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PODCAST: New Devils Head Coach Lindy Ruff joins the podcast

Ruff, the 19th Head Coach in franchise history, talks about what intrigued him about the job, what style of play he plans on implementing, and coaching in the Olympics

by Catherine Bogart catherinebogart / NewJerseyDevils.com

For the past podcast episodes, go to NewJerseyDevils.com/podcast

For this episode of the Speak of the Devils podcast, newly hired Head Coach Lindy Ruff talked with podcast hosts Matt Loughlin and Chris Wescott.

Ruff was announced in a press conference Thursday after a several month search for the next Devils Head Coach.

"I'm extremely excited to be part of the Devils family," said Ruff. "To be a part of the team, and a part of the family and looking forward to getting there to New Jersey when the time arises."

When asked about what intrigued Ruff about the job, a big part of it was newly named General Manager Tom Fitzgerald.

"First and foremost, just the relationship I built with Tom in a short period of time, a couple months. Discussions on where the team was at, the use of the team, where he thought we could get the team to, where I thought where we thought we could get the team to, how the team should play."

"When speaking to Tom, everything just seemed parallel, we were on the same track, we were on the same direction," said Ruff. "We had a lot of good laughs during that time. We had a lot of great conversations about how we're going to handle different situations throughout the organization. So it was for me, it was Tom's leadership that really, really excited me."

Discussing different situations and how each would handle them is very important to Ruff when it comes to the relationship between a Head Coach and General Manager.

"It's the number one thing we spent time talking about is the relationship between a general manager and a coach," explained Ruff. "The daily interaction, the fact that he won't have to ask most questions because he'll know what I'm doing. He'll know what I'm thinking."

The new Devils Head Coach wants to bring an aggressive, puck pressure style of play to the franchise.

"I've always been a big fan of gettin gate team ready to play and play in a real aggressive style. I use the term puck pressure, a lot of pressure, don't give the team a lot of space, don't give the other team a lot of time."

Ruff is one of the most decorated coaches in NHL history. He has ben a Head Coach for 19 seasons in the league, and he reflected on his experience.

"I've been very fortunate, I've been lucky. I think I've been around some general managers that even through tough times had a great amount of trust in myself as the head coach," said Ruff. "I've had really good staff. I've worked with really good coaches, my assistant coaches, the guys that you work around, busy that put all those hours in are very important for a head coach to get to work."

Ruff also discussed his time coaching for Canada at the Olympics and revealed some of his favorite stories. One in particular involved Jacques Lemaire at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

"Jacques and I would be, we'd be talking about who's filling out the roster for tonight. And I said 'I have to fill it out. I filled it out last game, and we won so you know, I'll fill it out again.' And he says to me, 'do you really think that matters? Who fills a roster sheet its gonna matter?' And I think yeah, as a matter of fact, they do. So we played the Russians, and we had a big game. I think it was, 8 or 9-1, it was a really big number. And Jacques came off and he said to me, 'you know, I tapped four guys sticks on the way to the ice and every guy scored.' And I looked at him and I said, 'Jacques, do you really think that matters?'"

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