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Devils bring back veteran Lemaire as head coach

JACQUES Lemaire, who coached the New Jersey Devils for five seasons in the mid-1990's and led them to the first of three Stanley Cups, has returned as their head coach, the National Hockey League team said on Monday.

The 63-year-old Lemaire has coached the Minnesota Wild the past nine seasons. He replaces Brent Sutter, who resigned after two seasons last month and is now the head coach of the Calgary Flames.

Contract terms were not disclosed but the 63-year-old Lemaire said he intends to coach at least two seasons.

"I never thought I would be back," Lemaire said. "I said at that time when I was leaving after five years, and it was five great years, I wanted to cherish this for the rest of my life and the rest of my career, but I never thought one day I would come back."

The deal reunites Lemaire with General Manager and President Lou Lamoriello and goaltender Martin Brodeur, the combination that turned that Devils from a contender to a champion in 1995.

"Jacques Lemaire is one of the most respected coaches in the game," Lamoriello said in a statement on the team's Website.

"He is a teacher and a communicator, and knows what it takes to have success."

Lemaire coached the Devils for five seasons from 1993-94 through 1997-98, compiling a 199-122-57 record in regular-season play. His 378 games, 199 wins, 56 postseason games and 34 postseason victories are tops for the franchise.

In addition to the 1995 Stanley Cup, he led the Devils to three other postseason appearances, including the Eastern Conference's top record in 1997 and 1998.

At Minnesota, he posted a 293-255-108 record and led the Wild to the Western Conference finals in 2003. He resigned after the 2009 season in which he went 40-33-9.

Lemaire has won 11 Stanley Cups as a player, coach and executive. He has a career coaching record of 538-415-176 in 14 seasons with Montreal, New Jersey and Minnesota.

The Devils also announced Mario Tremblay, an assistant under Lemaire in Minnesota, had joined the team as an assistant coach.


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