New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes joined NHL Live to discuss what he called a special opportunity to coach in the League.
Hynes, 40, was hired Tuesday after coaching the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League since 2010 when he was promoted by Devils general manager Ray Shero, who held the same position with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton went 231-126-10-17 in Hynes' five seasons and advanced to the conference semifinals this season.
"It's very competitive coming up to the American Hockey League or junior hockey, so I feel fortunate that the last five years I've been able to been around excellent management and very good players," Hynes said. "We had a pretty good culture and structure in place in Wilkes-Barre. For me it's really exciting to be able to come in and work with a general manager that I know and trust, and have a lot of same values and beliefs."
Hynes said one lesson he learned throughout his tenure in the AHL was how to understand the dynamic of a professional locker room.
"I think the big thing coming from junior or college is just the professional players' lifestyle," Hynes said. "The dichotomy of your team where you have some older guys who have kids and are married and are true professionals. You're always going to have your mid-level pros that are kind are right where you want them to be and you also have some young kids coming in.
The Devils, who have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs four out of the past five seasons, want to play a fast, attacking style under Hynes.
"I think the foundation of the team is very solid," Hynes said. "You have very good goaltending and a strong 'D' core and good young guys, so you have that strong base to build from. Up front we have some very good components, good veteran leadership and guys who have played in the League for a while and are very good, smart players. We have some younger guys that can bring some speed and pace.
"When you see that, one of our objectives is to try to play really well collectively as a group and find ways where we can change some things but also be a very competitive team."