Jacques Lemaire confirmed that he does not intend to coach the New Jersey Devils next season, The Star-Ledger reports. Lemaire commented on a report that he had told Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock during the 2010 Olympics that he planned on retiring at the end of the 2009-10 season. Lemaire took over the Devils head coaching job from John MacLean on December 23, 2010.
Lemaire did say that he has felt great back behind the bench this season:
“You get back in, it’s a game that I played and I coached 15-16 years. One day you decide to retire. If you have a chance to get back, no matter the reason, the fire you have inside stays there. You just have the pilot, you turn up the valve and you get that fire. That’s what happened.”
When asked if he would return for the 2011-12 season if asked, Lemaire reiterated that this is it:
“No. Because I find it’s tough… I’m not at the end of the season yet. I still have 2-3 months to go and we’ll have tough days. You get back from road trips, I get more tired than when I was 40.”
The Devils have won four straight games and are 6-3-1 over their last ten. Since Lemaire took over coaching duties the last place Devils have gone 7-6-1.