Photo: Knights On Ice
A few years ago, FiveThirtyEight.com calculated that the average tenure for an NHL head coach is 2.4 seasons. In comparison, an NBA head coach stays with his team for an average of 2.3 seasons while an NFL head coach stays for an average of 3.6 and an MLB head coach remains in his spot for 3.8. After the Minnesota Wild fired head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday morning, the NHL has seen eight coaches fired so far this season.
It also marked the 15th coaching change over the previous offseason, almost half the teams in the NHL. Since the Original Six Era began in 1943, there had never been a season with 14 from one to the next before this season.
The eight coaching changes this season are only one behind the NHL record for most coaches fired in a season and only two-thirds of this year is in the books. (Graphic by fivethirtyeight.com)
Boudreau joined Mike Babcock (fired by Toronto Maple Leafs on November 20 in favor of Sheldon Keefe), John Hynes (New Jersey Devils, who named Alain Nasraddine the interim on December 3), Peter DeBoer (San Jose Sharks, who named Bob Boughner the interim on December 11), Peter Laviolette (Nashville Predators, who replaced him with Hynes on January 6), and Gerard Gallant (Vegas Golden Knights, who replaced him with DeBoer on January 16).
In addition, head coach Bill Peters resigned as Calgary Flames head coach on November 29 after being accused of racial allegations and head coach Jim Montgomery was fired as Dallas Stars head coach on December 10 for “unprofessional conduct.” It was later revealed that the Montgomery firing was related to alcohol abuse. The Flames named associate coach Geoff Ward the interim while the Stars gave associate Rick Bowness the interim tag.
The highest GAR (goals above replacement) among teams that fired their head coach for on-ice reasons rank 23rd.
By Harrison Brown