Ray Shero’s time as general manager of the New Jersey Devils is over.
The 57-year-old and the Devils agreed to part ways, Devils managing partner and chairman Josh Harris announced in a statement Sunday.
“Ray is a talented hockey executive and I am confident he will have great success in the future,” the statement read. “However, Ray and I are in agreement that the Devils need to move in a new direction and that this change is in the best interest of the team. In the coming weeks and months, we will be launching a formal search for a new general manager.
“We are very optimistic about our future and have a lot of talent, both on and off the ice.”
Shero had been the Devils GM since May 4, 2015, with the team making the postseason just once (2017-18) during his tenure. So far this season, Shero has overseen head coach John Hynes’ firing (replaced by interim bench boss Alain Nasreddine) and the trade of star forward Taylor Hall to the Arizona Coyotes.
Those moves did little to spur the team on to better things, as the Devils continued to languish at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division following Hynes and Hall’s departures.
“There’s opportunity for them to find out where we are here and where we’re going to go because in term of being where we are this season . . . no one has really gotten to the level we expected or they would probably expect,” Shero said of the Devils’ players days after of Hynes’ dismissal. “Over the course of some time here hopefully that’s going to happen to really find out what we have here in terms of our players and where we’re going to go.”
The Devils under Shero have accumulated a 16-21-7 record (39 points) this season heading into Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They sit second-last in the Eastern Conference and 13 points out of a wild card spot, a position that seems to be the last straw for Harris and other Devils’ higher-ups.
“Our organization remains deeply committed to creating a sustainably winning franchise,” Harris’ statement said. “Our fans deserve nothing but the best hockey. We thank them for their continued support as we work toward our goals.”
Tom Fitzgerald, who served as Shero’s assistant since 2015, takes over the Devils’ GM duties on an interim basis. In addition, former goaltender Martin Brodeur will act as “an advisor to and on hockey operations.”
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