LeBrun: From Trotz to DeBoer, where could the best free agent coaches in the NHL land?

LeBrun: From Trotz to DeBoer, where could the best free agent coaches in the NHL land?

Barry Trotz has all the cards in the fairly deep free agent training market this summer. It has been announced that he has already met with Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. The planes pressured the press to bring the Manitoba citizen home.

I think he’s also spoken to varying degrees with Philadelphia, Vegas and Detroit. I also think Dallas indicated his desire to speak with Trotz. I mean, if you’re an NHL team with a practice opening, why not reach out to Trotz?

But we also feel that Trotz takes his time with whatever decision he makes. Remember, the Islanders owe him $4 million for next season under his current contract, although if he signs with a new team, the Isles will likely be off the hook then. But the point is that Trotz can take his time.

He has also indicated that he may have entered management one day. So there is a lot to digest here. His final decision, either way, will likely have a domino effect on the coaching market.

In no particular order, let’s take a look at the many other coaches out there, just guys who have been head coaches in the NHL before (don’t look here at AHL coaches or NHL assistants):

Deborah House

Speaking of key player agents, how about a coach who has attended the Stanley Cup Final twice and reached the Conference Finals five times in the past 10 years?

The Golden Knights still owe DeBoer another $3.25 million on his contract for next season, which is important to note because I think it gives DeBoer the opportunity to be picky on his next move and take his time if he chooses. Will he jump on a good chance this summer or just sit back and see what happens next season?

It’s a big name. It is well thought out. He has a lot of cards too.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s set in the middle of next season when a competitor stumbles and decides to make a change of coaching. But he could also get an interesting show or two this summer. I just feel like he’s going to take his time.

Claude Julien

A year ago, Gerard Gallant tapped Canada’s IIHF World Championship gold medal coaching into a contract with the New York Rangers, though I think that hiring would have happened regardless.

Let’s see what kind of reception Julian gets after training Canada for the world silver medal, losing in overtime in the gold medal match to host Finland. Very good performance for a young Canadian roster that has not been uploaded.

Julian, 62, became an official free agent at the end of June after the expiration of a confinement contract that paid him $5 million a season.

The 2011 Stanley Cup champion coach is ready to listen.

“You know what, I’ll see where things go from here. When you train long enough in this league, you hope that people know what’s going on around you and how you train and those things,” Julien said the athlete this week. “I’m definitely waiting for the call in exchange for chasing them. And I’ll go from there.”

“Certainly if that’s the right situation, I’ll be back in training,” Julian added. “But there has to be a good alignment between me and senior management.”

A lot seems like a guy who doesn’t really need to come back but would welcome the opportunity if the right occasion came up.

Travis Green

Green shouts to this coach that any team he hires would benefit from a second run behind the NHL bench, as we’ve seen so often. Five years in Vancouver is an amazing learning curve. It was fired in early December but sounds refreshing now that it understandably needs to decompress.

“There was definitely a decompression time,” Green said. the athlete this week. “Whenever I went through leaving your job, it never happened to me before. I love training. I loved coaching the Vancouver Canucks. It took me a while to get over it. You know I think there are different phases of that after it happens. A huge disappointment when it first happens. Down For a long period of time. Then I took a long period of time for self-reflection, looking at the past five seasons in Vancouver and trying to make improvements. As a coach, you make mistakes, all coaches make. And you learn from those mistakes. That’s an important part of developing and improving.”

Green coached the underdog Canucks to the second round of playoffs in the bubble in 2020, a roster that probably didn’t exist. He learned a lot of ups and downs in a stressful atmosphere in Vancouver.

He’s now ready for Chapter 2.0 of his coaching career.

“I love hockey, I love watching hockey, I watch it a lot now, and I have been for a while,” Green said. “I am excited to train. I love it. It is what I love to do and I hope to get another chance.”

I feel Dallas or Detroit or Vegas would be good places for Greene. What I might like as the owner or general manager of those teams is that the experience in a crazy Canadian market like Vancouver Green has the ability to pretty much handle any type of site now.

Jeff Blashel

Here is another 2.0 filter. Seven years in Detroit, through tearing up and rebuilding, Blashill learned a lot in his first major coaching job in the NHL.

“I would say unequivocally that I am a better coach today than I was just seven years ago because of the experience I have been able to gain through so many different conditions in Detroit,” Blachelle said. the athlete this week. “I think when you go through the kinds of years that we’ve been through, you either grow, and if you choose to, you can grow a lot.

“And I definitely felt, and I feel today, that I gained a lot of knowledge through those experiences. So, I am excited to see what the future holds, excited to see what opportunities are available. I love training. I love to influence teams and influence players. Just looking forward to whatever opportunity comes next. “.

I think some teams have Blashill on their radar, maybe not at the top of the list, but I think he’ll listen to some of them.

