These are the top candidates for NHL head coaching jobs in this offseason

This was the coach I first heard of. He hadn't been an NHL head coach. His qualifications showed he was capable of doing so.

I felt like a fan of a new band, double-checking its music with a music snob. So, I reached out and asked an NHL team executive how they felt about the guy.

“I don’t understand why he’s on the “Wow, Why doesn’t he have any head-coaching jobs yet?” They stated that they were in the top tier. There are approximately 100 candidates if you include AHL head coaches and NHL assistants. Why does he stand out as being the best in that group?

I didn't have an answer. To paraphrase the movie “Major League”, I didn't really have an answer.

Last offseason, the NHL's Summer of the Netminder was the Summer of the Bench Boss. According to the team executive, there are many potential candidates for open job opportunities. This includes former head coaches, current assistant coaches, NCAA and minor league coaches, international coaches, as well some other out-of-the box options such as when Martin St. Louis He went from coaching his children to coaching them. Montreal Canadiens This is the season.

The Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights And Winnipeg Jets All have official vacancies. Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers And Florida Panthers All currently have interim coaches.

Here's what I hear about some of the top coaches, other coaches being considered by teams (but likely won't make it this year), and rising coaching candidates that you can save for the future.

These are the top candidates for NHL head coaching jobs in this offseason

The most promising candidates

Barry Trotz

The NHL's third-winningest coach (he has 914 wins) was fired by New York Islanders After two unsuccessful playoff seasons and two trips to the third round, the 59-year-old is now a seasoned coach. His coaching abilities are not what makes him an exceptional candidate, but the culture that he instills around his teams.

Trotz would be the best candidate for any opening. And when you have the litter to choose from, why not play with the pups?

It has been reported that Trotz and his Golden Knights team have something in place. However, I heard that Trotz is taking his time before making a decision. A source in the NHL also said that “taking his time” could be understood as “inciting a bidding battle” among teams to hire his services.

Barry Trotz would agree that Bill Foley, the owner of Golden Knights, could make a market-setting proposal.

Bruce Cassidy

Cassidy's job was clearly not secure. Can Neely, the Bruins' postseason commentator, made it clear. However, Cassidy's dismissal was shocking after a run that saw the Bruins advance past the first round of four of six playoffs. In 2019, the Bruins played for the Stanley Cup and had the best regular-season record among any team other than the Bruins. Tampa Bay Lightning During his tenure.

Cassidy stated that on Thursday, teams had already reached out to him for his services. He said, “I want to get back to work.” “I'm hoping it's an excellent fit for both parties.”

His availability could change everything, possibly even for Trotz. One NHL source speculated that Cassidy might be going to Vegas because he is good with veterans.

Remember that George McPhee, the Vegas president of hockey operations, hired Cassidy while both were with him Washington Capitals. Cassidy wasn't prepared for that job in 2002-03 and 2003-04. He is now ready for the job in Vegas.

Cassidy is a successful player with a unique point of view. According to an NHL insider, “He has a big personality so whatever GM hires will understand that.”

Pete DeBoer

DeBoer was Vegas’ fall guy who missed the playoffs. However, the team's problems in 2021-22 were mostly injury or cap-related.

His superpower is his ability to arrive with a new team, immediately making it a champion contender in Year 1. In New Jersey and San Jose, he took the Stanley Cup Finalists and the Golden Knights to 2020's bubble conference final. Perhaps he should take a few players on one-year contracts. Joe ThorntonMake it easier for everyone.

DeBoer was expected to earn $3.25million for the 2022-23 seasons. He's a hungry coach. Given his track record, the Stars' veteran needs and GM Jim Nill’s desire to succeed late in his Dallas tenure, I believe Dallas would make a good fit.

Rick Tocchet & John Tortorella

We will group together our new broadcast rights partner TV celebrities. NHL fans will be missing ESPN's John Tortorella (TNT's Rick Tocchet) if and whenever they return to coaching.

I believe both these men are looking for the right circumstances. The Stars were interested in Tocchet once before. ESPN's Kevin Weekes According to reports, Torts spoke with the Flyers. This could be the most perfect match between their coaching style and franchise vision since Pat Riley and his Lakers. Oder Buddy Ryan or the Eagles.

In any case, they have a lengthy infomercial that lasted a whole season to market their expertise to NHL players.

Jim Montgomery

Montgomery was fired in December 2019 Stars for “unprofessional behavior” and later entered rehab to treat alcohol addiction. Family and individual therapy followed.

The St. Louis Blues The assistant coach is unquestionably gifted. Many of the Stars' achievements under Rick Bowness were built upon what they had under Jim Montgomery. According to The Athletic, the Jets are targeting him and that he has a strong relationship “with Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger” who was Montgomery's assistant GM in Manitoba in 1999-2000.

Some people doubt that he will get another chance. He was fired for cause, but he didn't fight it. What does that mean? According to one source in the NHL,

Travis Green

Teams like to keep the search for coaches close to their vest. It was quite wild when Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said to a Vancouver radio station, “He had proven he is worthy of consideration” and that “I expect we'll be talking to him.”

