NHL Rumors: Insider speculates New Jersey Devils to name new head coach this week, says Sheldon Keefe not front-runner

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vegas Golden Knights
NHL Rumors: Insider speculates New Jersey Devils to name new head coach this week, says Sheldon Keefe not front-runner

The New Jersey Devils are expected to announce their new head coach this week, according to NHL insider Darren Dreger. The Devils are searching for a new coach after firing Lindy Ruff in March.

On 'The Ray & Dregs Podcast,' Dreger reported that the Devils general manager, Tom Fitzgerald, has a short list of about three to four candidates.

The frontrunner appears to be former Edmonton Oilers bench boss Jay Woodcroft. As per Dreger, Woodcroft had "an excellent interview" with the Devils. As a result, it appears the Devils could name Woodcroft as their new coach at some point mid-next week.

However, former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe is not in the mix for New Jersey.

New Jersey sports writer Alex Chauvancy reported that Keefe does appear to be in the running.

"Sounds like they’re still waiting for an answer from Sheldon Keefe, so we’ll see what happens there. McLellan still in the mix too," Chauvancy tweeted.

Todd McLellan is an interesting name, as he was rumored to be on the Leafs' radar. However, the Leafs hired Craig Berube, leaving McLellan open to speak with other teams.

"He’s (McLellan) also at the Worlds, so they might wait for that to finish to finalize it if it is Woodcroft," Chauvancy tweeted.

Woodcroft is serving as an assistant coach under Andre Tourigny for Team Canada at this year's World Hockey Championship.

Sheldon Keefe has a legit chance to be the New Jersey Devils' new coach

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman said that Sheldon Keefe "has a legit chance to become the New Jersey Devils" new bench boss.

Friedman discussed the matter on the 32 Thoughts podcast on May 13.

"There was a time I thought (Craig) Berube was going to have an offer to coach the Devils, but I'm not as certain about that now," Friedman said.

Since Friedman's comments, the Toronto Maple Leafs hired Berube. However, it seems that the New Jersey Devils also had other options in mind.

"As I’ve said, the Devils, I believe, were serious about Berube, and they were serious about Woodcroft," Friedman said. “I am under the impression that Todd McLellan was going to get another interview with them, but I had some people saying to me this weekend that they think that Sheldon Keefe is a big factor in this job and that Keefe has a legit chance at this if he wants it.”

However, Friedman believed the Devils were leaning toward Woodcroft.

"This morning (May 13), I had some people saying that they were leaning Woodcroft," Friedman said on The Jeff Marek Show.

Based on Friedman's comments, the Devils' choices seem to boil down to Woodcroft and Keefe. Devils' fans could learn whether Woodcroft or Keefe will become the team's new coach at some point this upcoming week.

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