NHL: coaches are in danger

The long-awaited firing of Bruce Boudreau finally took place on Sunday. Now it’s settled with the Vancouver Canucks, who have some National Hockey League (NHL) players who could find themselves out of a job this winter or after the season.

– DJ Smith, Ottawa Senators

DJ Smith has been leading the Senators since the start of the 2019-20 season. The National Capital team was at the center of the rebuilding process that began several years ago. So at the end of his first three seasons, the Senators finished sixth at best in the Atlantic Division, not putting his job in jeopardy.

But last summer’s acquisitions of Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat raised expectations for the first time. A place in the playoffs seemed possible. The Senators (20-23-3) are still at the bottom of the standings, so they’re tied with the Montreal Canadiens for last place in the division. So Smith may have accounts to submit soon.

– Brad Larsen, Columbus Blue Jackets

If the Senators are bad, it’s even worse for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite the arrival of Johnny Gaudreau via the free agent market, the poor club is in last place in the standings (14-30-2). A disappointing performance, given that the Jackets likely held a record one game below .500 in 2021-2022, the first campaign under Larsen’s tenure. The latter replaces John Tortorella after seven seasons as an assistant coach in Columbus.

While stability can be beneficial during a rebuilding period, the Jackets have won just 14 of their 46 games this season. Repeated defeats can undermine the morale of young football players and harm their development. With that in mind, a changing of the guard could be useful to solidify the foundations of this rebuild.

– Paul Maurice, Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers had to change their head coach in 2021-22 when Joel Quenneville’s inaction came to light in the 2010 Kyle Beach affair with the Chicago Blackhawks. In relief, Andrew Brunette led the club to the Presidents Trophy, awarded to the best regular season team (58-18-6). General manager Bill Zito traded his 2023 first pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Ben Chiarot. Then, after an early loss in the second round against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he decided not to keep Brunette and hire Paul Maurice. Other changes, such as trades involving Jonathan Huberdeau and Matthew Tkachuk, have also changed the face of the team.

But so far, the Panthers (23-20-5) have been left out of the playoff picture. If this situation continues through the end of the season, it could allow the Habs to draft Connor Bedard with their first pick. Zito will want to avoid this scenario at all costs. Therefore, the pressure is already felt on Maurice’s shoulders.

– Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton Oilers

Playoff success has been rare for the Edmonton Oilers since Connor McDavid debuted in 2015. They made it to the second round only twice, being shut out before the end of the regular season three times in seven campaigns. Last year’s run to the West Finals therefore represented a rare spring holiday moment for the team’s fans, who saw it as a good sign for the 2022-2023 season.

However, the Oilers (27-18-3) are in the middle of a tight battle, despite still-bright performances from McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, breakout seasons from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman and a current six-game winning streak. In the West. Relegation from the play-offs would certainly be disastrous for the club and Woodcroft, who was hired last February, could pay.

-Dallas Eakins, Anaheim Ducks

Dallas Eakins took the reins of the Anaheim Ducks (13-29-5) in 2019 for a rebuild. But like Larsen in Columbus, he’s leading a team that’s losing at an astounding rate, posting a league-worst goal differential of -86. . He will soon become the first to allow 200 goals this season.

That’s why Eakins is on track to see his Army eliminated from the playoffs for the fourth straight time. Plus, he’s not under contract beyond the current season, and he’s not the man for general manager Pat Verbeek, who was hired last February.

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