Devils players believe Paul MacLean will be next head coach: Report

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FILE - This is an April 14, 2014, file photo showing Ottawa Senators' head coach Paul MacLean during a press conference in Ottawa. The Senators have fired coach MacLean, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, after an 11-11-5 start _ the first coaching dismissal in the NHL this season. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)
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  • Paul MacLean
    Canadian ice hockey player

You’re Paul MacLean. You want to go to a better situation than you had in Ottawa. And you end up in New Jersey.

This feels like a face palm moment for all parties …

Newark is potentially the spot for the former Senators coach per Rich Chere of NJ.com. 

With teams set to resume play after the NHL's Christmas break, speculation among Devils players is that Paul MacLean will be introduced Saturday morning as the team's new coach.

Nothing like a Lou Lamoriello phone call to take MacLean out of his Taylor Swift singing break.

How did it go? Here is a fictional account:

Lou: “Hey Paul, how would you like to coach the super-tandem of Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr?”

Paul: “Sure” (Thinking it’s still 2002).

Regardless, if the recently fired Senators coach wants job security, this is a horrible position for him. As points out our own Greg Wyshynski, Lamoriello’s coaching timeline is completely different from the rest of the NHL’s. 

Cheap management? Poor roster? Sounds like 'Ottawa South.'  

Also, if the former Jack Adams victor wants to win this year, this is a bad place. The Devils are simply not that good, and quite old. But they’re too good at the moment to tank for Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel – 10 points ahead of Edmonton and seven points clear of Carolina.

Basically the Devils are the “Peter Pan Live” of Hockey. Too good to be mocked, too bad to be enjoyable -- kinda like some weird gray zone. 

Regardless, if these MacLean rumors are true, will he help New Jersey? Not really, especially if Lamoriello, who fired Peter DeBoer on Friday, is still running the show. 

The Devils’ top veteran is  the 42-year-old Jagr. Their best young player, Adam Henrique, is good, but he’s not a superstar. And the cupboard in their system is so incredibly empty. There is no quality of prospects, nor is there depth of usable players. 

Both New Jersey, and MacLean if he officially gets hired, will be better off if the Devils go with a more unproven coach who can deal with a rebuild. This won't wreck MacLean's career, but it certainly won't help. And New Jersey won't get better. Even if Scotty Bowman decided to come back and be New Jersey's coach this won't happen. 

And you know what? If that ever occurred at the height of Bowman's powers, Lou would probably still find an excuse to fire him after like 20 days or something. 

But if this does go through, you have to give props to Lamoriello for firing and hiring two different MacLeans around holiday time between 2010 (John MacLean fired on Dec. 23) and this year with Paul.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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