After the unexpected departure of Patrick Roy earlier this month, the Avalanche have been scrambling to try and find a head coach prior to the beginning of training camp. While Joe Sakic has previously said that the current assistants are not options, many have speculated on other names around the league. As Terry Frei of the Denver Post reports, the Avalanche are considering two more well known names in Bob Boughner and Kevin Dineen.
Boughner finished his 10-year NHL career in Colorado, playing 41 games for the club in 2005-2006. Immediately afterwards he was given the head coaching job with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, and quickly turned around a struggling franchise. The team won two championships under his leadership, in just his third and fourth years coaching. Boughner spent last season on the bench with the San Jose Sharks, and has always been considered a strong leader. During the 2004-05 lockout, Boughner was selected to serve as NHLPA vice-president by his peers and is seen as a natural fit on the bench.
A little more experience comes in the form of Dineen, who previously held the head coaching job with the Florida Panthers and Portland Pirates of the AHL. Dineen is currently an assistant for the Chicago Blackhawks, and is a “major candidate” according to Frei.
The other name that Frei mentions, is that of Jared Bednar. We already heard the name of the Cleveland Monsters’ head coach in relation to the opening. Bednar led the Monsters to the Calder Cup last season, and has yet to crack an NHL coaching staff.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch also chimes in on the search, telling us that Scott Arniel, a former Blue Jackets head coach and current assistant with the New York Rangers has not been granted an interview and thus is not a candidate for the opening. It’s going to be a tough process for the Avalanche, as most of the experienced candidates have already found positions with other clubs.