As soon as former Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters resigned from his position with Carolina this morning, hockey pundits around the continent proclaimed him the leading candidate for the open Calgary Flames job. While no one has yet made any sort of concrete connection between Peters and the Flames, there is nearly universal agreement that he is the top option. The Athletic’s Rick Carpinello has taken it one step further. The New York Rangers beat writer states that Peters was never an option for the Rangers, as his deal with Calgary is “done”. It seems a deal could be imminent between the two sides. While on it’s face, Peters’ hire in Calgary could be a good fit, as he is a widely-respected coach who has always carried high expectations, the parallels between the underachieving Flames and underachieving Hurricanes is cause for some alarm.
- If Peters won’t be the next head coach in New York, who will be? For a while, the top candidate has seemed to be Boston University head coach David Quinn. Quinn’s Terriers have been have made the NCAA Tournament four years in a row, most recently winning the Hockey East Tournament this season to sneak in and make it to the Northeast Regional final. During this time, Quinn has coached more top NHL prospects than any other bench boss in college hockey. The rebuilding Rangers could greatly use Quinn’s talent for working with young players. USA Hockey has recognized that ability as well, today naming Quinn the head coach of the 2019 U.S. World Junior team. Some Rangers fans have worried that this appointment could remove Quinn from the running for New York’s new head coach, but the New York Post’s Larry Brooks says not so fast. Per Brooks, Quinn’s role as Team USA coach won’t hurt what Brooks calls his “strong candidacy”. In fact, Brooks calls Quinn the exact “developmental coach” that owner James Dolan is seeking and ensures that everything would work out if Quinn was offered the job.
- While Carolina, Calgary, and New York make waves in the coaching pool, the vacancy in Dallas has received little attention. That hasn’t surprised SportsDay’s Mike Heika, who says that GM Jim Nill will be patient with his decision on Ken Hitchcock’s replacement. Heika states that Nill has a long list of candidates, including many former Stars coaches. That could be a benefit for Dallas, an organization with ties to Glen Gulutzan, Dave Tippett, and Willie Desjardins, or could be a hindrance if the team doesn’t want to recycle a former coach again as they did with Hitchcock. Alternatives include hiring displaced Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, offering a promotion to several AHL head coaches, or even poaching Craig Berube from the division rival St. Louis Blues, according to Heika. Nill will take his time in sorting out the candidates, only setting a deadline of the NHL Draft in late June for the hire.