The New Jersey Devils turned back a page in the search for their next head coach, naming a former Devils bench boss to the position again on Monday.
Contract terms were not disclosed but Jacques Lemaire said he intends to coach at least two seasons.
"I never thought I would be back," Lemaire said. "I said at that time when I was leaving after five years, and it was five great years, I wanted to cherish this for the rest of my life and the rest of my career, but I never thought one day I would come back."
Lemaire, 63, coached the Stanley Cup-winning New Jersey squad in 1995 and most recently resigned the coaching duties of the Minnesota Wild, where he spent the last nine seasons as that team's first and only coach.
"Last year, right after the season, I never did close the door on coaching," Lemaire said. "I just said that my time in Minnesota is over and it's time to go on and do something else."
New Jersey had been without a coach since Brent Sutter stepped down last month, before joining the Calgary Flames as that team's newest head coach.
New Jersey general manager Lou Lamiorello said he was happy to welcome Lemaire back into the Devils' organization.
"Jacques Lemaire is one of the most respected coaches in the game," Lamoriello said during a conference call. "He is a teacher and a communicator, and knows what it takes to have success."
Lamoriello also announced that Mario Tremblay, who spent the past nine seasons as an assistant coach in Minnesota with Lemaire, will join the Devils' coaching staff.
Lemaire has won 11 Stanley Cups as a player, coach and executive. He returns to New Jersey having amassed a career coaching record of 538-415-176 in 14 seasons with Montreal, New Jersey and Minnesota.