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Jagr: Devils would make huge mistake if they fire DeBoer

Jaromir Jagr, Peter DeBoer

New Jersey Devils’ Jaromir Jagr, right, listens to head coach Peter DeBoer talk during NHL hockey training camp at the AmeriHealth Pavilion, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


As poorly as things have gone for the New Jersey Devils, Jaromir Jagr told the Bergen Record that the team’s struggles shouldn’t prompt the franchise to fire head coach Pete DeBoer.

“That would be one of the biggest mistakes they could make,”Jagr said. “To be honest with you, without our coaches and the system we play, it would be a lot worse.”

Cory Schneider backs up Jagr’s assessment that the players are being placed in the right situations.

“It would be a shame if it fell on the coaches because they’re giving us the X’s and O’s and it’s up to us to execute,” Schneider said. “So, I’m not really sure what’s going to be done or what needs to be done, to be honest.”

Indeed, some of the Devils’ problems fall on players, injuries and management saddling DeBoer with an aging roster.

Still, Puck Daddy pointed out a few issues with DeBoer while weighing the pros and cons of parting with the head coach back in late November:

Some of it can be laid at his feet, with odd line combination decisions and personnel management, contributing to the team’s anemic offensive (58 goals in 24 games, the 23rd best offense in the NHL); and his mistrust of the team’s backup netminders, leading to Cory Schneider getting a preposterous 23 starts, which is already more than half his total from last season.

As you’ve likely heard dozens of times, “it’s easier to fire the coach than trade all of the players,” so one wonders how hot DeBoer’s seat must be right now.

Fair or not.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins