MacLean named head coach in New Jersey

The New Jersey Devils have scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference to announce John MacLean as their new head coach.

MacLean, 45, takes over behind the Devils’ bench after serving one season as the head coach of their American Hockey League affiliate in Lowell. He guided the AHL Devils to a franchise best mark of 39-31-4-6 in 2009-10, including their only playoff appearance in four seasons.

MacLean becomes the 10th man to be named an NHL head coach directly from the same post in the AHL in the last three years (see box).

He replaces Jacques Lemaire, who retired after one season in his second stint as Devils head coach.

This will be MacLean’s ninth season as a member of the Devils’ coaching staff. He previously served as a Devils assistant coach for seven seasons, including the 2003 Stanley Cup championship. The club’s all-time goals leader with 347, MacLean is second to Patrik Elias on the team’s all-time points list and has deep roots within the organization. Originally drafted sixth overall by the Devils in the 1983 Entry Draft, he was a member of the franchise’s first Cup title in 1995.

“I’m whatever is called for that day," MacLean said last season when asked about his coaching style. "If it calls for teaching and being nice or if it calls for breaking a stick and yelling and screaming, then that’s what it calls for that day.”

MacLean is fourth on the Devils’ all-time games played list (934) and still holds the team record for career power play goals (92). It was his overtime goal in the 1988 regular-season finale versus Chicago that clinched the first playoff berth in franchise history.

MacLean’s 19-year playing career included 14 as a Devil. He was traded with Ken Sutton to San Jose for Doug Bodger and Dody Wood on Dec. 7, 1997, and finished his career with stops with the Rangers and Dallas Stars.

Five current Devils were once MacLean’s teammates: Martin Brodeur, Elias, Jay Pandolfo and Brian Rolston in New Jersey; and Jamie Langenbrunner in Dallas.

The native of Oshawa, Ont., retired as an active player on June 7, 2002, and finished his NHL career with 413 goals, 429 assists and 842 points in 1,194 games.

10 AHL head coaches have been promoted to the same post in the NHL since November 2007:
Coach Date NHL Team AHL Team
Bruce Boudreau Nov. 22, 2007 Washington Hershey
John Anderson June 20, 2008 Atlanta Chicago
Scott Gordon Aug. 12, 2008 N.Y. Islanders Providence
Cory Clouston Feb. 2, 2009 Ottawa Binghamton
Dan Bylsma Feb. 15, 2009 Pittsburgh W-B/Scranton
Joe Sacco June 4, 2009 Colorado Lake Erie
Davis Payne Jan. 2, 2010 St. Louis Peoria
Scott Arniel June 8, 2010 Columbus Manitoba
Guy Boucher June 10, 2010 Tampa Bay Hamilton
John MacLean June 17, 2010 New Jersey Lowell