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Robinson Inks New Devils Deal


Larry Robinson, who took over as coach of the New Jersey Devils late in the season and led them to the Stanley Cup, signed a new multiyear contract on Friday.

Robinson's decision to return as coach came just a day after president and general manager Lou Lamoriello announced that he would stay with the franchise after it is sold to YankeeNets next month by John McMullen for $175 million.

"I have never worked with a man of his experience who believed in the same things I did about the way a team should be run," Robinson said in a conference call. "Every time a question came up, the team came first."

Financial terms were not disclosed, but Robinson said he got a raise. The deal includes two years as a head coach and two years as a consultant.

When the season ended, Robinson had four years left on his contract, two as an assistant coach and two as a consultant.

Robinson replaced Robbie Ftorek as coach on March 23 with just eight games left in the regular season and the Devils in the midst of a late-season slump.

New Jersey didn't turn things around right away. But once the playoffs started, Robinson had the Devils playing the type of defensive game that would carry them to their second cup since 1995.

"We became more than a hockey team. We became a family," Robinson said.

Robinson became just the third head coach in NHL history to take over a team midway through a season and win a championship.

"Larry was a big part of both of our Stanley Cup Championships and brings leadership and a wealth of hockey knowledge to our club," Lamoriello said. "We feel that both our veterans and younger players will continue to benefit from his experience."

Robinson was an assistant coach under Jacques Lemaire when the Devils won the Cup in 1995. He spent the next four seasons as coach of the Los Angeles Kings before being fired after the 1998-99 season.

The Hall of Fame defenseman, who won six Stanley Cups as a player with the Montreal Canadiens, was rehired by the Devils as an assistant coach after being let go by the Kings.

Robinson said he was wary about returning to coaching after his experience in Los Angeles, where he posted a 121-166-45 record, but he said Lamoriello and friends restored his confidence and got him to believe he was doing the right thing.

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