No NHL coaching dismissals – yet

 

Todd McLellan's Sharks got a big win on Saturday. (James Guillory, USA TODAY Sports)

Todd McLellan’s Sharks got a big win on Saturday. (James Guillory, USA TODAY Sports)

It’s never if coaches will be fired during an NHL season. It’s always when.

That’s why it seems a bit odd that we are about to enter December without a single casualty in the NHL coaching fraternity.

Last season, the Philadelphia Flyers fired Peter Laviolette after three games. In the abbreviated 2012-13 season, the Buffalo Sabres fired Lindy Ruff a month into the season.

Monday is Dec. 1, and by that time in the 2011-12 season, four coaches (St. Louis’ David Payne,  Carolina’s Paul Maurice, Washington’s Bruce Boudreau and Anaheim’s Randy Carlyle) had lost their jobs. Los Angeles’ Terry Murray was fired on Dec. 12 that season.

Back in 2010, the New York Islanders fired Scott Gordon before Thanksgiving.

Could this be the season that all of the coaches survive until Christmas?

It’s possible, but history says it is unlikely.

Toronto’s Randy Carlyle was on many preseason lists as the coach likely to be fired. But his Toronto Maple Leafs are in a playoff position, and he seemingly has earned temporary immunity.

Here’s our coaches watch list:

Dallas Eakins (Edmonton Oilers): The Oilers were supposed to be improved this season, and they are statistically the NHL’s second-worst team.  The Oilers have talent, but they still look like the NHL’s messiest franchise.

Dallas Eakin's Oilers are off to a bad start. (Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports)

Dallas Eakins’ Oilers are off to a bad start. (Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports)

Todd McLellan (San Jose Sharks):  The Sharks won a big game Saturday over Anaheim, but the Sharks’ early season struggles had everyone wondering if he would be the first to go. CSNbayarea.com columnist Ray Ratto said a few days ago said it would be a mistake to fire the highly respected McLellan. If he is fired, he won’t be out of work long.

Craig Berube (Philadelphia Flyers):  There has been no indication that Berube is in trouble, but he wasn’t GM Ron Hextall’s hire, the Flyers have a history of impatience and the team seems to be underperforming.  Working in Berube’s favor: Players like playing for him.  Players have publicly supported him, saying the team’s slide was their fault, not his.

Your game today

Vancouver at Detroit, 2

Follow the rest of USA TODAY Sports’ in-depth NHL coverage at nhl.usatoday.com.

Article source: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/11/no-nhl-coaching-dismissals-yet

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