Jacques Lemaire, the coach with the most wins in Devils’ history who led the team to its first of three Stanley Cup Championships in 1995, was introduced today as the club’s new head coach. Mario Tremblay has been named an assistant coach. They join a staff that includes Assistant Coach Tommy Albelin and Goaltending Coach Jacques Caron. Scott Stevens will also take on a more active role in both New Jersey and Lowell. The announcement was made by Devils’ President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello.
“Jacques Lemaire is one of the most respected coaches in the game,” said Lamoriello. “He is a teacher and a communicator, and knows what it takes to have success.
“Mario Tremblay brings years of experience both as a player and coach, and will be a decided asset to our coaching staff.”
Tremblay Lemaire, 63, re-joins the Devils after serving as head coach of the Wild the past nine seasons. As the only coach in franchise history, he compiled a 293-255-108=694pt (.529) mark in 656 regular- season games behind Minnesota’s bench. With a 40-33-9=89pt (.543) record in 2008-09, Lemaire led the club to its sixth straight season with a .500-plus points percentage. In 2002-03, he led the Wild to the Western Conference Finals while capturing his second career Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach. Lemaire was named Minnesota’s first head coach June 19, 2000 after serving Montreal as a senior consultant to the general manager.
As head coach of the Devils for five seasons from 1993-94 through 1997-98, he guided the squad to a 199-122-57=455pt (.602) mark in 378 regular-season games, and a 34-22 (.607) record in 56 playoff contests until stepping down May 8, 1998. Lemaire’s 378 games, 199 wins, 56 post-season games, and 34 post-season victories are tops in franchise history. Including the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship, he led the team to four post-season appearances, and guided it to the Eastern Conference’s best record in both 1996-97 (45-23-14=104pts) and 1997-98 (48-23-11=107pts). In Lemaire’s first season behind the team’s bench, New Jersey advanced past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1988, while he won the Jack Adams Award for the first time. He was originally named the organization’s eighth coach on June 28, 1993.
Prior to joining the Devils, Lemaire served the Canadiens’ Hockey Operations Department for
eight seasons from 1985-86 through 1992-93. He held the title of assistant to the managing director for seven of those eight seasons, spending the 1988-89 season as managing director of the Verdun Junior Canadiens (QMJHL). Lemaire also had dual titles as managing director of Fredericton (AHL) for two seasons in 1991-92 and 1992-93, as well as director of hockey operations for three seasons from 1985-86 through 1987-88. He was named Montreal’s head coach on February 24, 1984, and voluntarily stepped down following the 1984-85 season. During that time, Lemaire led the club to the Wales Conference Finals in 1984, and a first-place Adams Division finish in 1984-85.
The native of LaSalle, Que. began his coaching career in 1979 as player/coach of HC Sierre in
Switzerland. Lemaire returned to North America in 1981 as an assistant coach with SUNY
Plattsburgh. In 1982-83, he was named head coach of the QMJHL’s expansion franchise in Longueuil, leading the club to the league finals in its inaugural season.
Lemaire was born September 7, 1945, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in June 1984, following a 12-season NHL playing career (1967-88 through 1978-79) with Montreal. During that time, he was a member of eight Stanley Cup Championship teams, including four straight from 1975-76 through 1978-79, recording the Cup-clinching goal in 1977. He appeared in both the 1969- 70 and 1972-73 NHL All-Star Games, recording a career-high 44 goals and 95 points in 1972-73. As a member of Montreal’s staff, he also won Stanley Cup Championships during the 1985-86 and 1992-93 seasons.
Jacques and his wife, Mychele, have two sons, Patrice and Danyk, and one daughter, Magalie, as well as five grandchildren, Jeremy, Xavier, Zachary, Emma, and Kara.
Tremblay, 52, joins the Devils after spending the past nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Wild. He joined Minnesota on July 24, 2000 after serving the Canadiens as a professional scout for three seasons. Tremblay was named head coach of Montreal on October 21, 1995, a position he held for two seasons. During that time, the native of Alma, Que. led the squad to a 71-63-25=167pt (.525) mark and two post-season appearances. Prior to being named the 22nd head coach in team history, Tremblay spent time as a radio and television sports commentator. As a player with Montreal, he won four straight Stanley Cup Championships from 1975-76 through 1978-79. Tremblay also won his fifth Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1985-86. A right wing, he participated in post-season play for 11 straight seasons from 1974-75 through 1984-85. Upon joining Montreal in 1974, he became the youngest player in franchise history at 18.
Mario and his wife, Colette Germain, have two daughters Claudia and Janie, and two grandsons, Matis and Danyk.