By Eddy Jones
The list of available coaches is a long one, but has no clear replacement for Bruce Boudreau behind the Anaheim Ducks bench. Bob Murray has stated that he has a list of possible replacements and the names listed below are potential candidates that could be on it.
Boucher previously coached the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2010-13 amassing a (97-79-20) record. After being fired by the Lightning, he coached Bern in the Swiss League until 2015. He brings a small sample size of NHL coaching experience, but is a legitimate option for many of the vacant coaching positions right now. (UPDATE 5/8/15: Boucher was hired as the head coach by the Ottawa Senators)
Cameron has a long coaching resume which includes the OHL, AHL, and NHL. He was the successor to Paul Maclean after he was fired in Ottawa. He led the Senators to the playoffs in his first year in charge, but failed to improve on that this season, ultimately missing the playoffs. This led to his firing and spot on our list.
A familiar name to most Ducks fans as he coached them to their only Stanley Cup in 2007. He was the man who was replaced by Boudreau back in 2011. So it would be extremely ironic for him the replace Bruce five years later. He also coached the Toronto Maple Leafs where he was also hired by Brian Burke. Which makes Calgary a likely landing spot for him this time around.
Crawford has probably the most NHL coaching experience on our list. He has won more than 500 games as an NHL coach, but has been plying his trade for the last four years in the Swiss League. He has won the Jack Adams as well as a Stanley Cup, both in 1995 with the Colorado Avalanche.(UPDATE 5/9/15: Crawford was hired as an assistant coach by the Ottawa Senators)
Dineen has some previous history with the Ducks organization as he coached the Portland Pirates from 2005-2011. Portland was Anaheim’s AHL affiliate from 2005-2008. He coached Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry as a part of the 2005-2006 Pirates team. He took over as head coach of the Florida Panthers in 2011 and led them to their first Division title in franchise history. He currently holds the position of assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks and won a Stanley Cup in 2014-2015.
Eakins has coached most of his career in the AHL. Starting with the Toronto Marlies, where he had four successful seasons as the bench boss. He is currently coaching the Ducks AHL affiliate in San Diego. Eakins also coached two seasons in Edmonton where he amassed an unimpressive record of 36-63-14. However, it is the Edmonton Oilers we’re talking about.
A former player for the Ducks and tabbed as the best coach currently not in the NHL, there is much to like about Travis Green. However, a lack of NHL experience may not be what Bob Murray and his staff are looking for. Green brings a track record of success, winning the WHL championship in Portland and coaching the Utica Comets to the Calder Cup final last year.
He has enjoyed lots of success in the NHL, coaching the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup in 2000-2001 and amassing an impressive 193-109-48 record along the way. He went on to coach the Atlanta Thrashers and ZSC Lions of the Swiss League before being named as Calgary Flames head coach in 2012. With the Flames, Hartley won the Jack Adams in 2015 (the first in franchise history). Known as a hard-nosed coach, he may be the “kick in the pants” these Ducks players need.
Is currently enjoying an extremely successful first year with the Toronto Marlies. He is considered to be a part of the new blood in hockey as his approach to coaching revolves around analytics. With Mike Babcock locked up for seven years in Toronto, Keefe will have to look elsewhere for an NHL coaching opportunity.
The former Ottawa Senators bench boss and current Ducks assistant coach is probably the most likely option to take over as head coach. He led the Ducks power play to a league leading 23.1% this year and is a very good option for the Ducks if they want to hire from within.
This has to be the most interesting name on the list. The current coach of the Los Angeles Kings and two-time Stanley Cup champion may be coaching somewhere else next season as discussion on a new contract has not yet taken place. Sutter would come at a hefty price as Mike Babcock has set a new standard for coaching salaries this past year. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds, reports have suggested that Bob Murray was at last nights San Diego Gulls game discussing such a move with Kings GM Dean Lombardi. (Update 5/12/15: According to the LA Times, he has signed a new deal with the Kings.)
Another coach who is looking to get back into the NHL. Wilson has history with the Ducks as he was the first head coach in franchise history. He coached the Mighty Ducks from 1993-1997. His most recent coaching stint came with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2008-2012.
Yawney led the Ducks to a number one ranked penalty kill this year in his second season as an assistant coach. He has limited NHL coaching experience dating back to the 2005-2006 season where he was head coach of the Chicago Blackhawks. Another good option if the Ducks decide to hire from within.
Won a Stanley Cup as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins and coached the Minnesota Wild for five seasons before being fired this year. Made the playoffs in three of the four years he was in charge and lost to the Blackhawks each time. He is still relatively young at 42 and shouldn’t be without a head coaching job for too long.
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