I believe it was Scotty Bowman who once said something along the lines of “there are 2 kinds of coaches; those that have been fired and those that will be fired.” In today’s NHL, with as much parity as there is, expectations are high in every city to make the playoffs every year. Every game is so important that a bad 5 to 10 game stretch can get a coach fired nowadays.
Yesterday, Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice were let go by their respective teams. Earlier this month, Davis Payne was fired as head coach of the St. Louis Blues after only 13 games. Naturally, when coaches are being disposed of like this, it begs the question – who is next? Here are 5 coaches who are definitely on the hot seat, and I would not be surprised if multiple names on this list ended up on the unemployment line by the end of the season.
Scott Arniel – Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets had high hopes this year, but a horrible start has them in last place. They are 6-14-3, and while injuries/suspensions can be used as an excuse, several top players have performed well below expectations. It is often said that the job of a coach is to get the most out of his players, and Scott Arniel is not accomplishing that right now.
Jack Capuano – New York Islanders
The Islanders were not supposed to be a great team, but they were expected to be a much-improved squad. The major problem on Long Island is that too many of their young players have had their development become stagnant. In an effort to salvage the rebuild, a coaching change might be necessary. Snow is adamant that no coaching change is imminent, but he also said that about Scott Gordon.
Randy Carlyle – Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks were a team that most experts had as a playoff lock in the West. They have one of the best first lines in the league; a solid D corps; and an elite goaltender. Yet this team has lost 5 in a row and they have gone 2-12-4 in their last 18 games. Bob Murray needs to shake up his team with a major trade (cue Bobby Ryan rumors) or by firing Carlyle.
Joe Sacco – Colorado Avalanche
If I had to bet money, Sacco is the guy who I would expect to be the next coach fired. The Avs have won 4 of their last 16 games and having paid a large premium (including their #1 pick in 2012) for Semyon Varlamov, this team can’t afford another bottom 5 finish. Time is running out for Sacco to right this ship.
Brent Sutter – Calgary Flames
Expectations are always high with Canadian teams, so you had to think at least 1 of the 7 head coaches of those teams would appear on this list. Sutter can’t seem to generate any momentum with this team, having won 2 in a row only once this season. The question is – does Jay Feaster move struggling veterans out and give Sutter a chance, or does he fire Sutter to see if his struggling veterans can respond to someone else?
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.