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Oates named Devils' assistant coach

by John McGourty
Adam Oates, one of the greatest offense-oriented players in NHL history, was hired as an assistant coach by the New Jersey Devils Tuesday.

Oates joins head coach John MacLean's staff that also includes assistant coach Larry Robinson and goaltending coach Chris Terreri.

Oates has one year of NHL coaching experience, serving as an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning last season. Oates' had responsibility for the power play and offensive strategies. The Lightning finished 25th in the league standings, but eighth on the power play with 19.3 percent success. Oates was also seen as instrumental in the development of Lightning center Steven Stamkos, who had 51 goals, including 24 on the power play.

The Devils finished 11th on the power play last season with 18.7 percent success. Oates was also one of the NHL's greatest faceoff men and the Devils, who finished 17th last season with 49.4 percent success, can use some help there.

Oates, who ranks sixth all-time with 1,079 assists and 16th with 1,420 points, retired in 2004 after playing 1,337 games with Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim, and Edmonton. He played in five NHL All-Star Games during his 19-season career and was named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 1991.

Oates reached the 100-point mark on four occasions including a career-high 142 in 1992-93 while centering Cam Neely in Boston. Oates led the NHL in assists during the 1992-93 (97), 2000-01 (69, tie), and 2001-02 (64) seasons.

Oates had 42 goals and 114 assists for 156 points in 163 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He went to the Final twice, with Washington in 1998 and Anaheim in 2003, the latter year against the Devils.
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