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Recycling Applies to NHL Coaches?

June 24, 2013

Admittedly, I am not much of a recycler. I take my pop cans & milk cartons to our local depot in order to get the money back, and my wife is a conscientious organizer of glass, plastic, and cardboard. Yet the truth is that if a tree has to die to, so be it. There are college students who need tree-planting jobs each summer and I have worked extensively in post-secondary education so… (its a win-win situation).

However, I am truly surprised, even a little disappointed at the extensive recycling currently happening in the NHL coaching ranks. Within about 48 hours last week, the Dallas Stars hired Lindy Ruff, former coach of the Buffalo Sabres for the last 14 seasons, the New York Rangers hired Alain Vigneault, most recently the bench boss of the Vancouver Canucks for seven season, and John Tortorella, fired from the Rangers after their playoff exit, was reportedly offered the Canucks’ head coaching position (and may be announced as the new head coach on Tues June 25). You can look at the Anaheim Mighty Ducks current coach Bruce Boudreau who was only unemployed a few months after leading the Washington Capitals. Or you can find the former Ducks coach, Randy Carlyle, currently behind the Toronto Maple Leafs bench. Admittedly, there has always been a “coaching fraternity” and even an “old boys club” but is there no “new blood” entering the coaching ranks?

Oh yes, there is! Look at the Oilers, you say! They hired Dallas Eakins who has never been an NHL head coach! Yet Eakins reportedly interviewed for at least two other positions before “choosing” the Edmonton option and the Oilers hired and fired Ralph Kruger after only one (lockout-shortened) season. From among the options Eakins considered, its actually surprising he chose Edmonton.

Of the 30 NHL teams, half (expecting Tortorella’s announcement as Vancouver’s choice on Tuesday) of the current head coaches were previously head coaches of another NHL team.

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