NHL Coaches on the Hot Seat: Who is Out & Who is Still Hanging On
We examine some who have avoided swinging on the Gallow’s Pole, but even now, they might not be so safe.
Then we'll look back at those coaches who have been on our list and dismissed from the NHL coaching fraternity.
While NHL betting sites don't have the odds on which coaches are on the hot seat, we have our own list.
Let’s set this up before the speculation begins on some prime coaching locations.
Sheldon Keefe - Toronto Maple Leafs
Alas, Toronto got past the first round. That is the good news. Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs narrowly avoided getting swept as the Florida Panthers eliminated them in five games. This Maple Leafs team won two games in regulation and three in overtime during the playoffs.
Their “Core Four” was missing too often in the second round. Something is amiss when the players say, "Let’s run it back," but the results are alarming. Who takes the fall? Will it be Keefe?
John Hynes - Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators now have a familiar face running the show in Barry Trotz. Effective in June, Trotz will be the full-time general manager. Nashville did not make the playoffs, and as of now, nothing has been said about the fate of John Hynes. Will he be the coach in October?
Unfortunately for Hynes, Karl Taylor becomes a more attractive choice by the day. Taylor knows the system and seemingly adapts better to ever-changing rosters. Look at where the Admirals are. Keep an eye on this situation.
Mike Sullivan - Pittsburgh Penguins
The saving grace for Mike Sullivan is the contract extension. Being owed more than $20 million arguably is why Sullivan is still coaching in Pittsburgh.
Reputation only carries a coach so far, along with trying to bring an older band back together. Time is ticking, and the hot seat is white hot.
Coaches on Our List Who Were Fired
Darryl Sutter - Formerly Calgary Flames
Despite a 93-point season, Darryl Sutter could not escape his fate. Sutter was dismissed by Calgary management after Brad Treliving was let go. Simply, the Flames have a lot of things going on. There is an ownership issue along with needing a general manager and a coaching staff.
Calgary possesses the pieces needed to get back to the playoffs next season. However, the Flames have so many problems at once currently. It will be intriguing to see what gets rectified first.
The bottom line is this will be a fluid situation. Sutter to the farm has excellent odds and could be projected around 1.10. He may be a special consultant or advisor at some point, but coaching again is far less likely.
Peter Laviolette - Formerly Washington Capitals
Peter Laviolette had the hammer dropped in April. His tenure in Washington ended. However, all is not lost for the former Capitals’ coach. The good news with NHL coaching is that general managers still prefer retreads.
Washington broke over the second half and ended below .500 after the All-Star Break. The Capitals may have been better without Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson. It will be interesting to see how Washington approaches their vacancy.
Laviolette, though, has been interviewed by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Do not be surprised to see a few teams take a look at the former Stanley Cup-winning bench boss. His potential odds for Columbus may be a long shot at around 11.00 or longer.
Brad Larsen - Was Columbus Blue Jackets
As mentioned several times, Brad Larsen and his fit with Columbus never felt right. Brad Larsen was ultimately dismissed in April, as expected. Where may he resurface next? For now, Larsen planned on taking time off.
Some coaches have a hard time in their first major gig. Look at Dave Hakstol. He floundered in Philadelphia, then came one game from the Western Conference Final with Seattle this season. As for Larsen’s replacement, Columbus has candidates like Laviolette, Pascal Vincent, and other under-the-radar options.
Dallas Eakins - Was Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim could win games, and Dallas Eakins would pay the price. Pat Verbeek ended the speculation after the regular season. Eakins was let go, and the coaching search has gone in several directions.
Anaheim and Eakins could work together again via a different role. As for Verbeek, candidates like Mike Vellucci (Penguins), Andrew Brunette (Devils), and Spencer Carbery (Leafs). Brunette may be on the inside track around 4.00 to 5.00 in projections. Again, it is early.
Gerard Gallant - Was New York Rangers
Sadly, Gerard Gallant tried to manage expectations in New York City. Gallant’s first year was very successful as New York got to the Eastern Conference Final. Year two ended poorly with a seven-game elimination at the hands of the rival New Jersey Devils.
Again, aspirations were lofty, and the fate of Gallant was sealed. Gallant may find a job elsewhere as the Rangers look in a different direction to manage a talented roster.
Projected odds set by Gambling.com are not currently available at legal sports betting sites. This page will be updated should odds become available.
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