Tom Fitzgerald
(Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI)

The New Jersey Devils made a coaching announcement on Wednesday, but it wasn’t the move fans were hoping for. 

It seems that New Jersey Devils fans have been waiting for an update on their Twitter timeline, or notification on their phones, regarding the coaching staff.

They got one on Wednesday morning.

Yet, it probably wasn’t the update they expected.

After TSN reported that Hynes’s job as the team’s head coach was safe at the moment, the Devils then announced on Wednesday morning that assistant general manager, Tom Fitzgerald, joined the coaching staff as an assistant.

Let’s be honest, no one saw this coming. However, the fans still took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

Most reactions were sarcastic and negative towards the move and non-move, and very few were supportive.

The move is interesting and leaves everyone hanging with “what’s next,” while some fans seem to think that Fitzgerald will be the next coach as he “babysits” the bench and its players, for now.

Though, Jersey wasted no time and took to social with its players to address some more positive feedback on the current situation.

The Devils official team reporter, Amanda Stein, also addressed an interesting point after the team’s practice on the decision to add Fitzgerald into the coaching fold.

Again, a majority of the fan’s reactions were not necessarily positive ones in the sense that they don’t buy into the fact that it was “Hynes’ suggestion.”

Still, it very well could have been his suggestion – considering the two have been colleagues from day one since joining Jersey back in 2015.

Going back to the idea that Fitzgerald would take over as coach; does he have a history in coaching?

The former New York Islanders forward has never officially been named as a head coach or assistant coach at the NHL level, but his roles prior to joining the Devils were front office roles with the Pittsburgh Penguins (director of player development; 2007-09 & assistant general manager; 2009-14).

There’s no doubting that Fitzgerald has a great understanding of the game and accessing talent – fans just have to wonder if he’s an NHL coach or a future general manager at this point in time.

Keep in mind that Fitzgerald was a final candidate for the vacant Minnesota Wild general manager position during the 2018 offseason.

Either way, something is bound to change after making a decision such as this one. Stein also hinted that former Devil great, Patrik Elias, could be spending more time with the team moving forward.

If the Devils were to win on Thursday night when they host the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET, MSG) – will the fans start cheering his name loudly at the Prudential Center?

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Kyle McKenna is a freelancer who covers the NHL for Elite Sports New York, Hooked On Hockey Magazine & Fansided. Follow him on Twitter @KMcKenna_tLT5 and use the hashtag #McKennasDigest to have your NHL questions featured in an article or answered over his weekly NHL podcast.