Not positive I can keep in mind so many NHL head coaches ever doubtlessly being on expiring contracts.

There are 10 such coaches, though a few of them have possibility years for subsequent season. But nonetheless, that’s practically a 3rd of the league!

Perhaps a few of it’s the pandemic economics within the league, however a less complicated rationalization is that seven of these 10 coaches had been in-season replacements this yr, and so interim coaches usually have short-term contractual conditions.

And it might have truly been 11 coaches on expiring offers, however the Anaheim Ducks introduced final week they had been choosing up the choice on Dallas Eakins for subsequent season.

Let’s check out the ten head coaches in query:


Derek King, Chicago (expiring deal): He was promoted from the AHL to exchange Jeremy Colliton behind the Blackhawks bench on Nov. 6. GM Kyle Davidson informed me this week that the Hawks would tackle the teaching state of affairs within the offseason. My sense is the gamers have loved enjoying for King. But with the entrance workplace nonetheless charting a brand new course general, it’s no slam dunk he returns. One supply prompt to me it’s 50-50. If it had been me, I’d carry him again. The Hawks are rebuilding, he may also help develop gamers. Perhaps a short-term deal right here is smart.

Rick Bowness, Dallas (expiring deal): The 67-year-old coach might doubtlessly retire after the season, though I don’t consider that call has been made one hundred pc but. He’s clearly targeted proper now on the stretch run and a possible playoff berth. But all issues being equal, I might see him calling it quits after a terrific profession. Coaching is such a grind, greater than ever it takes a toll on coaches across the league. He’s getting up there in age. Maybe he feels as much as it for yet another yr, however odds are “Bones” sees it as the proper time to stroll away.

Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton (expiring deal): The rookie NHL head coach took over from veteran Dave Tippett on Feb. 10 with the Oilers’ season teetering, and he’s guided Edmonton to a terrific second half; the group completely responding to Woodcroft coming into the playoffs. Oilers GM Ken Holland informed me this week he would wait till after the season to deal with the teaching state of affairs. Which is smart. But I’d be awfully shocked at this price if Woodcroft isn’t signed to be the full-time man. And he’s not going to interrupt the financial institution, both, as a first-time NHL head coach. I might see a three-year deal after the season.

Andrew Brunette, Florida (expiring deal): All Brunette has completed after changing Joel Quenneville as head coach Oct. 28 — beneath slightly tough circumstances after Quenneville resigned within the wake of the Kyle Beach Blackhawks scandal — is lead the Panthers to the most effective file within the Eastern Conference. It was a completely seamless transition behind the bench, from one of many NHL’s all-time winningest coaches to the rookie bench boss.

“The first few weeks he took over, he was a frontrunner in that chair,’’ Panthers GM Bill Zito informed me in a February interview. “And then he morphed into changing into extra of a coach and put his personal stamp on issues. Now, a lot of it’s fairly related as a result of he had labored so intently with Joel; so I don’t assume they’re dramatic modifications systems-wise or the best way gamers are communicated with.

“There hasn’t been a number of change as a result of it hasn’t been vital. The prepare saved shifting ahead.’’

Zito continues to keep up that he’ll tackle the state of affairs along with his interim coach solely after this season. The GM has been very constant in that messaging all through the season. But let’s be actual, it will be stunning to not see Brunette signed to the full-time gig after the season.


Andrew Brunette. (Jasen Vinlove / USA Today)

Mike Yeo, Philadelphia (expiring deal): In some ways, Yeo was handed a reasonably uncooked deal after taking up this Flyers roster from a fired Alain Vigneault on Dec. 6, however along with his contract expiring and the Flyers having a season from hell, my sense is there’ll most certainly be a training change in Philadelphia. Which is hardly stunning given the circumstances. If that’s certainly the case, it truly wouldn’t shock me if GM Chuck Fletcher tried to discover a function throughout the group for Yeo given the connection these two guys have going again to their Minnesota days. But both approach, I believe you’ll see a head coach opening in Philly.

