NHL coaching candidates getting closer to decisions

Elliotte Friedman discusses the Edmonton Oilers seeking clarity on the future of veterans Mike Smith and Duncan Keith by July 1st and the top coaching candidates coming closer to making a decision on which team they'll join.

There are numerous vacancies across the NHL that need to be filled and a number of coaching candidates appear to be getting closer to making their decisions.

Here is a look at each of the coaching candidates and the latest updates according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Barry Trotz closer to a decision

One of the more popular names among the coaches on the market is narrowing down his list of teams. 

"I think we could get some clarity this week," Friedman explained. "I think Barry Trotz is getting closer to letting some teams know what he's thinking. Here's what we kind of have him lumped with. Steve Yzerman is captain secret, but I think Trotz has talked about them."

Among the teams interested in the former New York Islanders bench boss are the Winnipeg Jets, Philadelphia Flyers, Vegas Golden Knights and Yzerman's Detroit Red Wings.

Teams changed plans with Bruce Cassidy available

The Boston Bruins surprised many when they let Bruce Cassidy go this past week. It made some teams slow down their process as they made it a point to get an interview with Cassidy.

The Golden Knights, Stars, Red Wings, and Flyers are among the teams looking into Cassidy and apparently the Jets could be in the mix as well.

"I put a question mark next to Winnipeg, because I think they've talked to him, but I can't (say) 100 per cent," Friedman said about Cassidy.

Friedman also adds that St. Louis Blues assistant Jim Montgomery has been linked to the Jets, Golden Knights and Bruins while the Dallas Stars have interest in former Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer. John Tortorella is among with the finalists with the Flyers along with Trotz and Rick Tocchet is a name Friedman has heard with the Flyers and Golden Knights.

Friedman also believes that once Cassidy and Trotz make their decisions, it should open things up with other teams to solidify their choices.

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