Devils fire Lindy Ruff, name Travis Green interim coach

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The New Jersey Devils fired head coach Lindy Ruff on Monday afternoon.

The Devils named associate coach Travis Green their interim coach for the remainder of the season. No other changes were made to the staff.

Ruff, 64, helped guide the Devils to the second round of the playoffs last season. But the team has gone just 9-13-2 in its past 24 games, most recently picking up a pair of losses at the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings this weekend while being outscored 9-4.

The Devils entered Monday in sixth place (30-27-4, 64 points) in the Metropolitan Division and eight points out of the wild-card chase in the Eastern Conference.

“I hold our entire organization to the highest levels of accountability to focus on being a competitive team that expects to be a perennial playoff contender,” Devils general manager Tom Fitzgerald said in a news release. “Unfortunately, we are not currently at that level, and I needed to make this decision.

“This was an extremely difficult conversation to have with Lindy based on the relationship that he and I have. He was the right coach to develop our young players on the ice, and above all else, he is a tremendous person.”

Ruff went 128-125-28 as the Devils’ boss with one playoff appearance (5-7 in 2023) over the past three-plus seasons. Ruff was named a finalist for the 2023 Jack Adams Award as the league’s coach of the year after franchise-record 52 wins and 112 points, and a first-round playoff win over the New York Rangers before elimination by the Carolina Hurricanes. He was given a multi-year contract extension in October on the eve of the new season.

Green, 53, was the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks for four-plus seasons before being fired early in the 2021-22 campaign. New Jersey hired him to be Ruff’s associate coach last June.

Green amassed a 133-147-34 record with Vancouver (2017-21).

“Travis has key experience running benches at the junior, AHL and NHL levels and knows that there are no shortcuts to success,” Fitzgerald said. “He is a high-demanding individual who is familiar with the group and excited about working to get us back on track.”