LeBrun: NHL coaching carousel spins quick, with another set of UFAs coming

It has been a seismic 12 months within the NHL coaching fraternity.

Since the beginning of the 2021-22 season, there have been coaching modifications for the Canucks, Canadiens, Oilers, Bruins, Golden Knights, Panthers, Islanders, Sharks, Blackhawks, Flyers, Red Wings, Jets and Stars.

That’s greater than a dozen organizations with new head coaches, in case you’re protecting rating.

To catch up, the offseason hires have been:

• Peter DeBoer in Dallas (a four-year deal at a $4.25 million common wage)

• Bruce Cassidy in Vegas (5 years at $4.5 million)

• Paul Maurice in Florida (three years at just below $4 million)

• John Tortorella in Philadelphia (4 years at $4 million)

• Rick Bowness in Winnipeg (two years at $2.5 million, with a membership choice for a 3rd 12 months nearer to $3 million)

• Jim Montgomery in Boston (three years at just below $2 million)

• David Quinn in San Jose (three years at just below $2 million)

• Luke Richardson in Chicago (4 years at $1.5 million)

• Derek Lalonde in Detroit (time period unconfirmed, however I imagine three years)

• Lane Lambert in Long Island (time period unconfirmed, however I imagine three years with an choice)

Martin St. Louis (three years in Montreal at, I imagine, simply south of $3 million per season) and Jay Woodcroft (three years at $2 million in Edmonton) additionally signed new offers after taking on their respective groups halfway via final season.

We also needs to point out that veteran head coach Mike Sullivan signed a three-year extension in Pittsburgh, which supplies him 5 years in whole left. He had this season and subsequent on his present deal. The extension is believed to be price round $5.5 million a 12 months when it kicks in for the 2024-25 season, which can put Sullivan among the many highest-paid coaches within the league. In my opinion, it’s very deserved.

While not one hundred pc confirmed, I imagine Jon Cooper is presently the highest-paid coach within the league, at round $5.3 million per season (not counting the truth that Mike Babcock is owed another $5.875 million from the Maple Leafs for this season, the final of that eight-year deal).

Even with all this motion, trying ahead we all know there are additionally nonetheless some looming selections elsewhere. Here’s a take a look at head coaches coming into the ultimate years of their contracts — the pending UFAs, if you’ll:

Dallas Eakins, Ducks: New Ducks normal supervisor Pat Verbeek determined to choose up the choice 12 months on Eakins’ deal in April, which I believe was a sensible transfer to present himself time to additional consider his coach. I’ve all the time been of the opinion {that a} new GM ought to delay his first coaching change so long as attainable. You solely get so many coaching hires as a GM. And who is aware of, possibly Verbeek and Eakins forge the type of relationship out of this roster rebuild that results in a brand new contract for the coach. But because it stands, Eakins, who took over as head coach in Anaheim in June 2019 after 4 years in AHL San Diego, enters this season as a pending UFA.

Darryl Sutter, Flames: It would not shock me if an extension will get finished right here with the reigning Jack Adams winner. My sense is Sutter can be open to it, and it would not shock me if the group has already mentioned it with him. But as we communicate, the veteran coach is coming into the ultimate season of the deal he signed in March 2021 when he took over.

Lindy Ruff, Devils: This is my very own learn on issues, not something that is come to me from anybody, however the Devils hiring Jack Adams finalist Andrew Brunette as affiliate coach July 15 (on a three-year deal) would appear to point the place that is headed after the season , given Ruff’s expiring deal. But then once more, who is aware of? I believe the Devils are going to take a optimistic step as a workforce this season. What which means for Ruff, 62, given his pending UFA standing, we will see.

Bruce Boudreau, Canucks: Who knew the mutual choice that existed on Boudreau’s deal for this season (at a $2.5 million wage) would trigger a lot consternation and intrigue? But after a bizarre interlude, it was lastly confirmed by either side that the veteran coach can be again for this season.

Where does it go from right here? That’s anyone’s guess. Signing JT Miller to an extension indicators the group’s intention to attempt to retool whereas additionally making an attempt to win video games, which is sweet information for Boudreau so far as having as aggressive a roster as he may have hoped for. Let’s see the place this goes come the New Year, so far as the coach’s future.

Peter Laviolette, Capitals: The veteran bench boss was employed in September 2020 on a three-year deal price just below $15 million in whole. My understanding is that there have already been discussions a couple of attainable extension. Whether or not that transpires stays to be seen, however they’re speaking.

Beyond the pending UFAs, there may be the group of coaches with this season and subsequent left on their present offers, so signed via the 2023-24 season:

Some of these conditions may result in selections subsequent summer time, forward of these coaches coming into lame-duck years.

I believe the Sabers are actually excessive on Granato, and I may see that resulting in an extension subsequent summer time if the workforce takes an impactful step ahead this season. Keefe’s future is somewhat simple, relying on whether or not the workforce lastly will get out of the primary spherical of the playoffs. The Stanley Cup champion Avalanche can be sensible to increase Bednar subsequent summer time, and I believe that is precisely what is going on to occur. Bednar is incomes $2.1 million this season and $2.3. million subsequent 12 months, so he needs to be in line for a pleasant increase given his current exploits.

(Photo of Bruce Boudreau: Sergei Belski / USA Today)


Leave a Comment