Poll: Best New Jersey Devils Coach

I just was wondering what Devils coach Devils fans thought was the best over the teams' history. 

Now this isn't an easy contest.  You've got Jim Shoenfeld who got the Devils into the playoffs for the first time in their history and nearly led them to the Stanley Cup during that time.  But his overall record with the Devils was not good.  It was under .500.  So he probably isn't in the discussion, but he warrants a mention because he got the franchise over the hump.

In my opinion the only three that merit consideration are Jacques Lemaire, Larry Robinson and Pat Burns.  The three coaches who won Stanley Cups for the Devils.  Lemaire in 95, Robinson in 2000 and Burns in 2003.

Lemaire never had a record below .500 in his five years coaching the team.  He was the one where I believe the current legacy of greatness of the Devils began.

Larry Robinson took a team that was floundering in 2000 and brought it together.  His speech during the Philadelphia series helped spark the greatness comeback (at that time) in conference finals history.  He's also the only coach in Devils' history to lead the team to back-to-back Stanley Cup finals appearances.  He came basically within one game of winning two Stanley Cups for the Devs.

Pat Burns led the Devils to a Stanley Cup in his first year and might be coaching the team if his health issues never cropped up.  He had two fantastic regular seasons with the team.

Hopefully Brent Sutter gets up there at some point, but as of right now, the Mount Rushmore of Devils' coaches is Lemaire, Robinson and Burns.  I would vote for Lemaire simply because he's the one that brought the Devils to greatness.  The franchise that Lou Lamoriello wanted to model after the Montreal Canadiens got there because of the teachings of Lemaire.  But Robinson would be a close second if only because he came the closest to getting the Devils back-to-back Cups.

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