Returned To Coach In Nhl
In 1987, Brooks returned to coach on the professional level when he was hired as coach of the Minnesota North Stars. Brooks had been offered the job three previous times, but turned it down. He did not have an immediate effect on the team, which was not great. The North Stars only had a record of 19-48-13, and Brooks was forced out, though he had a two-year contract. Brooks then spent two years doing television commentary for Sports Channel America, and working as a salesman for the Turnquist Paper Company, selling industrial paper products.
In July 1991, Brooks was named the head coach of the Utica Devils in the American Hockey League. This was the primary affiliate of the NHL's New Jersey Devils. Brooks used his teaching skills to develop the young pros. In June 1992, Brooks was picked to coach the New Jersey Devils themselves. Again, Brooks only lasted one year. The team posted a record of 40-37-7, and lost in the first round of the playoffs. Brooks resigned because of his dispute with management after his first year, though he had a three-year deal. He did not like the direction of the team.
Brooks connection to professional and international hockey was much less in the 1990s. While he went back to Turnquist Paper Company as a salesman, he also worked as a scout for the Pittsburgh Penguins for much of the 1990s. He submitted two plans to coach Team USA in the 1992 and 1994 Olympic games, but his ideas were rejected as being too costly and/or unacceptable. Brooks did coach on the international stage once in the 1990s, guiding the French hockey team in the 1998 Winter Olympics. They did not make the playoff round in Japan.