New Jersey Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine will coach against long-time mentor John Hynes for the first time Thursday.
Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators will be an emotional one for New Jersey Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine. The matchup will mark the first time he will coach against mentor John Hynes.
Nasreddine served as Hynes’s assistant from 2010-2015 with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and then moved with Hynes to New Jersey when he was hired by the Devils in June of 2015.
The Devils fired Hynes after parts of four seasons on Dec. 3 and Nasreddine took over as interim head coach. On Jan. 7, Hynes was named head coach of the Predators.
“I’ve tried to go on about my day. I’m sure it will hit tonight when I see him across the bench there,” Nasreddine said via Chris Ryan of NJ.com. “But once the game starts, he wants to win the game, we want to win the game, so we’ll just try to leave it at that. But it’s going to be a special night. A lot of emotions probably to start, but once the puck drops it should be OK.”
How Hynes goes about his business is one of the reasons why Nasreddine has so much respect for the bench boss. The current Devils coach believes Hynes is the type of coach who players want to play for on a night in, night out basis.
“I had a lot of coaches in my playing days, and watching him go on about his business and how he did things, day in and day out, to me, I could tell right away it was a good coach because I was just putting myself as a player, and he’s a kind of coach I would have loved to play for,” Nasreddine said.
The reunion is set for 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday. New Jersey will look for their second-straight win and make a statement in front of their former coach.