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Welcome to some other edition of Dear Abbey! I don’t give life advice just like the real Dear Abby, but I really do discuss hockey.
NHL players are needs to leave their summer cottages and obtain back on the ice, rendering it a perfect time and energy to sign in with the members of the B/R hockey community to require their applying for grants the NHL offseason.
With 10 head coaching hires come early july, we asked readers to provide us their predictions, opinions and overall applying for grants the moves made behind the benches. Before we get started doing some scorching hot takes, let’s recap all the moves.
- The Boston Bruins fired coach Bruce Cassidy and hired former Dallas Stars coach Jim Montgomery. Cassidy was quickly hired to teach the Vegas Golden Knights.
- The Chicago Blackhawks replaced interim coach Derek King with Luke Richardson, a former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach.
- Along with his contract up, Rick Bowness stepped from the Dallas Stars following the team was eliminated in the initial round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was replaced by Peter DeBoer, who had been recently fired by the Vegas Golden Knights. Bowness visited the Winnipeg Jets to displace interim coach Dave Lowry.
- Steve Yzerman considered a coach he caused in Tampa Bay, tabbing former Lightning assistant Derek Lalonde to teach the Detroit Red Wings. Lalonde replaced Jeff Blashill, who didn’t lead Detroit to an absolute record beyond his first year with the team.
- The Habs took the interim tag off Martin St. Louis and gave him a three-year contract.
- The Florida Panthers replaced Jack Adams finalist Andrew Brunette with Paul Maurice. Brunette is currently an assistant on Lindy Ruff’s bench in NJ.
- The Edmonton Oilers took the interim tag from Jay Woodcroft and extended him for 3 years.
- The San Jose Sharks replaced Bob Boughner with former NY Rangers coach David Quinn.
- The Philadelphia Flyers fired interim coach Mike Yeo and replaced him with John Tortorella.
- Elsewhere in the Metropolitan Division, the brand new York Islanders stunningly cut ties with Barry Trotz and promoted his longtime assistant, Lane Lambert.
With that taken care of, we checked with the fans to observe how they felt about a few of these moves. Also, shoutout to users Deke (@DekeGeek) and Pierson Wayne (@Pierson). That they had a number of takes, with most of them which range from tepid to absolutely fiery. We want to view it!
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Peter DeBoer will need the Dallas Stars, a team with the capacity of competing for the Stanley Cup, to the Conference Final as well as completely to the Stanley Cup Final and then lose disappointingly. Hmmm, where have we heard this story BeFoer?(@Pierson)
Done well with the play on his last name. DeBoer is well known for having success in Year 1, and the Stars are just two years taken off the Stanley Cup Final in the bubble.
The 54-year-old DeBoer visited the 2012 Stanley Cup Final in his first season with the Devils and the 2016 Cup Final in his first season behind the San Jose Sharks bench. He also led the Golden Knights to the Western Conference Final in the 2020 Edmonton bubble.
However, defenseman John Klingberg, who would’ve been an ideal easily fit into DeBoer’s system, joined the Anaheim Ducks in free agency. Meanwhile, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are clearly on the downswing of these respective careers.
However the Stars do involve some game-breaking young talent in defenseman Miro Heiskanen, who played in the Cup Final, forward Jason Robertson, and goalie Jake Oettinger, who had a few of the best numbers of the 2022 postseason, albeit in a seven-game sample.
So may i see DeBoer taking the Stars to the ultimate in Year 1? Sure.
The Colorado Avalanche lost several key players from their championship roster, plus they could still lose Nazem Kadri. The Minnesota Wild didn’t show much in the playoffs, while nobody really knows how good the LA Kings will undoubtedly be next season. The St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will undoubtedly be tough. No-one knows what things to expect from Vegas or the Nashville Predators,
The Stars ought to be a playoff team, as soon as you’re in to the postseason, anything can occur.
MAY I see Dallas getting bounced out from the first round again? Also, yes. The defense corps is thin, though if Thomas Harley emerges, which could help. Scott Wedgewood is behind Oettinger, and it’s really tough to learn if he’s truly an NHL goalie.
General manager Jim Nill will probably want to do some maneuvering of their own to boost this roster.
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Paul Maurice can do wonders in Florida. Weaker group than this past year but still at the very top group, especially with Tkachuk. (@candyman22)
If we’re being honest, I didn’t quite understand why hire. Maurice is an excellent coach, but he only took the Jets at night second round once.
This felt like another recycling job: A coach who ‘s been around but hasn’t exactly accomplished quite a bit got a head job due to the fact he previously one previously. This is typical of the NHL, and sure, you can say exactly the same of DeBoer, but he has two Stanley Cup Final appearances on his resume.
However, teams did start the gates a bit and looked for some new faces come early july, so it’s nothing like we haven’t seen any progress on that front.
