Rangers assistant Lindy Ruff a candidate for Devils head coaching job

Dallas-Stars-head-coach-Lindy-Ruff-watches-play-against-the-Minnesota-Wild-in-the-first-period-of-an-NHL-hockey-game-in-Dallas,-Saturday-Jan.-14,-2017.-(LM-Otero/AP)

New York Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff. (LM Otero/AP)

Lindy Ruff, who has spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the New York Rangers, is among the candidates to become head coach of the New Jersey Devils, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman.

Throughout his head coaching career, Ruff has been behind the bench for 1,493 games, picking up 736 wins. He spent 15 years coaching the Buffalo Sabres, winning the Jack Adams award for coach of the year during the 2005-06 season, and another four coaching the Dallas Stars.

Ruff has also coached 120 career Stanley Cup Playoff games in the NHL, and his teams have posted a 66-54 record in the post-season.

The list of candidates New Jersey was thought to be considering consisted of Alain Nasreddine, Gerard Gallant, Peter Laviolette, John Stevens and a previously unnamed “mystery candidate” — now identified as Ruff.

The Devils have been searching for a full-time head coach since firing John Hayes in December. Nasreddine, who had been one of Hayes’ assistants, assumed interim head coaching duties. At the time, the Devils were mired in a 9-13-4 start that left the team in last place in the Metropolitan Division and with the NHL’s second-worst record.

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