NHL Rumors: Jets coaching search, Flyers firing Mike Yeo, and Senators eye free agents
Today’s NHL Rumors leads off with the Winnipeg Jets. The organization recently extended the contract of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff despite his team missing the playoffs.
The Jets announced on Monday that they will begin a search for a new head coach. Interim bench boss Dave Lowry will also interview in hopes of becoming the permanent coach.
Word out of Winnipeg is that he’s unlikely to get the job.
“This group had a lot of expectations in itself,” Cheveldayoff said. “When you’re at this point here not competing in the playoffs, it’s met with an equal level of low,.”
NHL Rumors: Jets looking for a coach
Lowry took over after head coach Paul Maurice resigned in December. The Jets were 13-10-5 at the time but Maurice felt he lost the team.
“This is a good team. I’m a good coach,” said Maurice via Sportsnet. “But sometimes when you take over a team, it’s like you’re starting at the bottom of a mountain and you’re pushing a rock up to the top and you’re only able to get it to a certain place. And that’s where I feel I’m at. And if you would allow me some arrogance, I would say that I’m better positioned than anyone to know that they need a new voice.”
Lowry posted a 26-22-6 record and the Jets ultimately finished 6th in the Central (39-32-11).
The top potential coaches out there are John Tortorella, Rick Tocchet, and David Quinn.
Mike Yeo on the outs with Flyers
ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reported on Monday night that the Philadelphia Flyers will be moving on from Mike Yeo as the team’s head coach for next season.
Yeo was the assistant under Alain Vigneualt and promoted as interim coach after the Flyers fired AV in December.
Unfortunately for Yeo, he could not get the sinking Flyers to float. Under his guidance, the Flyers went 17-36-7 and missed the playoffs.
Former Flyers power forward, Rick Tocchet is considered the favorite to land the job.
Currently, there are two teams hunting for new coaches. The aforementioned Jets and the Detroit Red Wings. GM Steve Yzerman let longtime Wings coach Jeff Blashill go after the season ended.
Blashill, 48, finished his tenure as the Red Wings coach with a record of 204-261-72. He ranks fifth in Red Wings history for games coached with 537 and sixth for wins with 204.
Ottawa Senators ready to spend
The Ottawa Senators are done being one of the cheapest teams in the NHL.
After another season with no playoffs, GM Pierre Dorion appears ready to open up the coffers and land some top free agents.
“It’s no secret where we’ve spent the last four years and you can figure that out for yourself, but that was part of the rebuild,” Dorion said via the Ottawa Sun. “I think as we move forward, we’re going to start spending more money. Are we going to be a team that spends $81.5 million next season? No.”
One player that has been persistently linked to the Senators is Claude Giroux.
“No guarantee it happens, but I do believe Claude Giroux is doing his research on Ottawa,” Elliotte Friedman wrote in his latest 32 Thoughts Blog.
Giroux is a native of Hearst, Ontario which is about a 10 hour drive from where the Senators play. Of course, that’s really less than a 90 minute flight from his old hometown.
The 34 year-old was acquired by the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. He has fit in like a glove recording 23 points in 18 games for them. On the season, he posted 65 points in 75 contests.
He will be a prized UFA target when the bell rings on July 13.