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Top 10 Coaches Available For NHL Teams In Need Of A New Head Coach

The “offseason” coaches carousel has already started with some big names gassed and there will likely be more to come.  There are some contenders and some rebuilds that are in need of coaches.  Below EBR breaks down the available coaches and teams that will most likely make a run at them.  This blog is for the fan whose team is playing golf and wants to get excited for next season.

Jobs open now:  Detroit, Vegas, Winnipeg, Philadelphia, Dallas

Jobs possibly opening:  Anaheim, Montreal, Chicago, Florida

On the live stream for the Alberta we talked a few coaching moves so now is the right time to release this blog.

Here’s a look at the EBR top 10 available to take over behind the bench next season in the NHL

    1. Barry Trotz - Stanley Cup Champion and 3rd all-time in wins was let go by the Islanders after a subpar season.There are plenty of reasons why the season went the wrong way such as starting the season with a massive road schedule. He took the Islanders to two Conference Finals before that. Possible destinations would be the Jets as he is a Manitoba native but a young Red Wings team could also benefit from a coach like him. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if he took a year away from the game.

PREDICTION: WINNIPEG JETS

      2. Rick Tocchet - Former Head Coach of the Arizona Coyotes and a lead analyst with our own Paul Bissonnette on TNT.  Tocch is a tough guy and his personality could be used in plenty of locker rooms across the league.  He has a great understanding of the game and can command a room.  Will he want to leave the broadcast and miss out on chirping Biz and having more good times with his buddy 99? The Flyers would make the most sense if he decides to return to the bench.

PREDICTION: TNT or FLYERS

      3. Jim Montgomery - Ex- Dallas Stars head coach and now assistant coach with Craig Berube in St. Louis.  Monty is one of the brightest hockey minds the game and has shown the ability to win wherever he has been.  Monty is probably the coach on this list that can relate to young players the best with his coaching experience at Denver but he will also get a team ready for playoff runs as he did during his time with the Stars. Legendary college hockey player for the University of Maine, check him out in the documentary “Out of the Woods”.

PREDICTION: DETROIT RED WINGS

4. David Quinn - The former Rangers head coach came out of Boston University to the NHL as the next young up and coming coach but, things didn't work out as planned. He will get a 2nd chance somewhere as he understands this younger era of players and how to manage them. Currently coaching Team USA at the World Championships. His coaching style would be a great fit for a team that needs some new culture and a fast paced team that wants to get up and down the ice. Vegas would mean he re-unites with Jack Eichel from their season together at Whit's Alma Mater BU.

PREDICTION: LV GOLDEN KNIGHTS

     5. Peter Deboer - He is coming off a short stint in Vegas as the leader of a team 10 million over the salary cap that failed to make the playoffs. This obviously was not totally his fault but it's easier to fire one coach than it is to move 4-to 5 players all making over 5 million dollars.  Deboer is a player coach that works well with a veteran group that is ready to win.  He is not as hands on as the other coaches on this list but that fits with a team that understands the job.  He has spent time in the east prior.. Does he make the move?

PREDICTION: FLORIDA PANTHERS

    6. John Tortorella - The most outspoken coach in recent memory and everyone knows I am speaking of Torts. Now, how much will it take to make him leave that cushy job with ESPN? He openly speaks of his love to spend time working on his foundation so does he have it in him to grind out a season? The team that will be looking for this style of coach will want a team that is ready to win but needs someone who will hold them accountable. Could Vegas be the spot for him? I am not sure the superstars will want a coach like this but time will tell.

PREDICTION: ESPN 

     7. Nolan Pratt - Colorado assistant coach who has spent the last 8 years running the defense for Bednar in Cleveland and now in Denver. Every d-man that has come to the Avs seems to get better and have an impact. If Pratt raises the cup this summer and I’m an NHL GM I would be giving him a good look to lead my team and the money to get him.  This coach would be a great fit for a young team with loads of talent that needs a better structure on the back end.  

PREDICTION: DALLAS STARS

     8. Travis Green - The former Vancouver Canucks head coach was fired this year when the Canucks came out of the gates slow and underperformed. He has had lots of success with the Utica Comets before the Canucks. Does Green get a head job or does he join a staff and build back up his steam? This is not a bad option that short stint coaches do in the NHL.  He will have to wait as dominos start to fall as his resume does not put at the top of the speed dial.

PREDICTION: LEAFS mid-season 2022-23

     9. Kevin Dineen - The current coach of the Utica Comets, the New Jersey Devils AHL team who finished the season in 1st place in the North Division with 43 wins in 72 games.  He brings with him a ton of experience from his playing career and his long coaching experience in the AHL and NHL.  Always known as a player-friendly coach which is almost mandatory with these new young stars. I think he will be fielding many calls this summer and will be behind an NHL bench next year.  

PREDICTION: NEW JERSEY DEVILS mid-season 2022-23

      10. Bob Hartley - The former Avalanche, Flames, and Thrashers head coach has spent the last 4 years in the KHL winning a Gagarin Cup in Omsk. With everything that is going on in Russia and the problems the KHL is having with teams leaving and stars heading off this coach makes a return to the NHL. Now, Hartley is a bonafide hard-ass and wears it as a badge of honor. What team will be looking for this style of coach? The team will need a mix of veterans wanting to win now and the ability to get the best out young talent.  A team just signed the best goalie in the KHL so that leads us to believe…

PREDICTION: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Steve Yzerman is the GM in Detroit and many people think he goes off the grid to find his coach. Could it be a lesser-known name that could lead a group of young studs into the playoffs and beyond in the next 5 years. Here are a few. 

Mitch Love - Head Coach Stockton (AHL)

Seth Appert - Head Coach Rochester (AHL), Former USA NTDP Head Coach

Rikard Grönberg - Head Coach ZSC (Swiss), Longtime Swedish National Team Coach

The real long shot on the board and the most exciting would be his long-time teammate and current coach of CSKA Moscow in the KHL, Sergei Fedorov. CSKA just won the Gagarin Cup in his first year behind the bench. This always looks good on the resume even if your team had a budget 5x most of the league. In the past, there is no way the Red Wings could match what he is making over in Russian but with the current worth of the Ruble, I could see Fedorov wanting to make the move to the NHL. Fedorov revolutionized the 3-on-3 overtimes this year, by consistently pulling his goalie to create a 4 on 3 which is a huge advantage and won him a lot of games.

His Nike gear was the stuff of legends for young hockey players in the 90's!!!

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