today morning, New Jersey Devils Fulfilled one of his off-season needs: an assistant coach. The team hired Andrew Brunet as an associate coach to fill the responsibilities of Marc Reiche. The vacancy left by Ellen Nasreddin’s departure has now been filled The Devils announced this morning that they have hired Ryan McGill as assistant coach for this upcoming season.
McGill is an experienced coach. According to their Elite Prospects staff profile, McGill first went on to coach with the Edmonton Ice of the WHL at the junior level. After becoming head coach in the 1997–98 season and continuing until 2001–02, he became the head coach in the AHL. For the first three seasons with Hartford, two with Omaha, and two with Quad City. The last two teams were franchises affiliated with Calgary, and so the NHL Flames offered him a chance as an assistant coach in 2009–10 and 2010–11. This did not work and McGill returned to major junior hockey as Kootena’s head coach for three seasons (and Canada’s WJC coach in 2013) and two seasons in the OHL as Owen Sound’s head coach. When Las Vegas joined the league, he was named an assistant as part of Gerard Gallant’s inaugural staff. He was the Golden Knight up till last season. He now joins New Jersey in his mid-thirties of coaching.
Ryan Nowozinski’s article about renting on NJ.com, which is limited to customers, contains important details that McGill was primarily in charge of defense in Las Vegas. It is fair to assume that he would do the same in New Jersey. Therefore, he is the substitute of Nasruddin. To credit Nowozinski, He shortlisted three potential candidates for the assistant coaching job yesterday on NJ.com And McGill was one of them. After his article on hiring McGill grew, Nowozinski tweeted that the Devils could not be accompanied by an assistant coaching hire. We’ll see if this means Sergey Brylin is being promoted or someone else is coming.
This leads to the obvious question: is McGill any good? We can see how Las Vegas has fared defensively over the past five seasons.
For 5-on-5 situations, the natural stat trick is to turn around. In 2017-18, They finished in the upper-half in the league with a top-ten xGA/60 of 2.36 in CA/60 and SA/60. In 2018-19, They were even better with a top-five rate in ca/60, a top-ten rate in the SA/60, and a top-five xGA/60 of 2.24. In 2019-20 (and in the midst of a major coaching change), Las Vegas was still pretty good at limiting the opposition’s offense to 5-on-5 The league’s third best CA/60, second best SA/60, and seventh best XGA/60 of 2.21. Pandemic-shortened 2021 season wasn’t as good defensively as it was The team was 13th in CA/60, 5th in SA/60, and 20th(!) in xGA/60 with 2.34. McGill’s last season with the organization ended slightly better; 16th in CA/60, 7th in SA/60 and 15th in xGA/60 with 2.44. The last two seasons were not so kind from the point of view of the expected goal model. They peaked in 2018-19 and 2019-20 with one of the best defenses in the NHL. Nevertheless, the Knights were consistently the least league-secondary team in 5-on-5 hockey when it came to limiting the opposition’s offense.
In the first five seasons of G-Knights Hockey, the penalty kill ranged from very good to not very effective. in terms of success rate nhl.com, However, none of the weather is particularly dreadful. Last season the 77.4% success rate was 21st out of 32 teams and not far from the league median of 79.5%.
With the knowledge between them that McGill worked for two different head coaches, two different GMs, and changed a plethora of players over five seasons, I think it’s fair to conclude that he knows that what he is doing. Even his worst seasons weren’t so bad in 5-on-5 or shorthand situations. And when it all came together, Las Vegas was a strong defensive team. It remains to be seen how the skaters take to McGill’s defense system (especially the defenders); And how well her system aligns with what Lindy Ruff wants to do. Still, I think it’s a pretty good fare based on the results he’s had in Las Vegas. Additional experience at the major junior and minor league levels are a plus to go along with their previous NHL experience.
On paper, it appears to me that the Devils upgraded their coaching staff with Brunet and McGill replacing Rechie and Nasrdine. I believe the Devils were held back last season because of the coaching staff and their tactical shortcomings. I hope this will not happen in 2022-23. Ruff’s staff is better than last season. Now we have to see if Rauff can put it all together as head coach for a more successful team.
That’s my opinion on this hire. Now I want to know you. Are you happy with the Devils hiring Ryan McGill? Do you think he did a good job in Las Vegas? Do you think the Devils are placed behind the bench for 2022-23, or do you think there will be more changes? Please leave your answer and other thoughts about Ryan McGill and this hack in the comments. Thanks for reading.