Dallas might not be the right fit for Green in the end, but it shows how much Green's five-year stint in Vancouver has garnered him attention — even though it did not result in a single playoff spot during the 2020 bubble playoffs. He is only 51 years old and clearly one of the head coaches who can do better in his second season.

David Quinn

I can recall talking to Anaheim Ducks coach Dallas Eakins I asked him about his first gig in Edmonton and he told me how he had learned. “I went in there strong. The line was drawn in sand. And so it went. “That was not a good approach to building a culture,” he stated.

Quinn will be able to get a second NHL job if he is successful with the team in his three years of service. New York RangersI think it is because he realized how to misjudge the approach. He was too controlling. He was not able to get on the same page with his elite players. One source said that he treated the Rangers as if they were an NCAA team and coached them like it. You learn as you go, and Quinn certainly did that from his role as the head coach for the U.S. Olympic team.

Todd Reirden Mike Vellucci

General managers are drawn to coaches who have “learned from top” and Vellucci and Reirden both serve on the bench of Mike Sullivan, a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Pittsburgh Penguins.

Reirden, who is 50, is searching for his second coaching job. After making the playoffs with the Capitals twice, he lost in the first round. Reirden then went back to Pittsburgh as an assistant coach. Vellucci (55) was the OHL Plymouth Whalers' head coach and general manger for 14 seasons, before becoming the Charlotte Checkers' head coach in the AHL. He won coach of year and the Calder Cup. He spent two seasons with Sullivan in Pittsburgh after he had coached the Penguins' top affiliate.

One NHL source stated that “Vellucci is worthy of a chance due to his track record.” It's difficult to disagree.

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Paul Maurice

Maurice smartly walked away From the Winnipeg Jets' last season. Because it was obvious that he needed to be refreshed after a few taxing seasons, which ended a nine-year tenure with the franchise. He also said that he had gotten the best out of that team. According to a few sources, there is a stubbornness among the management team that prevents them from adapting from the senior core of that team. So he probably left when the going was good. Maurice, at 55, would be expected to miss this round of coaching vacancies. But, I'm sure his phone was ringing on quite a few.

Benoit Groulx

Last week, there was much talk that Groulx (the successful head coach of Lightning's top affiliate, Syracuse Crunch), could be joining his old GM Steve Yzerman As the new Detroit head coach. Although I verified the claims with multiple sources, one source close to Groulx stated that they had “spoken a couple of times.” However, the same source warned that it could not be true if it was out there in the rumor mill. This is because Steve Yzerman is very close to the vest. It seems like Groulx could move to the NHL bench but not as a head coaching position.

Nate Leaman

Nate Leaman came up shortly after Cassidy was fired. He was offered a minor-league job by the Bruins a few years ago. However, he signed a lucrative contract with Providence College several months ago. “Leaman has just signed a huge extension. Sources say that I don't think he will be moving anywhere. Although the 49-year old will be able to get his shot in NHL, the timing doesn't seem right.

Also, the conversation — but more shots

Jeff Blashill

Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff informed me that Blashill was interviewed for the Flyers. He was the Red Wings' coach for seven seasons and missed the playoffs six times. He was a warm seat for the next guy during their rebuilding season. He kept Detroit competitive, and did solid player development work.

Blashill, while a great coach, was promoted to the top job at the wrong time in the franchise's history. Blashill is a great “second gig” guy and I'm sure he will thrive at the next one.

Rikard Gronborg

Rikard Gronborg is the 54-year old Swede who has been the head coach of ZSC Lions for several years and is considered the “outsider-the-box” candidate in the NHL.

The conventional wisdom is that he will need to be an assistant coach or associate coach before a team offers him a spot on an NHL bench. The Kraken cited Gronborg's guidance of Dave Hakstol when they hired Hakstol to be their first coach.

Joe Sacco

Cassidy's first coaching gig was with the Capitals. He was fired after only 110 regular-season games. He was fired after only 110 regular-season games. After paying his dues, he worked his way back and became a better coach.

This all makes Sacco an interesting option. From 2009-10 to 2012-13, he was the Avalanche's head coach. He was also a Jack Adams finalist. He was the assistant coach of — who else? Bruce Cassidy. The 53 year-old is ready to perform his second stanza.

According to one source from the NHL, Joe Sacco is legitimate. He's played a significant role in Boston's success. He was there long before Cassidy arrived. He is great with players.”

Future watch: Rising head coaches

Spencer Carbery

Carbery, 40 years old, has just finished his first season as an NHL bench coach. After being a star coach with the AHL Hershey Bears he ran the NHL's Carbery. Toronto Maple LeafsHis amazing power play. He is this offseason's rising star whose name shows up on these kinds of lists. One NHL insider however wondered: “Who pumps Spencer Carbery’s tires at the moment?”

David Carle

Carle, 32, has just won the national title with Denver and is considered a rising star within the NCAA ranks. An NCAA source said that Carle is “one of the guys that will get most buzz over the time.” He's got an inspiring backstory too: Although his playing days ended when he was diagnosed as having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), he still managed to make a successful career in hockey. If he wishes, he can be an NHL coach-in–waiting.

