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Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

Nothing is going well in Arizona as the Coyotes are undefeated in their last 12 games (0-10-2). However, Andre Tourigny looks good in the saddle. At the start of the season, Bill Armstrong signed a three-year contract extension.

Just like Martin St. Louis, the friendly coach inherited a team in full development. We want to give her time to make progress. However, not all trainers will benefit from the same range. With seven weeks left in the calendar, some find themselves on a tightrope.

Don Granato – Buffalo


“Archive photo, Martin Chevalier”

After 12 seasons without participating, we dreamed of qualifying for Buffalo. With 24 games remaining in the campaign, the Sabers are struggling to maintain a .500 record. His contract extension, signed in October 2022, will not begin until next year. But at $1.9 million each of the next two years, an owner with deep pockets won't hesitate to show him the way out.

Sheldon Keefe – Toronto


Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

“AFP archive photo”

The Leafs saved their head coach's job by finally managing to clinch a playoff run. Keefe signed a new two-year contract last summer, but has yet to leave the hostel. And with all the assets he has in his coaching, he will have to take it a little further to prove that he is still the right man for the job.

Pascal Vincent – Columbus


Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

“Archive photo, Martin Chevalier”

He was called in to replace Mike Babcock after the sticky cell phone episode. A well-deserved opportunity for the Quebecois player who has been working his way through the NHL and MLS since 2011. What stands against him is Jarmo Kekalainen, his key ally in Columbus, being relieved of his duties as general manager on February 15. Will he be the next CEO's right-hand man? At least he has a contract until next season.

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Lindy Ruff – New Jersey


Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

“AFP archive photo”

When a coach criticizes journalists for putting too much pressure on his players, it may be because they have run out of solutions. After finishing third in the Eastern Conference, the Devils risk missing the playoffs. In defense of Roofe, we must realize that the situation in front of the Devils' net is difficult. The Devils also suffered several injuries to key players. The contract extension he signed at the start of the season is working in his favour.

Mike Sullivan – Pittsburgh


Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

“Archive photo, Martin Chevalier”

The Penguins are in danger of missing the playoffs for the second straight spring. Dissatisfaction began to be felt in the Steel City. The problem is that Sullivan signed a three-year contract extension in August 2022. It's an agreement that will take effect starting next fall. The $5.5 million he will receive annually may provide some relief.

Jacques Martin – Ottawa


Six coaches on the NHL tightrope

“AFP archive photo”

The status of the esteemed coach is not like that of his colleagues mentioned in this list. From the moment the 71-year-old replaced DJ Smith, it was clear that he would only be there to provide a transition period before an actual successor is appointed. Some observers wonder if Daniel Alfredsson is not there waiting to be ready to take the reins of the team.

So far this season, six coaches have lost their jobs:

  • Jay Woodcroft – Edmonton
  • Dean Evason – Minnesota
  • Craig Berube – St. Louis
  • DJ Smith – Ottawa
  • Lynn Lambert – New York Islanders
  • Todd McLellan – Los Angeles
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