Heads continue to roll in Newark.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Heads continue to roll in Newark.
The New Jersey Devils and General Manager Ray Shero have agreed to part ways, effective immediately.
Tom Fitzgerald will serve as interim General Manager and he will receive support from Martin Brodeur.https://t.co/rXCTy2rvHd
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) January 12, 2020
“The New Jersey Devils and General Manager Ray Shero have agreed to part ways, effective immediately,” Devils managing partner and chairman Josh Harris said in a statement. “Ray is a talented hockey executive and I am confident he will have great success in the future. However, Ray and I are in agreement that the Devils need to move in a new direction and that this change is in the best interest of the team.”
Assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald will take over the top job on an interim basis, with support from Martin Brodeur, Harris said.
“In the coming weeks and months, we will be launching a formal search for a new general manager,” Harris added. “We are very optimistic about our future and have a lot of talent, both on and off the ice.
The timing of Shero’s ouster is curious given that he was allowed to keep his job when Hynes was fired on Dec. 3, and then engineered the trade that sent forward Taylor Hall, New Jersey’s best player, to the Arizona Coyotes.
Following a disastrous start that saw them win just nine of their first 26 games, the Devils (16-21-7) have played better under interim head coach Alain Nasreddine, going 7-8-3. New Jersey, which sits 13 points out of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, routed the NHL-leading Washington Capitals on Saturday and hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday night.
The Devils have missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, but there was reason for optimism heading into 2019-20. Shero used the No. 1 pick in the draft on highly touted center Jack Hughes, traded for former Norris Trophy-winning defenseman P.K. Subban, and signed veteran forward Wayne Simmonds. And all of those players were added to a mix that at the time included Hall, veteran forward Kyle Palmieri, young defenseman Will Butcher, veteran blueliner Sami Vatanen, and talented center Nico Hischier, who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2017 draft by Shero.
“Our organization remains deeply committed to creating a sustainably winning franchise. Our fans deserve nothing but the best hockey. We thank them for their continued support as we work toward our goals,” Harris said.