With just four teams left vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup, the focus is strong on building next season’s roster for most NHL teams. That includes the coaching carousel, which will be active with many big names available this offseason. The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun took a wide-angle lens look around the list of coaching free agents to examine where each could end up moving forward.
One of the coaches named is Peter DeBoer, fired by the Vegas Golden Knights last month after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. However, LeBrun notes that while he’s one of the biggest names available, it’s not a sure thing he’ll start the season behind an NHL bench. DeBoer is still owed money for the last year of his Vegas contract, something LeBrun says will allow him the flexibility to take his time on deciding. He surmises that a mid-season hire could be likely for a team looking to make a change after a poor start, but stops short of counting out DeBoer signing full-on with a team before the start of the 2022-23 season.
- LeBrun says that the “odds are” Alain Vigneault’s NHL coaching career is done. Vigneault will still be paid by the Flyers through June of 2024, so finances aren’t a factor for Vigneault in the short term. LeBrun notes that he’ll be 63 when that contract is over. With 1,363 games under his belt as a head coach and no Stanley Cup, it’s unclear how many offers he’ll get anyways.
- One wild card name mentioned by LeBrun as a potential offseason hire is Guy Boucher. While he’s been out of a job since 2019, he has a “get rich quick” reputation around the league as a coach who brings short, but immediate success to his new team (2011 Tampa Bay Lightning, 2017 Ottawa Senators). Boucher had been holding out on taking NHL jobs for family reasons, but LeBrun says he’s now ready to get back in the picture.