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Your Guide to Getting an NHL Coaching Job



You just got fired from your last NHL coaching job. You weren't a bad coach but let's face it, they fired you. Aside from the great severance package to "walk away", hanging at home with the wife going to IKEA to remodel the sewing room isn't the ideal way to contemplate the next move. Here is a fool proof way to get back in the game and apply for an NHL coaching job.

You can thank me later ;)

Let's start with your objective; teams want to know what your goal is.

Good objective

- Create a positive team environment, focus on fundamental hockey basics and ultimately, win the Stanley Cup

Bad objective

- Looking for an opportunity as soon as possible to beat up (insert rival coach's name here) and beat up their mascot after he wore a "fire this guy" shirt.

Not good, not good. Maybe stick with the first one.

Next up, Qualifications. What do you bring to the organization? Why should they hire YOU?

- Coached team to Stanley Cup Final, lost in 7 games in OT.

- Same team went back to Final next season and won it all.

- Assistant coach for my country at World Hockey Championships, won gold!

- Powerplay specialist, career efficiency percentage of 34% (7th in current NHL)

- Adopted on the fly playbook using iPad technology, now embraced by many teams.


The next Scotty Bowman, Mike Babcock

Photo courtesy of reuters.com

Don't say these things if you are planning on working soon:

- kept your top scorer on the bench in the shootout

- healthy scratched your most effective player to send a message (that even you can't remember what it was)

- left the game early to show your players that if they don't play 60 minutes, you shouldn't either.

Stick to what makes you stand out, they want you to be their coach! THEY DO? No, not yet, keep going champ!

Ok, they're still reading, they like what they see; previous experience, past employment, show them your history. Remind them of what you did best before those bozos canned you.

Did you used to be a professional player? They love seeing that, it wouldn't hurt if your were good and had some awards to brag about. Did you win any championships? Like anywhere? Co-MVP of your summer slo pitch league might be a stretch but hey, you can sell it. Maybe you coached with a hall of famer as an assistant, picking up valuable knowledge that you can apply to your new team, that would definitely be an asset. Have an accurate timeline of what you have done until your last bench job, don't leave any holes.

Don't mention that you were involved in a bench brawl and hit a fan with your shoe, bad idea. Probably leave out that you tried to break into the other teams dressing room to beat up the other coach, again not a pretty picture. Did you "accidentally" punch a referee out cold? Leave that out too. If you have been in the game for awhile but most of your coaching jobs end the same year you started, that's a problem. If every team you have coached has multiple players only meetings, that might be something you happen to forget.

Thirty Year Anniversary of Mike Milbury's Shoe Incident at M

This is the NHL friend, no kidding around anymore. This is a league for men and mature individuals. If you can't prove you can coach again, who knows when your next gig will be?

A few final tidbits to adhere to:

- Get the team excited about bringing you on. Everyone likes to breathe fresh life into their team and turn their woes around to make an impact the next season.

- Show how you turned an ordinary player into a superstar or a rookie into a top line talent. Progress and trusting young players goes a long way.

- Don't mention you didn't start the star goalie in an outdoor game or the final game of the playoffs, the media would eat you alive if you did that.

- Leave out any incriminating evidence that may prove you sent out a player to "settle the score" on another player. That could haunt you.

image1-300x193.jpg Roberto Luongo, former #1 Canucks goalie, sits in favor of Eddie Lack at 2014 Heritage Classic

Photo courtesy of www.theprovince.com

If your new potential team is still interested, that's great! Dress nice for the interview, heck, iron your pants this time...go crazy!!! Get to know the city a bit and start looking for a new house.

You made it back to the show, congratulations! Good coaches don't stay out of work long. Now go tell your team the backup goalie is the new Captain.

Read more great pieces at Two Pad Stack.

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