lucky: Which NHL coaches have the best chance of succeeding in their new gigs?

Which NHL coaches have the best chance of succeeding in their new gigs?

Aug 1 2017 på 11:21
For the men who toil behind NHL benches, the Authentic #27 Johnthan Banks Youth Jersey hours are long and the leashes are short. So it's hardly a surprise that when the 2017-18 season begins, seven teams will have new coaches. Three of those seven are first-timers at this level, an extension of a hiring trend that has resulted in nearly a third of teams being helmed by rookie bench bosses. ESPN spoke with several current and former players about which of these coaches will fare best in their new homes. Hitchcock, 65, is by far the most experienced coach among the new hires, and the peak of his 20-season career came during his previous stint in Dallas. He led the Stars to the franchise's only Stanley Cup, in 1999, and within two victories of a repeat in 2000. Derian Hatcher, the defenseman who captained both of those Dallas teams as well as a Philadelphia Flyers squad coached by Hitchcock, said the veteran coach's attention to detail and emphasis on being responsible defensively make him a good choice to shore up the current Stars, which have struggled on both fronts. After hiring Hitchcock, Dallas bolstered its wobbly blue line, acquiring stalwart defenseman Marc Methot, and traded for veteran goalie Ben Bishop. The Stars also added a versatile center in the 6-foot-6 Martin Hanzal and a prolific scorer who can play either wing in Alexander Radulov. Add Miro Heiskanen, the top defenseman taken in the draft, an outstanding goalie prospect in Jake Oettinger and a roster that already included marquee talent in Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and it's clear Dallas -- which missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons -- has given Hitchcock plenty to work with. After Joakim Noah Authentic Jersey his stints in Dallas and Philly, Hitchcock led the Columbus Blue Jackets to the franchise's first playoff berth and the St. Louis Blues to the Western Conference finals. Hatcher said those experiences with young teams helped Hitchcock -- whose relentless style has worn down players in the past -- adapt to the current generation of NHLers. "Hitch is stubborn. He's going to go about things and do things his way," Hatcher said. "But I think the one thing he has learned is how to work with younger players." Stevens was an assistant under head coach Darryl Sutter when the Kings won two Stanley Cups in three seasons. When Sutter's taciturn tone and style fell out of favor with Los Angeles -- which has won only one playoff game since securing its second Cup, in 2014 -- both he and Kings GM Dean Lombardi were fired after last season. The defense-minded Stevens, 50 -- who succeeded Hitchcock as Flyers coach in 2006 after six years at the helm of Philly's AHL affiliate -- served as an assistant coach with the Kings, including four games in 2011-12 as L.A.'s interim head coach, and ran the penalty kill, among other duties. While the Kings didn't add much this offseason, they had a solid draft and expect a healthy Jonathan Quick to reinvigorate a nucleus that also includes centers Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter, as well as Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Drew Doughty. "He's got experience in a head coaching position now at multiple levels," said Hatcher of Stevens, for whom he played in Philly. "He's learned a ton." While the Sabres might not be ready to compete for the Cup yet, hiring Housley as the 18th coach in team history represents a huge step in the right direction. Following a season in which acrimony abounded and failure festered under former coach Dan Bylsma, the hands-on Housley should offer a breath of fresh air. The 53-year-old -- who rose from coaching in the high-school ranks to the NHL in less than five years -- helped the Nashville Predators develop the league's best defense corps Authentic Julius Erving Womens Jersey in four seasons as an assistant coach. Housley, whom Buffalo took with the No. 6 pick in the 1982 draft, was also an All-Star defenseman for the Sabres who played 21 seasons and became a Hall of Famer. "He was a great player, so everything that he says, you listen [to]," said Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm during the Western Conference finals. "More than that, he's just a great guy. Outside of the rink, he cares a lot about his players. "He's not a guy who will scream and yell at you, but he'll come with advice on what to do and how to be more successful out there." Getting top players such as center Jack Eichel, who was was limited to 61 games last season because of a high-ankle sprain, back on board will pay immediate dividends for the Sabres. Housley might eventually restore stability to the franchise. More immediately -- and perhaps ironically -- however, Buffalo's lack of solid play on the blue line could prove to be a fatal flaw. The "Boogie Man" was a rough-and-tumble rearguard during his career and then a wildly successful coach at the junior level with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. He now takes the reins of a franchise that saw its share of injuries and infighting during last year's tumultuous season. "I think Boughner is going to have a big job with the Panthers," said Jonathan Marchessault, a 30-goal scorer in 2016-17 whom the Vegas Golden Knights snagged after Florida left him unprotected in the expansion draft. "A lot of stuff happened with our team last year." Boughner, who played in in Florida's system back in the 1990s, is familiar with key Panthers such as captain Derek MacKenzie, whom he coached for a season in Columbus, and top defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who grew up near Windsor. Boughner also coached defensemen Mark Pysyk and Alex Petrovic at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka under-18 tournament. Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, one of several prominent pros who played for Boughner with the two-time Memorial Cup-champion Spitfires, described him as a pro-style coach who will have little difficulty making the transition to NHL coaching. Boughner bought the struggling

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