The Devils have made yet another change in this whirlwind of an offseason. They have hired Tom Fitzgerald as Assistant General Manager to Ray Shero. The Devils never had an Assistant GM under Lou Lamoriello.
Fitzgerald has deep ties to Shero, having worked with him in the Penguins organization as Director of Player Development, as an assistant coach on the club’s 2009 Stanley Cup championship team and, as Assistant to the General Manager under Shero. He also served as Assistant GM of the Pens from June 6, 2014 (after Shero had left) to his move to the Devils.
In addition to that, during his playing days, he served as the first team captain of the Nashville Predators for their first four years of existence while Shero was with them.
His bio on the Devils’ website notes that he played 17 professional seasons in both the NHL and AHL, with the Islanders (by whom he was drafted in the first round, 17th overall in the 1986 Entry Draft), Florida (with whom he went to the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals), Colorado, Nashville, Chicago, Toronto and Boston. He played in the AHL from 1988-89 to 1991-92 with Springfield and the Capital District Islanders. A native of Billerica, Massachusetts, he represented Team USA at the 1989 and 1991 World Championships and the 1987 World Junior Championships. He attended college at Providence College for two seasons (1986-87 to 1987-88) where he played one season with none other than Lou Lamoriello as his coach.
He appeared in 1,097 NHL games, with 139 goals, 190 assists and a total of 329 points, adding 776 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, he had seven goals, 12 assists for 19 points and 90 penalty minutes all in 78 postseason contests.
This move is a good one, as it gives Shero another person he can rely on in the front office. Although the sting of Lou Lamoriello leaving is still fresh in many Devils fans minds, this should strengthen the front office even further.