Reports: Devils interview Ruff for coaching vacancy

The New Jersey Devils interviewed New York Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff for their head coaching vacancy, multiple outlets reported.

Ruff, 60, previously served as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres for 15 seasons (1997-2013) and the Dallas Stars for four seasons (2013-17). He ranks sixth all-time in career wins (736) and seventh in games coached (1,493).

The Devils have been searching for a coach since firing John Hayes in December after a 9-13-4 start. Interim coach Alain Nasreddine guided them to a 19-16-8 record before the regular season shut down in mid-March due to COVID-19.

Nasreddine, Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette and John Stevens were all previously identified as candidates to fill the vacancy.

Ruff has also compiled a 66-54 record in the postseason, including Buffalo’s six-game loss to Dallas in the 1999 Stanley Cup Final.

The Devils did not qualify for the NHL’s planned 24-team summer restart. The Rangers are in the mix, however, and it is unclear whether New Jersey would have permission to hire Ruff before the end of the season.