It's been nearly five weeks now since Brent Sutter stepped down as the Devils head coach and it appears that this will finally be the week in which general manager Lou Lamoriello hires a replacement.
There have been indications of that for a couple of weeks now, though, so, as usual, Lamoriello has everyone guessing.
Former Devils coach Jacques Lemaire has seemed to be one of the frontrunners from the start -- partly because no other candidates have spoken to the media. Lamoriello's long delay seemed to indicate he was looking in another direction, but RDS in Canada reported on Friday that Lemaire is the leading candidate and, cited sources that said Lemaire would be bringing along good friend Mario Tremblay as one of his assistants.
Tremblay, a former head coach with the Canadiens, also served under Lemaire as an assistant in Minnesota. Lemaire was the Wild's head coach for nine years, but stepped down at the end of the 2008-09 season.
Given Lamoriello's track record for surprises, we might not know for certain who the head coach will be until the news conference. It appears, however, that the guessing will finally come to an end this week.
It will be interesting when Lamoriello chooses to fit in the news conference with the team's development camp beginning Monday morning and running through Friday.
The Devils announced tentative times for the on-ice sessions for the development camp for Monday through Thursday. Friday is listed as "TBA" (to be announced). Could this be a clue?
The first on-ice session is scheduled for approximately 9 a.m. on Monday, but that's a very tentative time. There is some medical testing that is scheduled to take place beforehand, so it might start a little later.
I'll post something later in the morning after things are underway.