It’s been a hard year for NHL coaches, with Gerard Gallant, Ken Hitchcock, Claude Julien, Jack Capuano and Michel Therrien all being dismissed during the season and Darryl Sutter, Tom Rowe, Willie Desjardins and Lindy Ruff all getting axed soon after. Dan Bylsma is the latest bench boss to fall victim to his team’s underperformance, being fired today along with GM Tim Murray.
While many of the clubs have already installed replacements, there is still changes to be made around the NHL. Perhaps no more may come this summer, but you have to believe that heading into next season there are some seats feeling a bit warmer than they did this time last year. First round exits and an early tee time is sometimes just as painful for a GM to stomach as missing entirely.
As we saw in Buffalo, it doesn’t matter if you’ve won a Stanley Cup and Jack Adams award, if you haven’t done anything lately. Bylsma was shown the door after just two years—and a public relations nightmare with his star player—despite being given the worst team in the league and immediately improving it by 27 points (how much of that has to do with Bylsma is still up for debate). It’s a cruel league sometimes, and coaches are fired without warning.
Who do you think will be next on the NHL chopping block? We’ve left out the coaches who have been hired mid-season or later, but if you think it will be one of them make sure you explain your choice in the comments below.
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