Four teams have made coaching changes ahead of the 2016-17 National Hockey League season. The NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators have all chopped and changed the men behind the benches. Will the moves pay off? Fans will have to wait and see.
- The Anaheim Ducks may have made the playoffs in 2016 after accumulating 103 points in the Pacific Division, but that didn’t stop the front office from making a change. Bruce Boudreau is out after guiding the Ducks to 46 wins. However, it is the Ducks loss in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that got him the axe. The Ducks bowed out of the playoffs in seven games, losing to Nashville after leading three games to two at one point. The Ducks have replaced Boudreau with a familiar face in Randy Carlyle, who coached the team from 2005 to 2011. In just over six seasons, Carlyle won 273 games and lost 182. In the six full seasons behind the bench, Anaheim made the playoffs five times. His follow-up stint in Toronto wasn’t quite so good.
- The Calgary Flames dismissed coach Bob Hartley in May and appointed Glen Gulutzan as his successor. Hartley had won the Coach of the Year award in 2015, making Calgary’s firing of him seem harsh. However, looking at the long-term under Hartley, things looked less severe. In four years with the Flames, Hartley’s men only made the playoffs once, in 2015, and the team had a below .500 winning percentage in the non-playoff seasons. Hartley has been replaced by former Vancouver Canucks’ assistant coach Gulutzan, who most recently was the head coach of the Dallas Stars from 2011 to 2013.
- Following his sacking at the hands of the Ducks, Bruce Boudreau was hired by the Minnesota Wild. Fans in Minnesota should be ecstatic about his appointment. In five seasons with the Ducks, Boudreau led them to the playoffs in four consecutive years, finishing first in the Pacific Division each time. Boudreau takes over for John Torchetti who was put in place as the Wild’s interim coach after Mike Yeo was fired in February. Yeo posted a 23-22-10 record. The Wild did make the playoffs under Torchetti as a wild card. However, the Minnesotans were knocked out in the first round by the Dallas Stars.
- Guy Boucher takes over the Ottawa Senators after the team missed out on the 2016 playoffs. Boucher hasn’t been the head coach of a NHL club since being fired by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2013 after 32 games. In three season with the Lightning, Boucher made the playoffs once. Dave Cameron, the man Boucher has replaced, was dismissed after a season and a half behind the bench. Ottawa General Manager Bryan Murray’s resignation from the team paved the way for Cameron’s sacking. However, the former coach is now in Calgary, and will be an assistant coach to Gulutzan.