For some teams, the offseason has already been busy with signings and even firings as some teams let go old head coaches and hired new ones. It’s time to take a look at how each team’s situation and how well they’ll do in the upcoming season.
The Flames, immediately in the offseason, fired their head coach, Glen Gulutzan, and replaced him with Bill Peters. Peters was the head coach of the Canes from 2014-2015 to the 2017-2018 NHL season. Gulutzan and Peters had the same record last season with their respected clubs as Peters went 36-35-11 and Gulutzan went 37-35-10.
Given the similarity to the previous coach, how well will Peters do with the Flames is the real question here. The Flames could stay stagnant given the move.
No longer with Peters, Carolina promoted their former assistant coach, Rod Brind’Amour, as their new coach. Brind’Amour played with the Canes for 10 seasons and even helped them win their only Stanley Cup back in 2006. He was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes since the 2011-2012 NHL season.
Since Brind’Amour has been with the Hurricanes for over a decade and a half, he seems to understand Carolina’s situation and has a high chance of fixing their playoff drought after coming so incredibly close over the past few seasons. Brind’Amour could be the guy to help Carolina finally move forward.
After an impressive offseason last year, signing top players like Alexander Radulov, Martin Hanzal, and Ben Bishop, the Stars seemed to have put together a lethal team. Fate had different plans as the Stars didn’t even come close to the playoffs.
With injuries, the Stars were in deep trouble and it was too late to fix anything; they were officially eliminated from the 2018 playoffs. To make matters worse, at the end of the season, head coach Ken Hitchcock announced his retirement.
Dallas took no time at all finding a new head coach and eventually they decided on hiring Jim Montgomery as the new head coach. Montgomery was the head coach of the hockey team at the University of Denver since 2013-2014. Looking for a fresh start, the Stars should be able to turn things around with Montgomery at the helm.
New York Islanders
The Islanders are quite a story. After the Toronto Maple Leafs relieved their general manager, Lou Lamoriello, they quickly signed him as the leader of New York’s hockey operations. Lamoriello helped get Toronto out of the bottom of the league and into a playoff team so it seems to be a smart move by the Islanders.
But just a few months in, Lamoriello has already fired the Islanders’ general manager, Garth Snow, and interim head coach, Doug Weight. Lamoriello seems to be starting the Islanders reboot and are now currently in the searches for a new head coach. One of the top candidates is ex-Rangers head coach, Alain Vigneault.
As of now, though, the Islanders have no head coach and are in the searches of a new one. Regardless of who they pick, the Islanders are in the midst of a rebuild.
Islanders’ captain and star player, John Tavares, might not re-sign with the team. Also, with no head coach or GM, the Islanders have a lot of work to do and this upcoming season. Consider them “a work in progress.”
New York Rangers
The Rangers had a terrible season in 2017-2018 as they missed the playoffs for the first time in a long time. After trading away Derek Stepan and back-up goalie Antti Rantaa to the Arizona Coyotes, they contributed to their own demise.
By the time the Rangers were aware of them missing the playoffs, they began trading key veterans left and right such as Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller, and even captain Ryan McDonagh. It was clear that the Rangers would be in full rebuild mode.
With a 34-39-9 record, the Rangers fired head coach Alain Vigneault and later replaced him with David Quinn, the head coach at Boston University. Quinn has worked with a lot of the NHL’s young stars such as Clayton Keller, Jack Eichel, and many more. In two or three years, Quinn could have this young group transformed and ready to contend.
So those are the teams with new head coaches. Each of the franchises will be hoping for a quick turnaround. Some will be back in the playoffs while patience will certainly be a virtue for others.