The New Jersey Devils yesterday ended months of speculation on who would become head coach and retained Tom McVie.
McVie, 55, guided an inconsistent team to a 4-5-4 record after being named interim head coach on March 4, replacing John Cunniff. The team played its best hockey of the season in the first round of the playoffs, losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.
"I feel I'm the man for the job," McVie, 56, said in a conference call from his home in Portland, Ore. "I felt when the evaluation was done and everybody sat back, I was the man for the job."
McVie said the contract was for more than a year and less than five. Neither he nor Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello would discuss the exact terms of the deal, which was finalized on Sunday.
This will be McVie's second stint as Devils coach. He also coached the team in the 1983-84 season. McVie also coached the Washington Capitals for 2 1/2 seasons, 1975-78.
McVie had coached the Devils' AHL team in Utica for the past seven seasons before taking the New Jersey job.
Lamoriello said he offered the job only to McVie, although hadmitted an undisclosed number of people were interviewed.
There were reports that 1980 U.S. Olympic coach Herb Brooks was interested in the job.
* JETS: Winnipeg named John Paddock as its new head coach after a wait of more than a week while his contract was cleared by the New York Rangers.
Paddock, 37, coached the Rangers' farm team in Binghamton, N.Y., last season.
He spent seven seasons coaching in the AHL and won two league championships. Paddock was also the assistant general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers for the 1989-90 season.
He's replacing Bob Murdoch, who was fired at the end of last season after the Jets finished 18th out of 21 teams. Paddock will be the ninth head coach of the Jets since they joined the NHL in 1979.
Paddock played 10 seasons as a pro, but had only 87 NHL games with three teams.