Sheldon Keefe reveals why he took Devils job

The Devils have hired ex-Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe!

Michael W.

It's an opportunity that Sheldon Keefe could not refuse, and he's aiming to take full advantage of it. It was officially announced that he's been hired as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils, who missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past season in what was a disappointing followup to last year's run to the 2nd round. 

The Devils terminated veteran bench boss Lindy Ruff this season, and replaced him on an interim basis with Travis Green, who was not retained and has since resurfaced in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa with the Senators. Meanwhile, Keefe was let go by the Toronto Maple Leafs shortly after they were eliminated in Round 1 of the postseason once again by the rival Boston Bruins.

The official introductory press conference will be held early next week, but in the meantime, Keefe explained that he's looking forward to helping the young group of Devils players unlock their potential.

“This is an exciting time, and I’m honored to be a member of the Devils’ organization,” said Keefe. “To have the chance to lead this young, dynamic team and to see the potential that can still be unlocked is all very attractive for me. After meeting with David, Josh, Tom, and other members of the organization and in talking with my family, this was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down. I know this organization has a great history of winning and I look forward to getting started to work on leading them back to that level.”

According to Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald, Keefe was at the top of his list for candidates to take over the Devils bench on a full-time basis. 

“This was an invigorating process for me, having met with many qualified candidates and hearing how attractive this position was to them,” said Fitzgerald. “Sheldon jumped to the top of my list when he became available, and I was thrilled when he agreed to be a part of what we are building here. He is an excellent communicator, believes in collaboration, and will take what he has learned previously to make this team a Stanley Cup contender. The organization is incredibly excited to welcome Sheldon, his wife, Jackie, and his two boys, Landon and Wyatt to New Jersey.”

Keefe departed Toronto ranked 5th in franchise history in total with a record of 212-97-40. (.665 pts%). 

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