NEWARK, NJ - The New Jersey Devils relieved Head Coach John Hynes of his duties, the club announced today. Alain Nasreddine has been named interim head coach, effective immediately.
Nasreddine, a native of Quebec, spent five seasons as an assistant coach with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the American Hockey League, prior to joining the Devils staff in 2015.
The 44-year-old had a long playing career as a defenseman, highlighted by 74 NHL games and 726 in the AHL. Nasreddine was originally a sixth-round pick, 135th overall, by Florida in the 1993 NHL Draft.
In addition, the Devils have added Peter Horachek to the staff as an assistant. Horachek was serving as a scout for the organization. He has a robust history as an assistant in the league, most notably with the Nashville Predators from 2003-04 to 2012-13. He served as an interim head coach of both the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs (2013-14 and 2014-15).
Here are three things to know about the Devils new interim bench boss.
1. A COLLECTION OF LETTERS
Nasreddine has worn a letter on his sweater for multiple organizations, including an "A" for the Quebec Citadelles, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL. He also wore the "A" for Indianapolis in the IHL back in 1997-98.
He served as captain for the Hamilton Bulldogs (two seasons) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (three seasons).
2. FOREVER REMEMBERED
In 2014, Nasreddine was a part of the first class inducted into the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Hall of Fame. After his playing career with the Penguins, he went on to coach with the team as an assistant.
He finished his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton career having played 249 games for the Penguins.
3. CONNECTION WITH SHERO
Devils GM Ray Shero became the Executive VP of Hockey Operations and GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2006-07 season.
That would be Nasreddine's second-to-last season within the Penguins organization. He would play 50 games in the NHL during those final two years, so Shero would know him very well from his playing days to his coaching days.