Dave Lowry, Winnipeg (expiring deal): Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff merely informed me this week that he would tackle the teaching state of affairs after the season. The GM wasn’t tipping his hand both approach. Lowry took over from longtime Jets coach Paul Maurice, who stepped down Dec.  17. The Jets had been picked by many to make the playoffs this yr and regardless of a brand new voice main issues behind the bench, Lowry wasn’t capable of get an offensively proficient roster to seek out sufficient consistency. But what issues most likely is that the Jets themselves, as a corporation, had larger expectations this yr. This is simply my very own sense of issues, however I believe you’ll see the Jets go for a training change.

Martin St. Louis, Montreal (expiring deal): It’s his job if he needs it. There’s no query GM Kent Hughes needs St. Louis again behind the bench. St. Louis has hinted that he most likely will need to return however that he and Hughes would sit down after the season and focus on it. Here’s what will curiosity me if St. Louis does determine he needs to be the full-time head coach: How a lot does he signal for? Habs proprietor Geoff Molson is lastly getting out from beneath Claude Julien’s $5 million (USD) wage when that contract expires June 30. Molson has to nonetheless pay Dominique Ducharme $1.5 million (CAD) a yr for an additional two seasons. Normally a first-time NHL head coach would receives a commission wherever from $750,000 to $1.5 million a season. But this isn’t your run-of-the-mill, first-time coach right here. It’s a former Hart Trophy winner with a sizeable model. I doubt it finally ends up being a difficulty — in spite of everything, Molson has paid up loads earlier than — however you’re most likely going to need to pay just a little greater than the conventional going price of a first-time NHL coach for a man of St. Louis’ stature within the recreation.

John Hynes, Nashville (possibility for subsequent season): Our Predators beat author Adam Vingan lately wrote on this matter. Hynes is up after the season, though there’s a membership possibility on his deal for subsequent season. Hynes was employed as Nashville head coach in January 2020, changing Peter Laviolette. They’re en path to make the playoffs a 3rd straight yr. My prediction right here is the Preds choose up the choice yr on Hynes’ deal for subsequent season or signal him to a brand new deal. But both approach, I strongly consider Hynes is coming again.

Bruce Boudreau, Vancouver (possibility for subsequent season): Bruce, there it’s!

Boudreau was named head coach Dec. 5 with the Canucks’ season going nowhere, and his fame as an in-season magic man has been bolstered by Vancouver making a run of it, even when it seems it would fall simply brief. At the time of his rent, it was introduced he agreed to a two-year deal ($2 million this season, $2.5 million subsequent season) but it surely’s truly a one-year take care of an possibility for subsequent season. While nobody will verify this, I believe it’s the form of possibility the place if the Canucks don’t choose it up, he will get paid some money out of it to stroll if he’s not saved on. Either approach, it requires Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin to decide — which I think they’ve already made, however are ready till after the season to announce.

I believe there’s an honest probability they convey Boudreau again, but it surely’s not one hundred pc.

Jeff Blashill, Detroit (not confirmed, however believed to have possibility for subsequent season): When the Red Wings introduced they’d agreed to an extension with Blashill final May, they didn’t announce contract size.

I’ve not been capable of verify this, however I consider it was a one-plus-one contract, so one yr plus an possibility for subsequent season. If that’s the case, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has one other determination to make after this season.

Yzerman inherited Blashill three years in the past when he was named Wings GM and saved him on board for what looks like a promising rebuild. But whether or not Yzerman feels Blashill stays the proper man behind the bench because the Wings take their subsequent step? I actually haven’t any really feel for it. Tough to inform. Blashill has been behind the Wings bench since June 2015.

And these are simply all the blokes who contractually require consideration after the season, both approach. Who is aware of what some playoff exits may also doubtlessly produce. Regardless, it already is shaping as much as be a busy information cycle on the teaching entrance.

(Top photograph: Jeff Vinnick / NHLI through Getty Images)



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