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Devils coach Hynes, Stevens to talk next week: report

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New Jersey Devils coach John Hynes will meet with Scott Stevens next week, general manager Ray Shero told Northjersey.com on Saturday.

Stevens on Wednesday said he would be interested in remaining on the Devils coaching staff as an assistant. He finished this season as co-coach with Adam Oates and Lou Lamoriello.

"It's still in the infancy stages of it," Hynes, in Buffalo for the NHL Scouting Combine, told the website of building his staff, not speaking specifically of Stevens. "We talked a little bit about it, but I think this week we'll really hunker down on it and try to have some more serious discussion on what we want."

Stevens, 51, was captain of the Devils' three Stanley Cup championship teams and served as an assistant coach and special assignment coach prior to becoming co-coach on Dec. 26 after coach Peter DeBoer was fired.

"I haven't looked elsewhere," Stevens said. "The Devils are my first choice, no question about that."

Oates is not expected to return to the Devils, Shero said.

"I don't know if that's going to go the direction he wants it to go, and that's maybe a question for Adam," Shero said Saturday. "I have had really good conversations with him. I really enjoyed them, but he wants to be a head coach. I respect that. I'll never say never, but in the terms of where he is right now, his mindset is to be a head coach."

There is one NHL coaching job open, but the Detroit Red Wings are expected to promote their AHL coach, Jeff Blashill, next week.

The Devils reportedly have permission from the Pittsburgh Penguins to interview Alain Nasreddine, who was Hynes' assistant the past five seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

"At this point, I don't think it's fair to talk about any of the candidates because I have not talked to guys," Hynes said. "So, for me, it's more of trying to get a list together this week and making some decisions of who to meet with and kind of progress a little further that way."

Shero reportedly considered Stevens and Oates to be Devils coach before hiring Hynes, who he worked with during their time with the Penguins.

"He's worked himself through college to the AHL. He's put his time in and his track record is outstanding," Stevens said of Hynes. "He's well-liked by his players. He's a communicator and he is young (40). And young is good. There's no question I believe the Devils are going to be rebuilding, and he's probably the way to go."

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