Joel Quinville

The sense is Quinville wants to get back behind the NHL bench after stepping down in Florida earlier this season in the wake of the Kyle Beach scandal. But this return requires the approval of Commissioner Gary Bateman. So at some point, Quinville and Batman won’t just need one conversation, but I understand some of the conversations. So it’s not clear at this point whether or not Quinville will be an option for NHL clubs but I think Vegas and Dallas are among the organizations that might have an interest if and when the veteran coach gets clearance from Bettman. Which again, is not a slam dunk.

Rick Bowness

The sense I’ve had all year has been that Bowness, 67, might be retiring after the season. Instead, when Bowness announced two weeks ago that he would be stepping down as Stars coach (his contract has expired), he made it clear that he would leave the door open for a potential return elsewhere.

But it’s also a fact that the return of NHL coaching to Bowness has to be with a team that has a chance to win. Otherwise, that might actually be the end, which I think he’s comfortable with.

Rick Touchet

The TNT hockey committee member loves his TV gig, but I’m told he’d totally like another crack behind the NHL bench. I think Vegas put him on their training list.

Winnipeg and Philadelphia might be possibilities as well, but I haven’t confirmed either club contacting directly yet. Tocchet interviewed the Rangers, The Blue Jackets, and the Kraken in their latest off-season, so he’s well versed in the process.

David Quinn

My sense is that the former Rangers coach is hoping to get back behind a seat in the National Hockey League and hope to do so next season. I think he’s already heard from a few NHL teams. So we’ll see where that goes for him. Like Travis Green and Jeff Blashill, getting Quinn in his second round behind the NHL bench could really benefit whoever hires him. He learned a lot from his New York experience.

Jim Montgomery

I’ve heard that the former Stars coach and current Blues assistant coach have received calls from at least three teams in the past few weeks regarding their head coach vacancy. Whether or not that will bring him back to being a head coach remains to be seen. But what a story it will give his exit from Dallas in December 2019 and his honesty in dealing with it.

Paul Morris

The former Winnipeg Jets coach isn’t actively looking for his next opportunity, but if the right occasion comes, he’ll listen. Or as one source said this week, his phone is on but he doesn’t eagerly check his messages. Morris, like he said when he stepped down as Jets coach earlier this season, needed a break after 26 consecutive years of coaching. In the end, the fault will be up to the coach and I believe we will one day see him behind the NHL bench again. But in the short term, I don’t think we see it soon.

John Tortorella

Torts has already given an interview to the Flyers, Kevin Weekes first reported last week. He politely declined my interview request when I contacted him this week. He turns 64 next month but after a year away from NHL coaching, it looks like Tortorella is ready to get back into things. Whether that happens or not, we’ll see.

Dave Tibet

We may have seen another Tippett behind the NHL bench. Tippett has always had real estate business projects on the go, so he’s busy with that. And don’t forget that before he was tempted to train in Edmonton, he was already on the business side of management with the expansion to Seattle and was enjoying this new side of things.

Either way, Tippett, who turns 61 in August, is likely to have finished coaching the NHL.

“I haven’t ruled out working in hockey or private business, just not seeing myself training anymore,” Tibbett said via text message this week.

Training is tough, I don’t blame any of these veteran guys for saying this is enough.

Mike Babcock

Babcock is unlikely to return behind the NHL bench unless the fit is near-perfect for him and the team in question. The Capitals interviewed him a few years ago before he hired Peter Laviolette. Some other teams have since contacted me. But nothing serious was achieved. It’s not there to get to the difference. Babcock is still due for another year with a salary of $5.8 million from Maple Leafs – his contract expires on June 30, 2023. He will be 60 then. I have earned a lot of money.

Some teams may also see that it’s still a bit toxic and you may worry about this part of his assignment. But there are other clubs that have shown interest in the past few years and have kept in touch with him.

However, I would say that 90 percent did not coach again in the NHL.

Alain Vinault

The Flyers still owe Vigneault North $5 million a year for the next two seasons, so until June 2024. He’ll be 63 when that contract expires. I would never say never with these guys because they are so competitive. Remember when Daryl Sutter announced his retirement from coaching in June 2018? Calgary of course was a unique opportunity for him. My point is you never know. But I would say Vigneault is not chasing her at all at the moment. He’s had a good coaching career. Odds are we’ll never see him behind the NHL bench again, but don’t get me wrong.


Alain Vinault. (Elliott J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jay Boucher

The former head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators has not been behind the NHL bench since the Sens left him in March 2019. He has been with RDS in French for the past few years.

But it is not a lack of interest. Sources say Boucher has had contact teams in the past few years, both for head coach and assistant coach opportunities, but he told those teams he wasn’t available, and decided to focus on the family situation.

Now, Boucher is ready to come back and talk to the NHL teams. It could be an interesting filter.

(Top image by Barry Trotz: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)



2022-06-01 21:59:51

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