Kori Cheverie

Cheverie served as an assistant coach to the gold medal-winning Canadian women’s team. Also, she was behind Canada's bench at the IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Germany. She is 34 years old and has all the tools to break the NHL's glass ceiling on women's hockey bench.

Meghan Duggan

These barriers can be broken down by working with the coaching and hockey operations. Duggan serves as the director of player and coach development. New Jersey Devils. One source in women's hockey said that she is doing well climbing in the Devils organization and has Clarkson as her coach.

Paul McFarland

McFarland, 36 years old, has experience as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers or Toronto Maple Leafs and is also a head-coach with the OHL Kingston Frontenacs. According to one NHL source, McFarland is a “interesting name” because he's playing on his third NHL team.

Marie-Philip Poulin

Poulin has just been hired as a consultant to player development for the Montreal Canadiens. But her playing days are not over yet. One source from women's hockey said that Poulin would be an easy choice when she retires, and if she is interested. (As a USWNT-fan, I hope she becomes a coach as soon as possible.

Marco Sturm

Sturm, 43 years old, is Dingolfing's pride and joy. For the past three seasons, he has been Todd McLellan's assistant. Kings insider John Hoven According to some sources, he may be eligible to become their AHL affiliate's coach. One NHL source said that Sturm should have some experience as an AHL head coaches before he can get an NHL bench.

Ryan Warsofsky

Many teams are searching for the “next Jon Cooper”. Not “coaches who were former lawyers,” although Cooper is well-known for being one. Instead, an AHL coach who made the successful leap to the NHL. Warsofsky is the most talked about of all these coaches. Although he's only 34, Warsofsky was able to achieve instant success as a coach in both the ECHL or AHL. The Calder Cup is being sought by his Chicago Wolves out of the Western Conference. One source in the NHL said that Ryan Warsofsky would be at the top of the list.

These names show that there are both safe and bold choices. General managers can stay in their job if they are familiar with certain commodities. However, luck may favor the bold.

Happy hiring

These are the top candidates for NHL head coaching jobs in this offseason

Jersey Foul Award of the Week


This is Centennial's Swedish furniture store. According to them, the number should be on the jersey's front like in football. The NHL uses numbers like “01. They are required by Swedish and local law to have a Peter Forsberg Or Gabriel Landeskog jersey hanging in a Colorado IKEA display?

Meme of Week

The most funny and hockey-related tweet stream right now is @animalsofhockeyIt's not close.

Its official title is “Hockey Players With Animals, (And Other Chaos),”, which sums up the situation well. You can see photos of players. snuggling with puppies And squatting on horses, These are also known as “animals.” “Another chaos” is an ongoing, hilarious bit called “my sister”, which guesses hockey player names. There are four photos. Based on the appearance of the players and their overall vibes, the sister guesses their names.

It's like believing Jack Eichel “Doc Brown” is his name. Mark Stone Is “Ford”

Oder that Mitch Marner“Sterling” is his name.

The bit has become so popular that teams ask for their players to be christened in the presence of their sister who is not a hockey-follower. The AHL Bridgeport Islanders reached as far as to change the graphics on their player pages in honor of the new monikers. The Washington Capitals turned it into a TikTok.

Weekly winners and losers

Bruce Cassidy was the winner

It is better to be ready for the inevitable. As a result of a roster that was ravaged by post-operation absences and possibly without a pending free agent, the Bruins could have ran it back with Cassidy for at least two months before firing him. Patrice Bergeron) struggles. This offseason, he has the chance to fill one of these plum openings.

Loser: Don Sweeney

Fans claiming that the coach was responsible for the sins of the general manager, and Cassidy being “bad” for delivering Cassidy's news in Cassidy's home, the Bruins General Manager did not win the PR battle — even though his reasoning about development and ice-time for younger players was plausible cover.

Winner: Leon Draisaitl

It's hard to find anything else to say about him overcoming a high ankle injury in order produce the same results in the Western Conference finals. It's a shame because it was the only way to pray for the Edmonton Oilers Draisaitl was the protagonist of the series. Connor McDavid They won a few. It felt like we were missing out on what this series should have been.

Loser: Short-selling Jesse Puljujarvi

Ken Holland, the GM, stated that he must “sort out” whether Puljujarvi (a 24-year-old restricted-free agent) is part of the solution to Edmonton. He'll probably get a “no” answer, and then he'll have a Valeri NichushkinA team driven by analysis and a renaissance, but doesn't live in Edmonton.

Winner: Nikita Kucherov

I wrote about Kucherov recently It brought back the realization that he has come a long distance as a dominant, MVP-level performer since his unfathomable suspension. the Lightning's still-famous sweep The defeat of the Columbus Blue Jackets 2019 It was an absolute joy to see this star in these playoffs.

Loser: Goalie controversies

The Avalanche has it all. Darcy Kuemper And Pavel Francouz It boils down to “a good issue to have.”

Winner: Fans at Simu Liu's presence

… because he was clearly at Game 5 in the Garden.

Headlines from Puck

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Kristen Shilton's piece “A Piece of Kristen Shilton” was a great read. under-the-radar stars of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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