The Devils began last season with John MacLean behind the bench, but after a slow start, General Manager Lou Lamoriello fired MacLean and called former New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire out of retirement.
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The Devils finished the season strong, but Lemaire won't return for 2011-12 -- he's heading back into retirement.
That leaves a significant void in the organization, one that was left open through the Draft and free agency. Several names have surfaced as potential hires -- including University of Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves, longtime NHL coach Ken Hitchcock and former Atlanta Thrashers coach Craig Ramsey -- yet Lamoriello has yet to name a replacement.
What's something else that needs to be settled soon? Several restricted free agents still need to sign contracts.
A handful of key players -- including All-Stars Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty -- are still in negotiations with their clubs as they try to work out new deals.
However the Lightning and Kings can't be too comfortable, as any team is open to send out offer sheets to Stamkos and Doughty. In fact, anything can happen -- it's certainly an interesting storyline to follow.
In addition, arbitration hearings will occur in the next few weeks if Devils forward Zach Parise and Predators defenseman Shea Weber can't come to terms with their clubs.
Another piece of NHL housekeeping this summer? The Winnipeg Jets still need a logo.
The franchise, which recently relocated from Atlanta, has a new name, a new arena and a new coach. The only thing the Jets are missing is a design and color for their uniforms.
So while there won't be any action on the ice for a little while, there will be plenty of buzz off it.
After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.
— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016