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Flames, Habs ramp up coaching search; “Crickets” in Edmonton

May 14, 2012, 10:14 PM EDT

Steve Tambellini AP

Dale Hunter parted ways with the Washington Capitals today, but the Caps aren’t the only team in need of a new head coach. Bob McKenzie provided some interesting scuttlebutt (or lack of movement, depending) regarding three Canadian NHL teams searching for a new suit: the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens.

Let’s go one-by-one, then.

Calgary: McKenzie reports that the Flames’ process is still in its “early stages,” with a list of 10-12 candidates likely boiled down to five or six interviews. Bob Hartley and Troy Ward are “prominent” in the discussions so far.

Edmonton: McKenzie basically says that the “crickets” are chirping in Edmonton with GM Steve Tambellini and coach Tom Renney’s contracts set to expire, although Tambellini is likely to be back.

Montreal: The Canadiens are reportedly in the process of “touching base” with candidates such as Hartley, Michel Therrien, Guy Carbonneau, Marc Crawford and perhaps more.


If McKenzie’s reports are any indication, it might be a while before teams pull the trigger on new coaching hires. With that in mind, let’s open the floor: which coaches would make the most sense for each team and which ones would be a bad fit?

  1. greggink - May 14, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Except for Troy Ward, why does it seem the same coaching carousel drops off a former coach in another town? The Bob Hartley’s, the Ken Hitchcock’s always seem to find work. How ’bout some new blood?

    • govtminion - May 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      Hartley’s been out of work in the NHL since he got fired from the Thrashers several years ago- despite having a Stanley Cup ring from Colorado and taking Atlanta to its only playoff performance. I’m not really sure I’d include his name here as a guy who always finds work.

      Now, Mike Keenan, somehow continues to ride the coattails of that ’94 championship even now- it’s a wonder he’s not on anyone’s radar publicly.

  2. greggink - May 14, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    …and let’s not forget Ron Wilson. What would the league be like without Ron Wilson running a team? (that’s sarcasm)

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - May 14, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    I hope the Flames at least interview Mike Eaves from the Toronto Marlies, he’s doing a great job there and everyone raves about the guy. Troy Ward also seems like a solid candidate.

  4. bcisleman - May 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Mike Havilland was unfairly scapegoated in Chicago. He’d be a real smart pickup for any team. Wish the Isles would have let Cappy go and hired him.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye - May 14, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    The crickets in the Chuk are cause the guy they’re going to hire is already working with their brass at the World Hockey Championships, no need to interview anyone when you’re already taking your top candidate for a test run.

  6. ray2013 - May 14, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    The Edmonton situation baffles me. You have a GM with an expiring contract talking about potentially trading the first overall pick in the upcoming draft, with no guarantee he’ll be around in a few weeks. If you’re going to keep Tambellini, then re-sign him. If you’re moving on, let Tambellini go. Same with Renney. The handling of this situation has just been bizarre.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - May 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      If I’m not mistaken I believe Tambellini is with working with Lowe at the World Championships so I think it’s a forgone conclusion that he’ll be back…especially since they took the player they’re likely to be most interested in drafting with them, and they coach they want to hire… the WHC seems like one big Oilers circle jerk to be honest.

      I agree the way they’ve left Tom Renney twisting in the wind is disrespetful, they owed him a better fate than what they’ve shown him…I’m sure karma will have something to say about it, or maybe they’re just trying to pay karma back after the last 5 years?

      • ray2013 - May 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Well, I could see them keeping Tambellini and/or Renney around, but it just seems like very poor management of contracts. If they were planning to keep either, they should have re-signed them months ago.

        My thinking re: Renney is that they have identified an assistant coach with one of the teams still in the playoffs, and want to have a talk with that person. It’s about the only explanation that seems plausible at this point.

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