Just half a year before taking the Florida job, Maurice said he was burnt out and had a need to step from coaching. However, speaking with general manager Bill Zito reinvigorated him. Perhaps a new challenge was just what the 55-year-old needed.
It is a top roster with Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad. Forward Anton Lundell also had a breakout rookie season.
Maurice may distribute minutes in a manner that keeps the legs of his top-six fresh, and he is able to do this with a roster such as this one, although defense requires a hit without MacKenzie Weegar, who went with Jonathan Huberdeau to the Calgary Flames in the trade for Tkachuk.
The majority of their top players are locked up through another couple of years, so he’ll have time and energy to implement his systems, however the time for the Panthers is currently. The club believes they’re prepared to contend for a Stanley Cup immediately, plus they believe Maurice is really a coach who is able to capitalize on that window.
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The Cassidy firing would’ve made some sense should they hired another kind of coach. But with the Montgomery hiring, it’s like replacing A with a smaller B. (@DekeGeek)
There is some discussion in the app as to the reasons, exactly, the Boston Bruins eliminated Cassidy. Cassidy thought he previously some job security, and then learn later that has been false.
Fans were quick to state he was a scapegoat for general manager Don Sweeney, plus some of the Boston columnists felt exactly the same. There have been questions about how exactly Cassidy handled the development of young players, and there have been rumors that the veterans had tuned him out.
So, in comes Montgomery, who was simply wanting another crack at a head job. His tenure with the Stars found an abrupt result in December of 2019 once the club dismissed him for “unprofessional conduct“, and he subsequently entered an alcohol cure. Then spent two seasons on Craig Berube’s bench in St. Louis.
I could understand why the Bruins this hire. He originates from a college background, having coached at the University of Denver.
Boston isn’t just a town where college hockey is portion of the culture, however the organization requires a large amount of college free agents. Needless to say, the club also interviewed Quinn, the former Boston University coach, but ultimately decided that Montgomery, an affable yet demanding players’ coach, was an improved fit.
To state that Montgomery is really a lesser coach than Cassidy is most likely fair, but maybe only predicated on NHL resume alone. He won championships at the USHL and NCAA levels and took the Stars to the playoffs in 2019.
But Cassidy took the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, therefore i wasn’t surprised to note that Boston fans wanted a far more established coach.
The Bruins is going to be a playoff team next season given that Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci announced their returns, but this club could possibly be considering a rebuild in another 2 yrs. Sure, they got the band back together, but just how long can they keep playing?
Maybe that is when Montgomery finally establishes himself at the NHL level.
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I have no idea what the Flyers are doing. You are not competitive, why did you generate Torts? (@DRW1AJN)
John “Torts” Tortorella, a blue-collar, passionate, demanding, often obstinate head coach meets these horrendous Philadelphia Flyers, a blue-collar, passionate, demanding, often obstinate fanbase. So what’s the worst that may happen? (@Pierson)
Torts is an excellent fit for the Flyers. He’s just four years prematurily .. (@DekeGeek)
I’ve long thought that Tortorella will be a great easily fit into Philadelphia for most of the reason why mentioned previously. He’s great at holding players accountable but additionally protecting them from harsh criticism from the media and a demanding fanbase.
When general manager Chuck Fletcher made the hire in June, he managed to get with the intent to compete next season. He discussed an “aggressive retool” and made moves (though bad ones) to secure players like Rasmus Ristolainen in anticipation of a go back to the postseason.
Had Johnny Gaudreau get back to Philadelphia, the Flyers probably might have been a playoff team. But strangely enough, it had been moves like this Ristolainen extension that precluded the Flyers from signing a hometown hero. The club couldn’t make it happen with the salary cap and didn’t move James van Riemsdyk, another South NJ native, exactly like Gaudreau.
Even funnier, had the Flyers not earned another native of the Garden State, defenseman Tony DeAngelo, the cap space for Gaudreau may have worked. DeAngelo, an all-offense, no-defense blueliner, includes a long history of disciplinary issues aswell. There exists a possibility he could clash with a demanding coach like Tortorella.
Needless to say, anyone can clash with Tortorella. He’s type of a firebrand, but he has a reputation to be an extremely caring individual within the rough exterior.
Four years from now, the Flyers should be amid a rebuild, plus they might have a fresh general manager. Who knows if Torts will undoubtedly be around for that or not?
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I hardly understand the Martin St. Louis extension, unless they anticipate rebuilding for his whole three-year contract. Which may make it a fantastic hire. (@DekeGeek)
I had an opportunity to speak to some Habs about St. Louis toward the finish of the standard season. He’s not that far taken off his playing career, having retired following 2014-15 season, so he is able to relate well and communicate effectively.
As our friend Deke mentioned in another comment, he did worlds for Cole Caufield’s development. The Habs’ 2019 first-round pick have been demoted to the AHL to get his scoring stride. However in 37 NHL games under St. Louis, he scored 22 goals and assisted on 13, shooting at a 19.3 percent clip. Compare that to just one single goal and a paltry 1.4 percent shooting rate and the change is evident.
