There are currently four NHL head coaches in the final seasons of their contracts. Avoiding the ‘lame duck’ situation is something teams try to do and on that note, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reported on the latest TSN Insider Trading segment that extension discussions are believed to be underway between the Capitals and bench boss Peter Laviolette. The 57-year-old is in his third season behind the bench in Washington with the team playing to a .636 points percentage in his 140 games at the helm. With GM Brian MacLellan admitting to LeBrun in a piece for The Athletic (subscription link) that a rebuild is basically off the table with their commitment to their veteran core, it makes sense that they’d want to keep Laviolette, whose reputation is that he’s a win-now coach, in the fold.
Other coaching news from around the hockey world:
- One name who didn’t get much attention for coaching vacancies this summer was former Vancouver head coach Travis Green. As TSN’s Darren Dreger noted in that Insider Trading segment, Green wanted to recharge before putting his name out there for openings. That recharge has now happened and he’ll do some consulting for Switzerland’s national team this season while waiting for his next coaching opportunity at the NHL level to present itself.
- Long-time NHL head coach Mike Keenan is heading behind the bench again. Or, more specifically, he will be coaching again in a few years as the 72-year-old confirmed to the Associated Press that he has been named Italy’s head coach for the 2026 Olympics which will be held in Italy. Keenan was an NHL bench boss for 20 years, last running things in Calgary in 2008-09. His last coaching opportunity was in the KHL back in 2017 with Kunlun. Interestingly, the Italian vacancy was created recently when their head coach was hired away by Kunlun earlier this year.