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Who will be the first coach fired?
John Hynes 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Paul Maurice 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Peter Laviolette 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Bruce Boudreau 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Mike Babcock 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Jared Bednar 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 5
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:28 pm 
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It's that time of year where we predict who will be the first coach fired!

I'm still smarting from two seasons ago when NO COACH WAS FIRED during the regular season, then seemingly all of them were the following year.

Anyway, let's just get to it...well, first, let's acknowledge the Most Invincible Coach Ever:

BARRY TROTZ.

He won a Stanley Cup just a little over a year ago. He's only in his second year with a new team. And NOW, he's the reigning Jack Adams Trophy winner. If anyone in the history of the NHL was more immune to the whims of a GM or owner, it's him. Of course, he's working for the most trigger-happy GM in the league when it comes to swapping out coaches, so...

Anyway, here's the list.

Honorable Mention: Jared Bednar, Colorado Avalanche
It's strange that a coach survives a franchise's worst-ever finish by far, let alone gets the team into the postseason the next two years. Expectations are a lot higher now, especially after Colorado made some moves and addressed their ongoing depth issues. But now, with the Matt Duchene deal finally in the rear view mirror (ironically when the player himself is right there in the division) the Avs need to prove they're not just a playoff team, but a contender. While the team looks very good on paper, Bednar now has to take them to the next level.

5. Mike Babcock, Toronto Maple Leafs
It sure looks like the Leafs are gearing up for a big run this season before likely undergoing a major overhaul on the blueline. It's only a matter of time before Kyle Dubas moves on from Babcock and promotes Sheldon Keefe from the Marlies. I don't think this will be the first coaching replacement--there's little question the Leafs will make the playoffs--the question is what they'll do once they get there. Babcock and everyone else in the GTA are hoping to hell their first round matchup isn't against Boston. It should be pointed out that if Babcock does indeed get fired, it will be for the first time in his NHL coaching career, even though he's worked for three different teams in that span.

4. Bruce Boudreau, Minnesota Wild
Poor Gabby. First undone by a Capitals team that made some terrible moves after a fluke first-round playoff exit to a then-unknown Canadiens goalie. Then unceremoniously dumped by a bad GM and team in Anaheim that has only just last year finally acknowledged that it's time to rebuild. Now, in the wake of front office upheaval and the oldest roster in the NHL, Bruce looks like he's going to be staring at his third pink slip. I don't think he'll be the first merely because even the Wild have to acknowledge that their contention window has closed, but I still think it's going to happen.

3. Peter Laviolette, Nashville Predators
The Preds look like they're on the decline two years removed from an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final. David Poile kept the team mostly together following that run and a disappointing first-round exit was the result. Now, after dealing away P.K. Subban and signing Matt Duchene, Nashville looks like they're going to try one more time before some really major retooling takes place. If Lavi doesn't fix the baffling power play issues that plagued the team last season, the Preds won't be going anywhere, but he most definitely will be.

2. Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets
It's hard to imagine a team having a more nightmarish offseason than the Winnipeg Jets. While they may still be a playoff team, they sure don't look like a contender anymore. The team took massive hits on the roster and a public spat with their most talented player won't exactly make for a cozy locker room. That said, I still don't think it's quite the pressure-cooker that it will be in one other region this season.

1. John Hynes, New Jersey Devils
Most other predictions list have Maurice as the first guy gone, but I think the pressure is way, way higher in New Jersey. And, no offense to the guy, I'm still not convinced he's a great coach, and he also may not have the one thing Maurice does appear to have: A competent starting goalie. The reason I think the pressure is much higher in NJ is because, not only did the Devils upgrade their roster with a first overall pick and a top defenseman, they also have to convince Taylor Hall to stay and not opt for free agency. If there's even the slightest sign of a slow start or a lull, I think Ray Shero is going to act. That's why I think Hynes will be the first guy gone. Still too many question marks in Jersey, even thought they had a very good offseason.

Bonus section: GM Watch
Jim Benning - Vancouver Canucks
Benning has actually assembled a very talented young core in Vancouver, and also hired a good coach. It's just a shame he spent the rest of the team's cap room on unadulterated crap. In dealing away the team's first rounder, the team is now under the gun to make the playoffs, something I'm not so sure they can do. It's also mind-blowingly awful that the team waived a worthwhile player in Sven Baertschi because they failed miserably in dumping the awful contract of Loui Eriksson. The only thing that can save Benning at this point is the fact that Canucks ownership has inexplicably kept him this long.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:00 pm 
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Good rationale for picking Hynes.

I still think Maurice has worn out his welcome in Winnipeg.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:33 am 
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I can't see even Lou firing Trotz, no matter how the Isles do. I wish Lou would be more trigger happy on trades to improve the offense!

I actually have a feeling Sullivan could be in trouble in Pittsburgh. Maybe not the 1st to go, but if the Pens struggle, which they very well could, the GM will blame Sullivan rather than himself or the aging team he's assembled/kept together.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:28 am 
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Dammit...completely forgot about the Coyotes. I doubt Tocchet gets another year if they don't figure out how to score. But boy if he gets the axe won't THAT be an awkward situation with the guy they traded for this offseason...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:58 am 
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Green is on the hot seat too but likely not before Benning.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Looks like it's a neck-and-neck-and-neck race between Maurice, Boudreau, and Hynes.

And the Devils have already made one (albeit minor) move.

https://www.tsn.ca/devils-wild-not-cons ... -1.1381979

Fitzgerald will be the next GM of the New Jersey Devils. It remains a question of when.


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