All thirty NHL coaches have kept their job this year so far. How long will it be before one will be fired? It may be days or weeks, but I do know that some are definitely on the hot seat.
Last season, the Buffalo Sabers relieved long–time bench boss, Lindy Ruff a month into the season. The Philadelphia Flyers did not even wait that long when they ousted coach Peter Laviolette just three games into the season.
We are now midway through the first week of December, and all coaches are still in place, but for how long? The list of coaches on the hot seat continues to grow.
Dallas Eakins – Edmonton Oilers
He just has to be at the top of the list. The Oilers are in complete disarray from top management all the way down to the players. The Oilers have dropped 11 straight games, and now are just one point out of the worst spot in the NHL. It has been a disappointing rebuild to say the least. I look for Eakins to be the first domino to fall, quite possibly not the only person to lose their job in oil town.
Todd McLellan – San Jose Sharks
McLellan is a highly respected coach, and I do not think that he would be fired based on his coaching abilities. He is on the hot seat due to the Sharks slow start to the season. The perennial forces in the Western Conference have stumbled out of the blocks with a 12-10-4 record. This puts the Sharks just two points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. That is just not good enough for a team that is expected to contend for a Stanley Cup. Switching coaches just may be enough to turn the trends, and move them up in the difficult Western Conference. Since last seasons terrible collapse to the Los Angeles Kings in the playoffs the San Jose managemen,t and fans have been on high alert. Pulling the captain “C” from long time captain Joe Thornton has not helped matters. A shake up in San Jose just might be what the doctor ordered, and it may just come at the expense of coach Todd McLellan.
Close to the Hotseat:
Mike Yeo – Minnesota Wild
Peter DeBoer – New Jersey Devils
Craig Berube – Philadelphia Flyers
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