Devils name MacLean new coach
John MacLean is taking over as the New Jersey Devils' head coach, the team announced Thursday.
MacLean replaces Jacques Lemaire, who retired in April. A news conference to introduce MacLean is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET.
MacLean coached the Devils' AHL team (Lowell, Mass.) last season and led it to a franchise-best 39-31-4-6 record and its first playoff appearance.
MacLean was a candidate for the head coaching job on three occasions but lost out to, in order, Claude Julien (2006), Brent Sutter (2007) and Lemaire (2009).
MacLean, who is New Jersey's all-time leading goal scorer with 347, was previously a Devils assistant coach for seven seasons.
While an assistant, MacLean occasionally took on some head coaching responsibilities. He ran most of the team's practices in the second half of the 2005-06 season after Larry Robinson resigned abruptly in December, and did the same in 2007 when Julien was fired and replaced by general manager Lou Lamoriello with three games left in the regular season.
In 18 NHL seasons with New Jersey, the San Jose Sharks, the New York Rangers and the Dallas Stars, MacLean scored 413 goals and had 842 points. He retired after the 2001-'02 season.
Five players currently on the Devils were once teammates of MacLean's: Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, Jay Pandolfo, Brian Rolston and Jamie Langenbrunner.
The Devils won the Atlantic Division this past season with a 48-27-7 record, making them the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. However, they were clearly outplayed in the playoffs by the seventh-seeded Philadelphia Flyers, who beat them nine of 11 games this season.
Since winning their third Stanley Cup in a nine-year span in 2003, the Devils have not made it past the second round in the playoffs.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.