Lemaire says he's trapped until ‘coaching situation' is resolved

Lou Lamoriello's not getting any younger. Neither is Martin Brodeur. Despite the fact that their best player (Zach Parise) looks like he's about 11 years old, the New Jersey Devils are in a very 'win-now' mode as a franchise.

Just think about last season's parade of former Devils that added years of veteran savvy to the locker room -- Bobby Holik, Brendan Shanahan, Brian Rolston -- before the Carolina Hurricanes ended their run in the first round.

So in that regard, Jacques Lemaire being a legitimate candidate to succeed Brent Sutter as head coach makes plenty of sense. He's a former Stanley Cup champion with the team. His style meshes with the personnel in the short term. He's a 'win-now' choice.

Yet the notion of a 64-year-old guy, whose years of middling success led to his divorce from the Minnesota Wild, getting a second turn with the Devils is still a little stunning.

As Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice writes, Lemaire's career is on hold as he waits for the Devils' decision:

Lemaire, who coached the Devils to their first Stanley Cup in 1995 and worked for the Minnesota Wild for the last nine years, said today that he doesn't expect anything to happen, however, before the NHL Entry Draft on Friday and Saturday in Montreal, "for sure."

"Nothing is moving, so I'm going to wait," Lemaire told me today. Lemaire, who will turn 64 in September, said previously he had an opportunity to be a consultant with a team  -- believed to be the Montreal Canadiens -- but said today that it's not the consulting position that is delaying his decision right now. "It's the coaching situation that's not moving, yet," Lemaire said.

He wouldn't confirm it's the Devils, but c'mon now. Fire & Ice also points to this story about Kevin Dineen's potential candidacy.

Lemaire will be an assistant coach to Mike Babcock for Team Canada -- along with Lindy Ruff and Ken Hitchcock -- in 2010, according to CTVOlympics.ca. It'll be the first time he'll participate in the Olympics. As for the rest of this career ... well, it's immobile and tedious until something happens with the "coaching situation." Which is sort of ironic, considering it's Lemaire we're talking about.

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