Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NHL Coaching Re-Cycling Continues......

1) In  unsurprising news the coaching carousel continued with the Nashville Predators hiring Peter Laviolette. This being his 4th coaching stop over as the Preds head man.  'Lavy' previously was employed by the Islanders, Hurricanes (where he won a Cup) and most recently the Flyers where he lasted all of 3 games this past season.  To be sure he has had success in every stop so its not like he hasn't deserved to be rehired. The other side to that coin is Paul Maurice, who seemingly keeps popping up despite very limited success in his many coaching stops; Carolina(twice) Toronto, and now Winnipeg. Through 16 coaching years Paul has missed the playoffs completely 10 times (and fired twice more mid year)

2) There is almost no doubt that Laviolette's predecessor, Barry Trotz will again be finding work as an NHL head coach. Likely before the playoffs are completed, thus completing that part of the recycling.  Additionally, its also been rumoured that Ron Wilson will be retained by one of the many teams looking to find a head coach. Wilson previously was employed by Anaheim, Washington, SJ, and most recently Toronto.  He actually has had success, albeit, never won a Cup, everywhere other than Toronto(who wins there?)  Our sources tell us that the Panthers have inquired about Ron's interest in moving to the Sun shine state. Ofcourse we have also heard that Vancouver might be interested.  

3) Additionally we are told to not be shocked if John Tortorella gets a job interview over the summer, although he has 4 years and 8 million left to be paid by the Canucks so he doesn't have to work. In the next week or so we might also have another vacancy and coaching candidate when the fate of Sharks head boss Todd McLellan is known.  There is little doubt that Todd will get an interview by one of the clubs needing a replacement. Most likely the Panthers or Capitals, but the Caps also need to shore up their GM position first.

4)  So why the seemingly endless re-cycling of names?  GM's understandably concerned about their own job security are less likely make many daring hires.  Therefore the biggest employment pool consists of coaches who were fired by other NHL teams. The exception was when, starting with the Caps hiring of Bruce Boudreau in 2007 There was an infatuation with graduating American Hockey League coaches. However, in the last few years that seems to have run its course, judging by the favourites list for the various openings. Dallas Eakins’ struggles in his first season with the Edmonton Oilers may have something to do with that.  At this point, the AHL head coach with the best chance of moving up might actually be the Oilers’ guy. Todd Nelson coaches the Oklahoma City Barons, the Oiler farm team.

5) Other possible candidates that wouldn't shock us and have had previous NHL head coaching experience are Guy (Scar) Boucher (Formerly of Tampa Bay), John Stevens (formally of Philadelphia). Coaches who we are told will NOT be given an offer this time are: Kirk Muller, and Adam Oates. The feeling around the league is they need additional years as assistants or AHL seasoning before they get their next shot at the big time. The name some love to throw around is 'Iron' Mike Keenan, but our sources tell us it would be an incredible long shot to see the 64 year old who hasn't coached in the NHL in 5 years(Works in the KHL) and last won a playoff series in 1996! 

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