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How the New Jersey Devils Got to Sheldon Keefe

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun joined Jay Onrait on SportsCenter and discussed how the New Jersey Devils landed former Maple Leafs Head Coach Sheldon Keefe as their next coach.

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Jay Onrait: “Hi, Sheldon Keefe. This is wild. I thought maybe I was gone for a few years. Take it easy. You're collecting that Leafs salary. But, according to you and Darren Dreger, you're going to be the next coach of the New Jersey Devils and before people say well, what with that two year contract?

Well, I believe that will be done, and we will get a nice new four-year contract with the Devils. So it will work for Keefe, but it's funny because he's going from one team with great talent, and iffy goaltending to another team with great talent, and iffy scoring. Why did he decide to take the Devil's job?”

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Pierre LeBrun: “Yes, the Devils intend to fix that. I think they will try to revive talks about Jacob Markstrom, but we will talk about that at some point in the trade talks with Calgary because they need to improve their goaltending.

This was really interesting. You may remember the day Sheldon Keefe was fired by the Leafs. We reported that the Devils picked up the phone and asked permission from the Leafs to talk to Sheldon Keefe, but it was not that easy.

I mean, the Devils have to stay in this because I think you know about Sheldon Keefe, he took this shot very hard. And I think he really needed to slow down a little bit before making up his mind if he could jump in and give what he needs to be given to be a head coach again.

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And my understanding ​​is that Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald sat on it, sat on it, sat on it. Remember, the Devils interviewed a handful of candidates. They had a couple with Craig Berube along with Todd McLellan. They went deep with Jay Woodcroft. They had a few more candidates for the interview. But they kept waiting to see if Sheldon Keefe would be open to the idea. And in the end, he was right and yes, I mean, Sheldon Keefe would have stayed out for at least a year.

He had a two-year extension with the Leafs, but the Devils ripped it up and gave him a new four-year deal. And you can learn from that promotion from what he would have gotten from a two-year extension with the Leafs and I think, I've talked to other coaches around the league that the Devils are one of those places, Jay, that you're already set up to go back.

This is a group that was over 100 years old two years ago. Dougie Hamilton's major injury, the pressure of expectations, and Jack Hughes coming in and out of the lineup. This is a group that goes back. Sure, they can fix their goaltending, and I think Sheldon Keefe should fit in there. “

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