Crowded coach class
There will be six, and maybe as many as eight, new coaches patrolling behind NHL benches next season -- new, at least, in the sense that they'll be different than the coaches who finished the season in their respective places.
It seems that in the NHL you just can't keep an old coach down. Case in point: The Avalanche were the first to name their new man when they tabbed former coach
Of course, Quenneville remains a highly regarded commodity, meaning he could end up with the job in Atlanta, Florida, Ottawa, Toronto or San Jose. And those are just the teams with the Help Wanted sign in plain view. There's a chance that Tampa Bay's
No wonder that everyone with career aspirations and no fear of the firing that could be just a season away is polishing his resume. With the NHL and AHL seasons about to conclude, thus freeing up several candidates for interviews, and with the July 1 start of free agency looming, you can expect most, if not all, of these positions to be filled within the next five weeks.
Each of the jobs offers varying degrees of challenge and pressure that call for differing set of tools. That's why the list of names being tossed about is longer than usual this time around.
New-to-the-unemployment-line types like
The best coaching resume belongs to
Dineen doesn't have much of a coaching resume, but he's caught a lot of eyes for his ability to win with a constantly shifting roster during his three seasons with the AHL's Portland Pirates. An 18-year-vet of the NHL, Dineen appears to be cut from the same cloth as Detroit's
Dineen is under contract to the Ducks until June 30, but reports suggest that GM
There's all kinds of speculation, both whispered and published, out of Miami and Pittsburgh that the Panthers are just waiting for the Stanley Cup finals to be over so they can announce that Penguins assistant
In his second season assisting
Quenneville, who did a fine job getting an injury-riddled Avs squad into the second round, won't be twiddling his thumbs for long. His past connections with Florida GM
A former defenseman with the Leafs, and coach of their AHL St. John's affiliate in 1991-92, Quenneville has the experience and personality to handle coaching in the center of the hockey universe. He has also worked with interim GM
Atlanta could be looking to go young. Chicago Wolves coach
With a need to put an end to what has been described as a country-club atmosphere in Ottawa, expect an established disciplinarian like Wilson or Hartley to get the nod. However, if Tortorella becomes available in the next two weeks, look for him to land the gig.