1) In a follow up to our preseason question of who-gets-axe-first. We decided it may be time to update that list and get the latest of who may next be looking for work.
2) Here are the coaches that right now should not get too comfortable in their surroundings as their next game could be their last:
- Mike Keenan (Calgary Flame)- Is anyone surprised with this turn of events? 'Iron Mike' has not been successful since leading the Rangers to a Cup 13+ years ago! As we wrote here exclusively 2 weeks ago there has been trouble-in-alberta. long before today. It started from day 1 of training camp and has worsened from there. The team is in veritable free fall, and our sources tell us that Sutter is contemplating doing what he dreads; Firing Keenan and becoming the interim head coach. However, waiting a few more weeks could place their playoff hopes in jeopardy. The season is still very salvageable as of now, but that can change if Sutter waits a few more weeks.
- Glen Hanlon ( D.C. Crapitals)- Even in the usually sedate, almost apathetic(except for a few well informed bloggers) Nations' capital the heat is being turned up on head coach Glen Hanlon. The team is off to an awful start. Actually they started off to an improbable 3-0 beginning and have gone a pathetic 3-12-1 since. Plummeting them into the basement not only of their division, but also the Eastern Conference and entire NHL! Many had this team as a dark horse playoff team after their off season additions. While some point to injuries, (They lost Semin and Clark for long stretches) it still doesn't explain away such a record AND more ominous the lack of effort for a full 60 minutes; Their trade mark the previous 2 seasons under Hanlon. A change could come as early as this week if they have a poor home stand against opponents that are not in the top 8 either. Bruce Boudreau, their coach with their AHL affiliate Hershey Bears is the most likely candidate to replace Hanlon.
- Brent Sutter (N.J. Devil)- No coach is EVER safe in Jersey. Ask Claude Julian. He was having arguably a Coach of the year type season last year only to be cut down by Lou Lamarello a few short weeks before the playoffs. (Claude has been vindicated by the Devils early playoff ouster as well as his success in Boston) The early slow start in NJ was attributed to their long road trip to start the season(To put finishing touches on their new arena in Newark). However, since the team has returned home, they have NOT turned things around. In fact they are 3-4 at The Rock, and hovering in 10th in the East. In Sutter's defense, the team he was given was hardly a playoff team on paper. Their defense continues to be gutted with each off season. Broduer is not playing Vezina goal, and team captain Patrick Elias seems to have lost his touch. However as we have already pointed out team GM/president Lamarello doesn't care for excuses, but only results. How much longer will he let his team be coached and look mediocre? Our guess is that Sutter has until Christmas at most to turn things around, else he'll be back in Alberta by the New year!
- Craig MacTavish (Edmonton Oiler) No one expected the Oilers to be very good, so perhaps its not fair to place Craig on this list. However, the Oilers are at the bottom of the conference and as one scout told us recently, 'many nights play uninspired hockey'. That's the thing that will get upper managements attention, fast. Kevin Lowe, already under the gun himself for his off season antics of almost guaranteeing to fans he'd make a block buster trade/addition, only to be rebuffed/the Penner RFA acquisition, may not wait too long to make a switch if things progress as they have. The team is not only a dreadful 3-6-1 in their last 10, but a horrendous 3-6 at Rexall. Nothing gets attention of management faster than teams losing at home! Craig may not last the season, or even the calender year if things don't improve.
- Dave Tippett (Dallas Star) Don't think for a minute that the firing last week of Doug Armstrong saved Tippett's butt. It may have given him a short reprieve, but he is clearly still under the gun. It may take new GM's Brett Hull/Les Jackson a few weeks to sort things out, but once they get settled and the team continues to sputter/struggle look for one of their first duties to be to replace Tippet with new blood/their own guy. An aside to this; A well placed source in Dallas tells FAUXRUMORS that the duel GM job is temporary until Hicks feels Hull is ready to assume the position full time himself. Hull felt he wasn't yet to be the top guy, but will likely be named the team's full time GM after the season.