Brent Sutter's hiring means that all NHL coaching vacancies have been filled. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))

The New Jersey Devils have hired Brent Sutter as their head coach, a move that was anticipated earlier in the week.

Sutter, who will serve as a head coach in the NHL for the first time, is the 14thperson in that positionin franchise history.

"There doesn't have to be a tremendous amount of love between the players and their head coach. There has to be a tremendous amount of respect," Sutter said. "I demand respect. I demand hard work. I'll do everything I can and I expect the same thing back from the players."

Sutter, 45,confirmed Thursday that hewas stepping down as general manager and head coach of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels, which he purchased in 1999. He will retain an ownership stake in the club.

Atwo-time Stanley Cup champion as a player with the New York Islanders, he coached the Rebels to the 2001 Memorial Cup championship and the Canadian national junior team to a perfect record at consecutive world championships in 2005 and 2006.

He was slated to coach Team Canada in a junior summit series against Russia from Aug. 27 to Sept. 9.

Sutter gained a reputation as an abrasive forward and leader in his 19 NHL seasons with the Islanders and Chicago Blackhawks.

The native of Viking, Alta., totalled 363 goals and 466 assists for 829 points with 1,054 penalty minutes in 1,111 NHL games.

Sutter's son, Brandon, was recently selected in the first round of the NHL entry draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Brian Sutter, the oldest of six Sutters to play in the NHL, is taking his brother's placeas head coach the Rebels.

New Jersey firedClaude Julien with just three games left in the past season, despite a record that was second best in the Eastern Conference.

Lamoriello replaced Julien, but could not get the club past the second round of the playoffs.

Sutter and the Devils will play their first nine games on the road before returning for an Oct. 27 game against Ottawa in their new facility, the Prudential Center in Newark.

With files from the Canadian Press