In the previous NHL season, we managed to survive an entire year without a coach getting fired which was pretty fantastic, to say the least. However, a quarter of a way through the current season and we already looking at four coaches that managed to get fired.
The Los Angeles Knights fired John Stevens to start things off earlier this month along with the departure of Joel Quenneville which was quite surprising, to be honest. The Oilers’ Todd McLellan and the Blues’ Mike Yeo also opted in to make a few coaching changes, and when looking at the league now, there seems to be a couple more changes in the pipeline.
Obviously, this is never a great topic to discuss, but its certainly worth mentioning as struggling teams attempt to switch things up in hopes of reaching success before it’s too late. Let’s take a look at a handful of seats that might receive new coaches during the 2018/19 NHL season.
Anaheim Ducks – Randy Carlyle
It’s difficult to get a decent read on the Anaheim Ducks during the first quarter due to early injuries. Corey Perry is on reserve for the last two months due to a knee injury, Cam Fowler will miss a great deal of action after a facial fracture, and defenseman Hampus Lindholm will be absent from the game for a while due to a lower-body ailment.
Randy Carlyle joined a team that managed to finish at the top of the division for four consecutive years, looking promising to contend for the world-renowned Cup. The team did manage to come close during the 2016/17 NHL season, but they are currently heading in the wrong direction. A change in leadership could instantly change that for such a talented team.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Mike Sullivan
It’s been nearly three years since Jim Rutherford, the general manager of the Penguins, decided to replace Mike Johnson with the current Mike Sullivan, sparking a phenomenal sprint during the 2015/16 NHL playoffs. Mike Sullivan managed to guide to squad from 9th in the Eastern Conference to the Stanley Cup, leading the champions to a second consecutive title the next year. However, the penguins are currently 14th in the Eastern Conference, leaving Mike Sullivan on the hot seat, especially after he decided to trade Carl Hagelin for Tanner Pearson.
Philadelphia Flyers – Dave Hakstol
Dave Hakstol is currently enjoying his fourth season with the Flyers, making him one of the longest standing coaches in the National Hockey League. However, apart from 2 first-round playoffs, the squad hasn’t been phenomenal while under Hakstol’s guidance. Even in the 2018/19 NHL season, the Flyers are considered one of the most frustrating squads in the league with incredible talent that are unable to reach their full potential. Philadelphia is currently suffering from a 4-match losing streak, lacking both accountability and consistency. This might cause Dave Hakstol to lose his seat as head coach for the team, leaving an opening for a new coach to revive the Flyers before its too late.