course towards Keefe.
Kevin Weekes tweeted out a few days ago that the Devils were in the latter stages of the coaching hire process but nothing was official quite yet.
However, this week it was reported that New Jersey essentially has a verbal agreement in place with Keefe and the job is his if he wants it.
New Jersey made a surprise run last year after they finished the season with a 52-22-8 record. This year, they took a step back as they finished with a paltry 38-39-5 record. In fact, they have only qualified for the post-season twice over the last 12 years. They do, however, possess a good core of young players that includes Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Luke Hughes among others.
Keefe ended his tenure in Toronto with fantastic regular season numbers as he compiled a 212-97-40 record and 5 post-season berths. Unfortunately that's where the success stopped as he only got past the first round once, he was defeated by Columbus in the Qualifying Round in 2020, and was even taken down in 7 games against Montreal in 2021.
22 MAI   |   489 ANSWERS
Sheldon Keefe reportedly offered new head coaching gig in the East

Is it wise for the Devils to hire Keefe over the rest of the field?

Yes, he's actually a pretty good coach35973.4 %
No, they should look elsewhere13026.6 %
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