BY TREVOR SMART – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
With the firings of Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice on Monday, NHL coach-firing season has officially opened.
So here are seven possible coaches who may find themselves out of a job by season’s end.
Scott Arniel (AP Photo/Terry Gilliam, File)
2. Joe Sacco – Colorado Avalanche: On the one hand, you have to give the guy the benefit of the doubt – the Avs are off to an average enough start this year, and for the past two seasons they have also started better than expected, both years leading the division by December. However, while they have had great starts, they have not had great finishes. If Colorado once again falters down the stretch, look for GM Greg Sherman to let Sacco go and bring in someone with a few more games under his belt.
Joe Sacco (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
3. Jacques Martin – Montreal Canadiens: While they are currently only one point out of a playoff spot, the one step forward-one step back style of play is getting to fans. Many critics are growing impatient with Martin’s system, and at times his line combinations, has drawn some ire from fans who may be feeling some trepidation at the thought of consistently losing to an improved Toronto team this year. If the Habs continue to struggle, there will surely be changes, and there are only so many assistant coaches remaining to take the fall.
Jacques Martin (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
4. Jack Capuano – New York Islanders: To be honest, I have no idea what kind of coach he is, or how the team is responding to him, or anything like that. I just know that the Wang/Snow tandem hasn’t been afraid to fire coaches in recent years. The team has gone through eight in the past decade (nine if you count the one game Al Arbour coached a few years ago.) What’s one more?
Jack Capuano (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
5. Terry Murray – Los Angeles Kings: The Kings have been on the rise for several years now, but have failed to achieve much playoff success. With the addition of Mike Richards, the expectation to finally make a splash in the postseason is higher than ever. If Los Angeles struggles this year, or fails to even get out of the first round of the playoffs, there could be consequences.
Terry Murray (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
6. Brent Sutter – Calgary Flames: There’s much debate over the future of the Flames. Are they too old? Should they rebuild? Maybe just retool? Calgary always starts a bit slow but this year there doesn’t seem to be much to hope for as they are currently eight points out of the playoffs. If they don’t start showing signs of improvement soon, you can bet there will be changes.
Brent Sutter (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
7. Randy Carlyle – Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have way too much talent to be the second-worst team in the NHL with a record of 6-13-4-3 and a mere 16 points. Carlyle has been the head coach since 2005, and while he led the Ducks to their only Stanley Cup win in 2007, the ‘what have you done for me lately’ attitude of the NHL may mean he will be out the door soon if things don’t improve.
Randy Carlyle (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)