NHL Rumors: Fates of some head coaches still unclear, did the Canadiens make a mistake in firing Claude Julien, and more

Feb 8, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green watches the play during the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

One NHL coach’s future seems fairly clear in John Tortorella. He is reportedly not expected back as head coach of the Blue Jackets with the belief being it is a mutual parting of ways. What is unclear is where he is going to land next. My personal favorite are the Buffalo Sabres. Torts has a proven track record for laying a winning foundation and that’s what they need.

Fate of Travis Green and other coaches a mystery

Pierre LeBrun attacked the subject in a recent column. His focus is on coaches with expiring contracts like Tortorella and interim Habs coach, Dominique Ducharme. One name that stands out as the man with the most uncertain future is the Canuck bench boss Travis Green.

There have not been talks regarding an extension this season, which is a mistake in a Canadian market with a rabid fan base and intense media scrutiny. You don’t let a good coach like Green enter the season on an expiring deal. You’re asking for it to become a story when you do that. He has certainly earned an extension and a raise reflecting it. I do think the Canucks want to bring him back, and a source suggested to me Friday that perhaps there could be news on this front sooner rather than later. So stay tuned there.

Pierre LeBrun on Travis Green

While there is a thought that Green may want to see what other coaching positions open up, he genuinely cares for his Canuck players. LeBrun also feels that Vancouver will be making an offer which I believe he signs.

Other key takeaways from LeBrun are as follows:

  • Carolina Hurricanes will extend Rod Brind’Amour
  • Rick Tocchet is on his way out of Arizona
  • Dominique Ducharme will be made head coach of the Montreal

NBC Pulls out of Bidding

With ESPN landing the NHL deal, NBC is pulling out with Fox or Turner Sports likely to pick up the remaining games.

Did the Canadiens make a mistake firing Claude Julien?

claude julien
Canadiens head coach Claude Julien will miss first round ( Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Dominque Ducharme’s bench management has come under fire with the Montreal Canadiens struggling of late. Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette raised the question in a piece this weekend.

If Ducharme is unable to shed the “interim” tag from his title and return next season, it may come down to one fatal decision: separating Jeff Petry and Joel Edmundson to pair Edmundson with Shea Weber after Ben Chiarot was lost to the NHL’s fighting culture. Petry went from Norris track to no track almost overnight.

Montreal Gazette

In fairness, there’s a lot going on with the Canadiens and injuries plus the cap. Arpon Basu also came to Ducharme’s defense laying some blame at the feet of Marc Bergevin. However, one does have to wonder if they Habs were just a little to quick to pull the plug on a proven winner in Julien.