The Devils fired Coach John Hynes on Tuesday with the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division after winning only nine of 26 games.
Hynes, 44, will be replaced on an interim basis by Alain Nasreddine, one of his assistants. Hynes coached the Devils to the playoffs in 2018, but the team finished near the bottom of the standings in his three other seasons. He received a contract extension last January.
His final game was Monday’s 7-1 road loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Nasreddine was behind the bench when the Devils faced the Vegas Golden Knights at home on Tuesday.
“I have been consistent in my desire to build something here in New Jersey that earns the respect of teams throughout the league and pride in our fans,” said Ray Shero, the team’s president and general manager. “That is not where we were heading.”
Hynes was 150-159-45 in four-plus seasons with the Devils. He ranks second in team history in games coached, wins and points.
The Devils (9-13-4 ahead of Tuesday’s game) have struggled offensively despite adding the key veterans P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmonds and the No. 1 draft pick Jack Hughes to a lineup that included the star forward Taylor Hall.
Hall — who was the N.H.L.’s most valuable player for the 2017-18 season, when he scored a career-high 39 goals — has only four goals this season, heading into Tuesday’s game. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Subban has just two goals and three assists; a former Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman, he has not looked like the elite player he was with Montreal and Nashville. Forward Nico Hischier, the first overall pick in 2017, and Hughes each have only four goals.
Goalie Cory Schneider, 33, struggling and injury-prone for the past few seasons, was waived last month and assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League. Relying on the 22-year-old Mackenzie Blackwood and Louis Domingue, the Devils are allowing 3.62 goals per game (ahead of Tuesday’s game), ranked 30th out of 31 teams.
Nasreddine, 44, was part of six N.H.L. organizations during a 15-year career, playing 74 N.H.L. games and 726 contests in the A.H.L. He has been a Devils assistant since June 2015, when Hynes was hired. He also was an assistant with Hynes for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ A.H.L. affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Devils said the scout Peter Horachek, who has been an interim head coach for the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs, would move behind the bench with Nasreddine.