Claude Julien might want to freshen up his résumé and update his Rølødex.
With his Bruins off to a rocky 1-3 start, the oddsmakers at Bovada have listed the 2011 Stanley Cup winner as the favorite to become the first coaching casualty of the 2015-2016 NHL season.
Probably not a surprise to fans in Boston that Julien tops the list. There were reports last season that team president Cam Neely wanted him fired last January but was talked out of it by then-general manager Peter Chiarelli. But with Chiarelli now in Edmonton and Don Sweeney calling the shots in Boston, Julien’s seat was hot even before his team stumbled out of the gate with three consecutive poor outings.
Wednesday night’s 6–2 thumping of the Avalanche in Denver likely lowered the temperature a bit, but not enough to sway Bovada from making Julien a 3/2 favorite to be kicked to the curb.
Darryl Sutter, whose shelf life in Los Angeles might be coming to an end despite a pair of recent Stanley Cup wins, is listed at 2/1. An average of five goals allowed per game and some stinging words from GM Jarmo Kekäläinen suggest Todd Richards is on a short leash in Columbus as well. “There’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” Kekäläinen told The Columbus Dispatch. “There’s no excuse to come out with an effort like that, to go off the rails, so far from the way we’re supposed to be playing.” After that rant, Richards might be a smart play at 5/1.
Others that Bovada is keeping track of: Pittsburgh’s Mike Johnston (11/2); Dallas’s Lindy Ruff (6/1); Carolina’s Bill Peters (7/1); and Anaheim’s Bruce Boudreau (11/1).
Ottawa’s Paul MacLean was the first of four coaches who were fired last season. He was let go on Dec. 8 after the Senators got off to an 11-11-5 start.