Marc Crawford leaves Zurich, hopes for NHL job

The HC panel checks in on Auston Matthews with Zurich head coach Marc Crawford, who says he will be an impact NHLer next season and even has a chance to win Swiss League MVP this season.

Top prospect Auston Matthews isn’t the only big name done with the Zurich Lions.

Head coach Marc Crawford won’t be returning to the Swiss National League A team next season either.

Crawford, 55, guided 18-year-old Matthews and the Lions to the NLA’s best regular-season record (31-12-1) this season, but Zurich was upset Thursday in its first-round playoff series, swept by the eighth-ranked SC Bern (21-20-4).

The coach told Sportsnet that he sees Matthews playing in the NHL “right away.”

A native of Belleville, Ont., known for his knack for developing young talent, Crawford previously served as head coach of four NHL franchises. He won the Jack Adams Award in 1995, captured the 1996 Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, and coached Team Canada at the 1998 Olympic Games.

Crawford is also a former NHL forward who played six seasons for the Vancouver Canucks.

He hopes to land another NHL coaching job and is willing to take an assistant role.