The New Jersey Devils hired Ray Shero as their new general manager on May 4, replacing Lou Lamoriello, who will still be the team's president of hockey operations.
The New Jersey Devils have hired Ray Shero as their new general manager.
Devils president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello made the announcement on May 4. Shero, who was the Pittsburgh Penguins' general manager from 2006-14, becomes the fourth GM in Devils franchise history, per Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com.
Lamoreillo told Morreale on Monday he feels Shero is the right person for the job at the right time:
"I think we have to be realistic in life in different areas and be honest and right now this is the perfect time and the perfect person with with great experience [in Shero]. Ray has been in a couple of different organizations and had a year off, had a chance to step back and figure what went wrong and what went right and how things could be different.
"I think we'll be the beneficiary of [this hire] as an organization. The one thing that has been consistent in this organization and with every conversation I've had with Ray was the ability he has. He has no ego and knows the logo is the most important thing and when you get that that's a good feeling; a very positive thing happened today.
"Ray is well respected throughout the hockey industry and knows what it takes to win. His 22 seasons of NHL front-office experience will be beneficial to the New Jersey Devils organization. I look forward to working alongside Ray."
He also told ESPN's Katie Strang on May 4 he recommended Shero for the job.
Shero, who helped the Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cup Finals appearances in 2008 and 2009 (winning it all in the latter year), told Morreale the opportunity to work with somebody such as Lamoriello was something he wouldn't turn down:
"I've known [Lou Lamoriello] since playing against him in college when I was at St. Lawrence and he was coaching Providence. Before Lou was GM, my father [Hockey Hall of Fame coach Fred Shero] was a color analyst when the team started and Max McNab was GM and I hung around there quite a bit when I was in college.
Shero will report to Lamoriello, who will continue in his role as the team’s president.— New Jersey Devils (@NHLDevils) May 4, 2015
"So the opportunity for me to work with a Lou Lamoriello, who is a Hockey Hall of Fame member and one of the most respected GMs in the history of the game, certainly was a great opportunity I was not going to turn down and I'm looking forward to working with the team. It's a great opportunity for me and my family."
Lamoriello will retain the rest of the Devils' coaching staff. Shero's first task as GM is to hire the team's next head coach after Peter DeBoer's dismissal on Dec. 26. Lamoriello, Scott Stevens and Adam Oates juggled co-coaching responsibilities among themselves on an interim basis for the Devils' next 46 games, per NHL.com.
Morreale says Shero will attempt to revive a Devils franchise which has missed the playoffs for three straight seasons. New Jersey won the Stanley Cup title in 1995, 2000 and 2003 and is looking to build on its previous success with Shero on board.
When NJ.com's Maria Guardado asked Lamoriello about the Devils' vacant head coaching job, he said, "That will be Ray's call."
For his part, Shero told Guardado "I have a very open mind on everything" when it comes to his head coaching search.
Lamoriello previously held both the Devils' president of hockey operations and general manager jobs, but decided to give up the latter responsibility to Shero due to his age (72) and a need "for progression," per The New York Times' Pat Pickens.
"My age is no secret," Lamoriello told Pickens. "I have to be realistic. I have to be honest with myself."
Lamoriello became New Jersey's general manager during the 1987-88 NHL season, guiding the Devils to their three Stanley Cup trophies, per The New York Times. Pickens says the Devils' latest front office moves coincides with "a time to freshen the organization."
Aside from hiring a new head coach, Shero's other task is shoring up the Devils' struggling offense which has been in the bottom four of the NHL for three consecutive years, per Pickens.
"(We're looking) to score more goals, create more offense abandoning the defensive structure and accountability they've had for years," Shero told USA TODAY's Kevin Allen.
Shero spent eight seasons as Penguins GM, finishing with a 373-193-56 record, per Morreale.
Pittsburgh dismissed Shero in May 2014 because of the team's struggles during that year's postseason, per Allen.
Now, he gets a shot at redemption with the Devils.
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