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 DEVILS SHAKE-UP: LINDY RUFF IS OUT AND TRAVIS GREEN IS IN — FOR NOW!

DEVILS SHAKE-UP: LINDY RUFF IS OUT AND TRAVIS GREEN IS IN — FOR NOW!

By Jenny Masters

The Devils have been struggling to contend in the Eastern Conference, so they fired coach Lindy Ruff and replaced him with Travis Green, an assistant for Ruff and the former coach of the Vancouver Canucks, as interim coach.

Green will start in his role at this morning’s skate in advance of a home game vs. the Florida Panthers. The remaining existing assistants — Ryan McGill, Chris Taylor, Sergei Brylin and goaltending coach Dave Rogalski — will all remain on staff.

“I hold our entire organization to the highest levels of accountability to focus on being a competitive team that expects to be a perennial playoff contender,” Fitzgerald said. “Unfortunately, we are not currently at that level, and I needed to make this decision.”

Ruff was hired with the objective that he could take what was considered to be a promising future that was centered around stars such as Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, among others, and parlay it into long-term success.

“This was an extremely difficult conversation to have with Lindy based on the relationship that he and I have,” Fitzgerald said. “He was the right coach to develop our young players on the ice, and above all else, he is a tremendous person.”

The Devils gave Ruff a multiyear extension before the start of the season, which was his last under his previous contract. But as time wore on — and chants of “Fire Lindy!” continued to be heard at home games — the change seemed like it was inevitable. The Devils have lost three of the last four games, and were outscored last weekend, 9-4, in an 0-2 swing through the Los Angeles area. Two days before the loss to the Kings, they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Anaheim Ducks.

“Travis has key experience running benches at the junior, AHL and NHL levels and knows that there are no shortcuts to success,” Fitzgerald said. “He is a high-demanding individual who is familiar with the group and excited about working to get us back on track.”

The Devils, with several young stars under long-term contracts, entered the season among the league’s more talked-about clubs. They topped 100 points last season and defeated the rival New York Rangers in the first round.

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