Philly Sports Live

Which NHL coaches are getting fired after this season? (Puck Daddy)

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next week, which means we’ve almost reached the point at which grown men pack up their offices and attempt to contain their seething anger in exit interviews with the media.  Yes … it’s nearly coach firing time! Here’s a look at some of the probable and potential coaching changes in the NHL this postseason, which may or may not be influenced by a certain Detroit Red Wings coach deciding he wants to find a new challenge. And by “new challenge” we mean getting paid the gross national product of Ghana to coach somewhere else. Good As Gone Peter Horachek, Toronto Maple Leafs A good man thrown into an absolutely thankless position, the still-interim coach was like a substitute teacher trying to get a bunch of graduating seniors to give a toss about their final exams. We applaud any coach that references a team’s “give a [crap]-o-meter” and, in theory, can successfully operate a toaster. But the Leafs will have a new coach next season after Babcock rejects a billion-dollar offer .  STATUS: Gone. Ted Nolan, Buffalo Sabres He was set up to fail, and ultimately that’s what his team did, but Nolan maintained his dignity throughout the “Dishonor For Connor” campaign. One assumes Tim Murray will want his own guy behind the bench as the Sabres begin the McDavid or Eichel era – hello, Luke Richardson. Question is whether Teddy has earned another NHL chance after years of being blackballed, or if it’s back to Latvia. (OK, the other question: Why is there so much chatter about Mike Babcock coaching whomever drafts McDavid ?)  STATUS: Gone Out Of Playoffs, Out Of Job?   Craig Berube, Philadelphia Flyers The Flyers were high on Berube before he took the gig, and he helped lead that Flyers’ turnaround last season to the postseason. Are the team’s cap issues and injuries enough cover to keep him in a job heading into next season? Potentially, but with a short leash. Then again, perhaps Berube’s personnel issues, including the misuse of Steve Mason that may have led to the departure of goalie coach Jeff Reese , are grounds enough to turf him. As always, the bottom line is that Ed Snider isn’t getting any younger…  STATUS: Back Next Season, Short Leash Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks McLellan is under contract for another year. If he decided to leave the Sharks, it would cost that new team a third-round pick. Granted, it would be worth a third to hire one of the best coaches in the NHL, and one assumes this was the last ride for McLellan and the Sharks, who missed the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Unless they do the smart thing, which is to fire GM Doug Wilson and hang onto McLellan. But they’ll undoubtably do the dumb thing, which is the opposite.  STATUS: Gone, Much Wealthier.