NHL Hot Seat: NHL Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2024

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Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Pascal Vincent, top center, looks on from the bench during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Boston.
(AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Michael DeRosa @ Jun 10, 2024, 8:30 AM

With the offseason here for most NHL teams, now is a prime time to see coaches around the NHL get fired. Sheldon Keefe was recently let go by the Maple Leafs, but he has already found his next gig with the Devils. 

Due to changes behind the bench being on the rise, we could still see multiple coaches let go by their clubs before the season starts. As a result, let’s go over four coaches who could be given the boot before the start of the 2024-25 season.

NHL Hot Seat: NHL Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2024

Pascal Vincent – Blue Jackets 

Pascal Vincent is a coach to pay attention to this summer. There was some hope that the Blue Jackets would take a step forward this season after improving their defense by adding Damon Severson and Ivan Provorov. However, they were once again among the worst teams in the NHL. 

Furthermore, after hiring Don Waddell, speculation has grown about Vincent’s future with the Blue Jackets. The new Blue Jackets president and GM may want to start his time off with the club by bringing in a new coach, especially with how this season went in Columbus. 

It is also clear that some of the Blue Jackets’ top players, including Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine, had trouble fitting into Vincent’s system. As a result, it may not be the worst thing in the world for Columbus to add a new voice to the room. 

Potential Replacement: Todd McLellan could be an interesting coach for the Blue Jackets to bring in. While his time with the Kings ended in a poor fashion, he has had a good amount of success in the NHL and could help Columbus turn things back around. 

Mike Sullivan – Penguins

Mike Sullivan is a coach who has the potential to be fired, as the Penguins missed the playoffs for the second season in a row. When noting that they had high expectations heading into the season, missing the playoffs was a major disappointment. 

It is clear that the Penguins are trying to stay competitive during the final years of Sidney Crosby’s career, but right now, they are not close to being a true contender. Because of this, now may be the time for a change behind the bench. A new voice could be the drive they need to get things back on track.

Sullivan has had an excellent tenure with the Penguins, but with Pittsburgh heading in the wrong direction, a change may benefit him and the team. If he does get let go, there would be a lot of interest in him because of his past success and overall experience.

Derek Lalonde – Red Wings 

After holding a wild-card spot for most of the season, the Red Wings’ struggles forced them out of a playoff spot at the end of the campaign. It was a brutal way for the Red Wings to go out, as it seemed that playoff hockey was finally returning to Detroit. 

Due to the Red Wings’ poor play down the stretch, there has been buzz about the prospect of Derek Lalonde being let go by the team. With Detroit looking to finally take that next step, a new voice may be needed. This is especially true if they can land a more proven coach. 

Potential Replacement: Gerard Gallant would be a big-time addition to the Red Wings. He has an excellent coaching resume and could help Detroit blossom into a playoff team because of it. With that, he also played nine seasons as a player for the Red Wings.

Ryan Huska – Flames 

Ryan Huska is a coach who has picked up some steam regarding hot-seat talk. The Flames took another step backward this season, and some have speculated that the club could make another change behind the bench because of it. 

With there being some big-name and experienced coaches available, it is fair to wonder if the Flames could make another coaching change. The Flames want to be competitive as soon as possible, so it is something to look out for. 

Potential Replacement: Dean Evason is a coach to watch if the Flames want to make a change behind the bench. He had plenty of success with the Wild and could help the Flames get back on the right track because of it. He also played for the Flames as a player.

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