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Here’s an (updated) list of available NHL coaching candidates

May 22, 2013, 5:53 PM EDT

Alain Vigneault AP

With the Canucks having severed ties with Alain Vigneault, there are now three NHL head-coaching opportunities available: Vancouver, Dallas and Colorado.

And there are about five times the number of potential applicants.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the coaching candidate landscape.

Lindy Ruff: Has been mentioned for pretty much every job that’s come available. The most experienced candidate in the field — at the time of his dismissal in Buffalo, he sat 12th on the all-time wins list (571). But for all that experience, no Stanley Cup.

Alain Vigneault: He and Ruff are the only two Jack Adams winners since 2004 that are currently unemployed. List of accolades for Vigneault is long, and he’s posted at least a .610 winning percentage in each of the last five years. But for all that winning, no Stanley Cup.

Willie Desjardins: The head coach of Dallas’ AHL affiliate in Texas, Desjardins is well-regarded and won the American League’s coach of the year award in 2013.

Mark Reeds: A bit of a darkhorse candidate (first mentioned as a possibility for the Vancouver job by Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos), Reeds is currently serving as one of Paul MacLean’s assistants in Ottawa. A former NHLer, Reeds joined the Sens after a successful career coaching OHL Owen Sound.

Paul Maurice: The former Carolina and Toronto bench boss recently left his post with KHL Metallurg, and could be eying a return to the NHL.

Patrick Roy: As you may have read on this very site, Roy is reportedly close to signing on to coach his former club, the Colorado Avalanche. The knock against Roy is that he’s temperamental — but he has done a solid job coaching QMJHL Quebec, never finishing with less than a .564 winning percentage.

Dave Tippett: One of the most successful NHL coaches over the last 10 years, Tippett currently finds himself in limbo with the Coyotes. He’s reportedly in meetings with GM Don Maloney about his future with the club — his contract expires in June — and, earlier this week, told Fox Sports Arizona that the plan is to “just stay in a holding pattern until the end of June and see how things work out.”

Dallas Eakins: With his Toronto Marlies now eliminated from Calder Cup contention, Eakins — one of the American League’s best coaches over the last few years — looks like a guy ready to make the jump to the NHL. “I’m fully aware there’s been some coaching changes and there’s opportunities out there,” Eakins said, per the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle. “Will we look at them? Absolutely.”

Others: Scott Arniel (former Columbus coach, currently with AHL Chicago), John Hynes (head coach AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), Mark French (head coach AHL Hershey), Mike Kitchen (former St. Louis coach, currently a Blackhawks assistant), Guy Boucher (former Tampa Bay head coach).

  1. jernster21 - May 22, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Re: Patrick Roy. One persons temperament is another persons passion. Here’s a good story on Roy:

    I like how Joe Sacco didn’t make the list. Y U SO BAD SACCLOL?

  2. monstercheez - May 22, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Guy Boucher relegated to “Other” status?


  3. kaptaanamerica - May 22, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Why aren’t former habs guy carbonneau and Larry Robinson on the list?

    • elvispocomo - May 22, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      Don’t have detail on Carbonneau, but Robinson has said he doesn’t want a head coaching job in the past.

  4. oquintero99 - May 22, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Glenn Gulutzan

    • einjzmolf - May 22, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      LOL someone can go ahead and have a grand time picking him up. Sorry to which ever organization’s fanbase goes through that heart ache.

  5. elvispocomo - May 22, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Arneil is technically the coach of AHL —? (maybe Utica?). He’s contracted to the Canucks so he’ll be coaching wherever they settle the former Peoria franchise and someone else will be brought into Chicago to coach there.

  6. hsnepsts - May 22, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    I think AV was tired in Vancouver – I think the coaching change there was a year too late. But he is a great coach.

    I remember when AV was hired (06-07). It was also Luongo’s first year. Naslund and Morrison were old and useless, the Sedins were never going to be more than good second liners, and all the pundits had the Nucks finishing near the bottom. He adapted a totally defensive system, and we actually won the division, and lost in the second round to the eventual champs (Anaheim). Everyone called us a 1-man team (Luongo). That year, no team outworked Vancouver.

    The next year we had about 1million man-games lost to injury on defense, and we missed the playoffs.

    After that, the Sedins emerged, Kesler and Burrows emerged, and AV transformed the team into a puck-possession team and perenial contender. We won 5 division titles in a row, 2 presidents trophies, 1 hart, 2 art ross trophies, 1 jennings, and played in 10 playoff series.

    People regularly talk about “all that talent” on Vancouver, like its a team loaded with high draft picks and highly touted prospects. But that was never the case. The reality is that talent was nutrured under Vigneault. It was the same group of players that were considered not worthy before AV showed up. The Sedin’s had played 5 full seasons, and everyone figured that 70 points was the most you’d get from them. Burrows was a nobody, and Kesler was projected to be a 10~15 goal scorer. It was a team with a bleak future and few options. It shows you what hard work, patience and belief can do.

    I don’t think that Vigneault’s patience and grassroots team building work well with Gillis’ tendency to trade for old players.

    It’s time for AV to move on, but I believe he deserves the vast majority of the credit for the success this team has had. He took an average group of players and made them the most they could be, which was one step short of a championship.

  7. polegojim - May 22, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    Joe Sacco – – I don’t personally believe he’s HC material at this time… but he is available after Worlds.

    • jernster21 - May 23, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      …which was over when they won bronze on May 19th.

  8. DED - May 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I think there’s a chance Tortorella will be on this list sometime this summer.

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