NHL: Coaches on the Hot Seat

With the 2018-19 NHL season only three months away, this upcoming season might be the last straw for some coaches with their respected organizations to make big things happen.

Here is a list of coaches that could be feeling the heat:

Todd McLellan

After seven seasons of coaching the San Jose Sharks, McLellan eventually was hired to helping the growing Edmonton Oilers. After a fairly below average first-year with the Oilers, going 32-43-8, McLellan led the Oilers to a division title in the 2016-17 season and even got Edmonton back into the playoffs with an impressive 47-26-9 record. Despite a late second round exit to the Anaheim Ducks in the 2017 playoffs, Edmonton wasn’t able to repeat their amazing season in the following 2018 season, which is why McLellan is on the hot seat. This season will show if he was just a one-hit-wonder or if McLellan really is the answer to Edmonton’s problems.

Claude Julien

After being fired from the Boston Bruins mid-season in 2016-17 and then immediately picked up by his old division rival, the Montreal Canadiens, Julien hasn’t been able to get the same results he once did in his previous years of coaching. In his 10 years of coaching Boston, Julien would average 40-45 wins per season. Since then, he hasn’t been able to propel his team to more than 30 wins a season, which isn’t good.

After blowing his last chance in Boston, he might be sitting on the hot seat in Montreal as well, which isn’t going to appear well on his resume, despite winning a Stanley Cup with Boston.

Guy Boucher

After leaving the Tampa Bay Lightning following the 2012-13 season, Boucher eventually made a return to his coaching duties with the Ottawa Senators. Going 44-28-10 that year and making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Senators were looking to be a huge threat around the league in the 2017-18 campaign, but it was everything but threatening. Dropping to a 28-43-11 record just a year later, Boucher couldn’t help his team recreate such a magical previous season.

With other horrible circumstances occurring in Ottawa, such as sexual assault charges against their assistant GM, threats to fans of moving out of Ottawa, harassment charges from former-Senator Mike Hoffman’s girlfriend about the unborn baby of Erik Karlsson, and the possibility of Karlsson not re-signing with the organization, Ottawa is in serious trouble and Boucher could be as well if he can’t prove to be an effective piece to a struggling organization.

Mike Yeo

Now this was a tough decision, but Yeo could possibly be on the hot seat in St. Louis. After an impressive start to the season, the Blues just dropped off in the standings and couldn’t regather, which resulted in them just barely missing the playoffs, despite them having a terrific 44-32-6 record. If Yeo can’t get more positive results in St. Louis and they miss the playoffs once more, he could very well be on his way out.

Phil Housley

The one-year head coach for the Buffalo Sabres has already set the tone for how the Sabres could be next season. The team does have a lot going for them this upcoming season as they signed some big names such as Conor Sheary, Matt Hunwick, and first-round draft pick Rasmus Dahlin, but if things go horribly, Housley could be on his way out of Buffalo. It is highly likely that they improve from their previous season, going, 25-45-12, but nothing is guaranteed.

These coaches need to have a breakout year if they want to keep their positions with their respected organizations. If they can’t then it could very well be the last straw and they’ll be gone for good.

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