Skip to content

Twisting in the wind: Oates, Carlyle, Torts still facing uncertain futures

Apr 21, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

FILE - This Feb. 6, 2014 file photo shows Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates on the bench in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, in Washington. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are fading. Ovechkin has gone without a point in the last four games, and his team has lost five of its past six to drop to 10th in the Eastern Conference. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) AP

Three head coaches on three high-profile teams that missed the playoffs have yet to receive a vote of confidence or, failing that, official word that their services are no longer required.

Adam Oates, Randy Carlyle and John Tortorella all faced extensive criticism this season in Washington, Toronto, and Vancouver, respectively. The Caps missed the postseason for the first time since 2007, the Canucks for the first time since 2008. The Maple Leafs suffered an epic collapse, winning just twice in their last 14 games. Suffice to say, expectations for all three teams were considerably higher.

Granted, not all the situations are the same. The Canucks, for example, still need to hire a new general manager after Mike Gillis was fired. The Capitals may need to hire a new GM as well, with George McPhee’s seat arguably as hot as Oates’. It may be those decisions are made before the coaching ones.

Earlier this month, Washington owner Ted Leonsis promised to “conduct a comprehensive review of what transpired this year,” after which the “necessary adjustments” will be made.

In Toronto, meanwhile, Brendan Shanahan was only just hired as the club’s new president. And that move came just days after Trevor Linden took over hockey operations in Vancouver. Both those two will need to get fully up to speed before they make a decision as big as the coaching one.

Still, there’s something to be said for not letting the process drag out. If the decision is to keep the coach, fine, then time will need to be spent making adjustments for next season, because obviously adjustments need to be made. If the coach is fired, then time will need to be spent hiring a new one.

Related:

Has McPhee’s ‘adversarial relationship with player agents’ cost the Caps?

Leafs rise to coach Carlyle’s defense

Torts calls Canucks ‘stale,’ says it’s not 2011 anymore

Latest Posts
  1. Benning trying to figure where Markstrom ‘fits in’

    May 22, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Canucks GM witnessed the goalie get a shutout in the AHL playoffs.

  2. TVR won’t play Game 4, but he’s ‘cleared to participate’

    May 22, 2015, 1:41 PM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    Coach Q: “He’ll need a few days out here. We’ll get an evaluation and go from there.”

  3. ’16 Draft prospect Bellows, son of Brian, wins USHL Rookie of the Year

    May 22, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT

    Bellows

    Son of ex-NHLer Brian is off to Boston University next year.

  4. Video: Emotional Babcock says good-bye to Detroit

    May 22, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Babcock

    “It’s been real special, to say the least.”

  5. Columbus goalie prospect Dansk bolts for Sweden

    May 22, 2015, 12:47 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    The third ‘tender taken at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft had a rough first pro season in North America.

  6. Wild re-sign AHL Iowa assists leader Keranen

    May 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Petteri Lindbohm, Michael Keranen Getty Images

    Finnish forward joined the organization last year after solid production in the SM-liiga.

  7. Bolts rule Carle (undisclosed) out for Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 12:03 PM EDT

    Matt Carle Getty Images

    No word on who’ll draw in as a replacement.

  8. Blackhawks recall van Riemsdyk

    May 22, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    No word yet if he’ll be able to play right away.

  9. Twins joining Triplets? Watch out if Stamkos, Killorn keep heating up

    May 22, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    Steve Stamkos, Alex Killorn AP

    We really need to get these combos better nicknames, though.

  10. All eyes on Lundqvist

    May 22, 2015, 11:03 AM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

    The Rangers need The King to play like one tonight.

  11. Bettman refutes link between concussions and CTE

    May 22, 2015, 10:25 AM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Ottawa Senators - Game Six Getty Images

    He also reiterates that the salary cap will be about $71M.

  12. Video: ‘I got bumped the whole game,’ says Crawford

    May 22, 2015, 1:30 AM EDT

    Getty Images

    Ducks trying to make life miserable for Chicago’s goalie.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Versteeg (1410)
  2. H. Lundqvist (1405)
  3. B. Boyle (1398)
  4. R. Callahan (1368)
  5. P. Kane (1318)