May 19: Predators general manager David Poile officially announced a two-year contract extension for Hynes today.
May 18: After reaching the playoffs for the third time in as many years under John Hynes, the Nashville Predators faced some uncertainty at the Head Coach position, with John Hynes on an expiring contract that included a one-year team option. However, those concerns seem to be gone, as The Athletic’s Adam Vingan tweets that he believes the club has agreed to a multi-year extension with Hynes to keep him behind the bench in Nashville. The contract has yet to be officially confirmed, though that may be a topic of discussion when Hynes and General Manager David Poile meet the media on Thursday (link).
In three seasons under Hynes, Nashville has failed to miss the playoffs, but has also failed to win a playoff round. The team lost in the first round this year to the Colorado Avalanche and last year to the Carolina Hurricanes. The team also lost the qualifying round in the bubble in 2020 to the Arizona Coyotes. Despite the success, some had wondered if Hynes would be back with Nashville next season given the team’s failure to have playoff success in that time. Given those concerns, a multi-year extension when the team had the ability to exercise a one-year option, is all the more interesting.
Perhaps one of Hynes’ biggest strengths as a coach can be seen in his stars’ ability to elevate their game under him. There may be no better of an example of that than this year, where Filip Forsberg had a career high 84 points, 20 more than his previous career-high of 64, in just 69 games. A struggling Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen both rebounded this year, with Duchene hitting career-highs in goals, with 43 and points, with 86. Defenseman Roman Josi, already a superstar in his own right, shattered his previous career-high 65 points with 96 this year, a mark that was among the best seasons ever for a defenseman.
Turning back to Hynes’ days as the head coach of the New Jersey Devils, he saw a rebuilding New Jersey Devils team to a playoff berth in 2017-18, which featured a Hart Trophy season from Taylor Hall, who had a career-best 93 points, a mark he has not been able to repeat since. Though he has yet to win a playoff series as a head coach, Hynes has proven that he is capable of getting the most out of his star players. The Predators are also, notably, a franchise that has several high-profile, star players, three of whom (Josi, Duchene, and Johansen) are signed to long-term contracts. Another of those stars, Forsberg, Nashville is in the process of trying to sign long-term.
This story will be updated as more details emerge on the expected extension. Hynes and Poile will address the media for their end-of-season availability Thursday morning.