Larry Robinson, stressed out and plagued by headaches, has decided his health is more important than coaching the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils announced Monday Robinson was resigning his post as the NHL hockey team's head coach.

"A lot of things were getting to me," Robinson explained. "I want this team to be successful, but if I can't be at my best and it's bothering me healthwise, I can't do that."

Perennial Stanley Cup contenders, the Devils have been a bit of a disappointment so far this season. New Jersey sits fourth in the NHL's Atlantic Division and 10th in the Eastern Conference with 33 points.

New Jersey has lost two in a row and seven of its last nine games.

The 54-year-old Robinson missed two games this month with flu and sinus problems. He said he continued to have what he called "horrible headaches" and recently underwent tests, including a CT scan. He was told the symptoms were stress-related.

"This is not malicious. Maybe it's selfish on my part. I still think I can coach, I just think that at this stage of my life ... nothing is worth being sick over," Robinson said.

There's no immediate word on who would replace Robinson. Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello led the club's practice Monday morning.

Robinson took over the Devils head coaching job this summer, replacing Pat Burns, who had been diagnosed with cancer. It was Robinson's second go-around as the team's coach.

Robinson, a Hall of Fame defenceman, first took the Devils' coaching duties late in the 1999-2000 season. In an effort to shake up the club, he was brought in to replace Robbie Ftorek eight games before the start of the playoffs.

The radical move paid big dividends. Robinson guided New Jersey to a dramatic six-game victory over the Dallas Stars in the Stanley Cup finals.

Robinson led the Devils to the Cup finals again the following season under, but this time New Jersey lost to the Colorado Avalanche.

The next year, however, Robinson was fired mid-season as the team floundered in ninth place.

Robinson also coached the Los Angeles Kings from 1995-99. He is 209-223-69 overall as an NHL head coach.

with files from Canadian Press