It is a totally new ballgame in Montreal at this time with Jeff Gorton and Kent Johnson running things in hockey ops and Chantal Machabe in public areas relations. There’s less pressure on Caufield to be something he isn’t. The team knows the rebuilding efforts. With out a captain, St. Louis’ leadership will undoubtedly be crucial. And a three-year contract is on par using what most coaches in this position would receive. Montreal improved on the summer, also it can continue steadily to make strides on the next 2 yrs and put everything together to hopefully go back to the postseason in his third.
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Lane Lambert was the proper decision for Long Island. (@h_mock)
I’d trust that sentiment. Lambert has been an assistant increasing for a couple years now, likely back again to 2018 when he helped Trotz guide the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup championship.
Being truly a Trotz disciple, Lambert will probably keep a lot of exactly the same staunch defensive system set up. If he is able to open up even more room for offensive and for Mathew Barzal to generate offense, then your Islanders will undoubtedly be back the postseason. This team was decimated by COVID-19 and an extra-long road trip due to the opening of the brand new UBS Arena last fall. They struggled offensively because of injuries to players like Kyle Palmieri.
Lou Lamoriello’s decision to fire Trotz was an unpopular one. He doesn’t quite have exactly the same level of fan goodwill he had in NJ, when he was recognized to fire coaches out of nowhere but was also winning championships.
Could signing free agent center Nazem Kadri buy him a bit more? The Isles have reportedly made him an offer, but it isn’t like they’re looking for a center so I’m uncertain it might be a fit. However, these were struggling to land Gaudreau and Lamoriello had to pivot, so here we have been.
The only real other real acquisition he made come early july was to trade a first-round pick to Montreal for defenseman Alexander Romanov, who have not yet shown that he’s a day to day NHL player.
The very best decision Lamoriello has made up to now come early july was to market the 57-year-old Lambert and retain goaltending coach Mitch Korn, who helped Ilya Sorokin set up the second-best save percentage of the standard season this past year (.925). John MacLean was also put into the staff recently, giving Lambert a skilled NHL coach to draw from.
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New head coach Derek Lalonde could be unproven in the NHL, but so can be his Detroit Red Wings hatchlings, and I believe he’s the very best hire of the offseason. (@Pierson)
When Trotz became available, many wondered if general manager and former Red Wings great Steve Yzerman would snap him around help expedite the rebuilding process. Yzerman keeps his thoughts and processes very private, however when Blashill was fired it had been the initial indication he was prepared to take the next phase.
Also it was clear in the manner he revamped the roster he is, actually, ready for Detroit to take the next phase. He signed free agent center Andrew Copp to a five-year deal, made a good acquisition to improve the top-six with David Perron, traded for defenseman Ben Chiarot and solidified the goaltending tandem with a trade for Ville Husso.
Now it’s around Lalonde to place everything together. Jon Cooper’s former assistant has coached in three straight Stanley Cup Finals and helped Cooper capture two championships. Yzerman, because you can remember, hired Cooper in Tampa, so Lalonde have been linked to Detroit prior to the postseason even started. It’s clear that Yzerman comes with an eye for talent, and when the 49-year-old Lalonde actually is half as effective as Cooper then it might be considered successful.
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Devils won the coaching carousel, getting Brunette and McGill to become listed on Ruff. The players wanted Ruff so that they gave Ruff an employee. (@DekeGeek)
It has been a significant year for the coach they call Bruno. He took over for Joel Quenneville in Florida on an interim basis when Quenneville stepped down amid the fallout of the sexual assault allegations created by Kyle Beach against an ex-Blackhawks video coach. The Panthers won the President’s Trophy, but lost with their cross-state rivals, the Lightning, in the next round of the playoffs.
Brunette’s inexperience showed in the postseason and he said he looked back on some coaching decisions and recognized he must have done a couple of things differently following conclusion of the Panthers’ run. The team never removed Brunette’s interim tag and hired Maurice. Brunette had little incentive in which to stay Sunrise, so he went north to become listed on his former teammate Tom Fitzgerald in NJ.
Jack Hughes is a vocal supporter of coach Lindy Ruff, despite two losing seasons in Newark. Your choice to provide Ruff another chance stemmed from the injuries to the goaltenders, Hughes and Dougie Hamilton last season. The Devils were likely to compete for a playoff spot last season, however when Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier both transpired with injuries, it began to break apart.
The Devils added Brunette and Ryan McGill to Ruff’s staff in July. It is a great situation. If the 62-year-old Ruff decides to retire third , season, Brunette could possibly be prepared to take his spot. Or even, he gets another year of experience being an assistant he may use to prep for a potential head job.
Now, the Devils have to hope that everyone stays healthy, otherwise, they’re considering the 11th straight year of rebuilding efforts.