NHL Rumors: Predicting what will happen with 11 coaches on expiring contracts

bruce boudreau canucks
Dec 6, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver assistant coach Scott Walker and head coach Bruce Boudreau on the bench during a game against the Los Angeles Kings in the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Rumors usually don’t focus on coaches but this summer could be a crazy one as 11 of them either have an interim tag or on an expiring contract.

Of course, the 11 is who we know will need to be dealt with. However, let’s not forget that an early elimination for some playoff teams could spell the end for some coaches looking safe right now.

So what will happen behind the bench when the season ends? Let’s dive in and take a look at what the teams might do this offseason.

NHL Rumors: 11 potential coaching changes?

Last night on Sportsnet’s 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek raised the point that they expect it to be a “turbulent offseason” for coaches.

Coaches on expiring contracts (record through April 2, 2022)

  • ANA – Dallas Eakins: 28-30-12
  • CHI – Derek King (Interim): 23-26-8
  • DET – Jeff Blashill: 26-33-9
  • DAL – Rick Bowness: 39-25-3
  • EDM – Jay Woodcroft (Interim): 16-7-2
  • FLA – Andrew Brunette (Interim): 40-15-6
  • MTL – Martin St. Louis (Interim): 11-9-4
  • NSH -John Hynes: 39-25-4
  • PHI – Mike Yeo (Interim): 13-26-7
  • VAN – Bruce Boudreau: 24-13-7
  • WPG – Dave Lowry (Interim): 20-17-5

Who else it out there for NHL coaches?

nhl rumors
Jun 21, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella wins the Jack Adams Award during the 2017 NHL Awards and Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

John Tortorella leads the pack of names for potential coaching replacements. Rick Tocchet is another obvious candidate as is David Quinn. What about Paul Maurice, who left Winnipeg because he felt his message was no longer resonating? And finally, is Mike Babcock going to be given another chance?

When looking at what may happen, one has to consider if one of the vets is a fit for their team. The truth is, there aren’t very many experienced options should you miss out on one of the big names. That means a team may need to decide on giving a college coach a chance, someone from the AHL, or possibly Europe.

These questions will make the offseason rumor mill churn in the coaching department.

NHL Coaching Predictions

Based on some previously reported information, here are predictions for each coach:

Coaches that will definitely be extended:

Andrew Brunette has done a wonderful job with the Florida Panthers and seamlessly transitioned the team from a stunning resignation by Joel Quenneville in-season.

Martin St. Louis not only wants to be back but both Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes have openly said they want him to stick around.

Jay Woodcroft has done an excellent job as an in-season promotion from the AHL after Dave Tippet was fired.

Coaches that are likely to return:

Dallas Eakins has done a nice job helping the Ducks transition during this rebuild and will likely continue guiding this young team.

Derek King was also an in-season replacement and did a great job connecting with rookies and veterans alike.

Bruce Boudreau should be in the definite category but according to Elliotte Friedman there’s some uncertainty there. The club has an option to bring him back, and Boudreau has an option to leave.

Not likely to return:

Jeff Blashill may be getting stale in Detroit and it could be time for a new voice in the Motor City. Maybe someone like a John Tortorella could be an interesting fit.

Mike Yeo is almost definitely not coming back and I can’t shake the vision of Rick Tocchet behind the Flyers bench.

Your guess is as good as mine:

Rick Bowness will likely have his fate decided if his team misses the playoffs.

John Hynes should likely be brought back, but the Predators may want to go a different route.

Dave Lowry would normally be in the unlikely to return category but I can’t put my finger on what the Jets direction will be this summer.