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With Trotz gone, here’s the NHL’s coaching vacancy landscape

May 26, 2014, 7:58 PM EDT

Barry Trotz Getty Images

Barry Trotz was hired as the 17th coach in Washington Capitals history on Monday — a big move not just for D.C., but the league’s entire coaching landscape as well.

With the move, the list of available coaching jobs shrunk to three — it was as high as five, prior to Peter Laviolette taking Trotz’s old job in Nashville — and two of the most experienced candidates are off the market.

So, what’s left? Openings remain in Vancouver, Florida and Carolina and Dan Byslma’s fate remains up in the air in Pittsburgh. As for the candidates? John Stevens, Kevin Dineen, Jeff Blashill, Guy Boucher, Willie Desjardins and Brad Shaw are still available, as are recently dismissed bench bosses John Tortorella, Peter Horachek and Adam Oates.

(Kirk Muller and Mike Haviland, originally thought to be in the candidate pool, are out of the running; Muller took an assistant’s gig in St. Louis, and Haviland went the NCAA route with Colorado College.)

Here’s a look at the three available gigs, and the latest from each search.


The Canucks finally have their new GM in place, as the club introduced ex-Bruins assistant Jim Benning on Friday. During his introduction, Benning and president of hockey ops Trevor Linden said the search for a new coach would begin quickly, and a few names have already been thrown out: Stevens, who was one of the four finalists for the job last year before it went to John Tortorella, and Desjardins, who Brough wrote about earlier today.


GM Dale Tallon’s on record saying he wants an experienced NHL coach after hiring back-to-back first-timers in Dineen and Horachek. Marc Crawford, he of the 549 career wins, is reportedly in the mix for the job; according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, Tom Renney (he of the 260 wins) and Ron Wilson (648 wins) are also candidates. It’ll be curious to see if the Panthers would be willing to wait and see how the Bylsma situation shakes out in Pittsburgh, as he’d certainly have the requisite resume Tallon wants in a head coach.


Very few details have emerged from Camp Hurricane. New GM Ron Francis confirmed interviews are ongoing and the club wants to have someone in place by the NHL Entry Draft (June 27-28), while TSN’s Darren Dreger said he’s heard Carolina wants to go “cheap” in hiring its next bench boss. In light of this, it’ll be interesting to see if the ‘Canes opt to promote AHL Charlotte head coach Jeff Daniels, who was in the running for the job in ’11 (before it went to Muller); at the time, former GM Jim Rutherford said Daniels was an NHL-caliber coach and that he thought “very highly of him.”

  1. 7mantel - May 26, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Tom Renney ,now theres a guy I would like to see get another chance .

  2. YouppiKiYay - May 26, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    He may not want to leave his comfy WHL fiefdom in Portland, but Mike Johnston is a guy I would rate highly if I were looking to hire a head coach. It would be hard to find a more experienced coach.

  3. guitarisgood4u - May 26, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    The Wild have yet to re-sign Yeo or announce they won’t, but it’s basically a foregone conclusion they’re gonna re-sign him.

  4. Benjamin P. Glaser - May 27, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    It is also a foregone conclusion that Bylsma is gone as soon as a GM is hired.

    He’ll be snatched up immediately by Florida.

  5. navyeoddavee9 - May 27, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    I thought Trotz would end up in Pittsburgh, with him now in Washington, I have a feeling, Disco Dan gets another season, to get things right, no matter who the new GM is, if this happens, they might as well as kept Shero for another year with him

  6. dueman - May 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    I feel bad for the Carolina fans right now. Seeing the word “cheap” as a hiring prerequisite is never a good thing.

    • guitarisgood4u - May 27, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      I’ll take the job for less than whatever “cheap” ends up being.

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