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COACHING CHANGES HAVE STARTED IN THE NHL

COACHING CHANGES HAVE STARTED IN THE NHL

BY KEVIN HARRIMAN

Boston Sports Desk Publisher

BOSTON – Statistics tell us that by the time Thanksgiving comes around, you can probably get a good idea of just how your hockey team is going to do for the season.

The number of clubs making the playoffs after a struggling to the Thanksgiving Day Holiday is few. Think back to the Boston Bruins start of the season. Many predictaed Claude Julien’s exit if the B’s were not in contention by the end of November. If the 3-7 start had continued, we would very likely be talking about a new Bruins Head Coach.

Two National Hockey League coaches got shown the door on Monday morning. Bruce Boudreau in Washington and the Hurricane’s Paul Maurice.

The Capitals (12-9-1) find themselves in 8th place in the eastern Conference and just a point ahead of 10th place Tampa Bay. There had been rumblings the last two weeks in Washington about Boudreau’s future after the Caps continued to struggled on the road. Washington has posted a 4-7-1 record away from home.

“I think Bruce came in here and emptied the tank,” Capitals GM George McPhee told reporters in Arlington, Va. “He gave it everything he could and did a really good job, but the tank was empty. When that happens, you get a new coach where the tank is full and see if it makes a difference.”

Dale Hunter has been named the new coach of the Capitals. The Capitals had big plans coming into this season of making a deep run in the playoffs. Last season’s disappointing second round loss to Tampa was behind them. But at this juncture, the Capitals are fighting for playoff positioning.

Carolina had hoped that this would be the year that they get into the playoffs and make a mark for themselves. The Hurricanes signed Tomas Kaberle  for big money this off season and then kept Joni Pitkanen signed for three more years, so the thought in Carolina was that big strides were being made.

Such is not the case to this point of the season. Carolina is last in the Southeast  Division with an 8-13-4 record. Overall, they are 14th in the Eastern Conference.

With the firings today, here is a look at the coaching tenures in the NHL:

Head coach Franchise Hire date Career games coached
Lindy Ruff Buffalo Sabres July 21, 1997 1,089 games
Barry Trotz Nashville Predators Aug. 6, 1997 1,006 games
Mike Babcock Detroit Red Wings July 14, 2005 678 games
Randy Carlyle Anaheim Ducks Aug. 1, 2005 516 games
Alain Vigneault Vancouver Canucks June 20, 2006 699 games
Claude Julien Boston Bruins June 21, 2007 588 games
Ron Wilson Toronto Maple Leafs June 10, 2008 1,361 games
Todd McLellan San Jose Sharks June 12, 2008 266 games
Terry Murray Los Angeles Kings July 17, 2008 1,006 games
Joel Quenneville Chicago Blackhawks Oct. 16, 2008 1,105 games
Dan Bylsma Pittsburgh Penguins Feb. 15, 2009 213 games
John Tortorella New York Rangers Feb. 23, 2009 744 games
Jacques Martin Montreal Canadiens June 1, 2009 1,286 games
Joe Sacco Colorado Avalanche June 4, 2009 188 games
Brent Sutter Calgary Flames June 23, 2009 350 games
Dave Tippett Phoenix Coyotes Sept. 24, 2009 678 games
Peter Laviolette Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 4, 2009 649 games
Scott Arniel Columbus Blue Jackets June 8, 2010 105 games
Guy Boucher Tampa Bay Lightning June 10, 2010 104 games
Tom Renney Edmonton Oilers June 22, 2010 533 games
Jack Capuano New York Islanders Nov. 15, 2010 86 games
Kevin Dineen Florida Panthers June 1, 2011 23 games
Paul MacLean Ottawa Senators June 14, 2011 23 games
Glen Gulutzan Dallas Stars June 17, 2011 23 games
Mike Yeo Minnesota Wild June 17, 2011 23 games
Claude Noel Winnipeg Jets June 24, 2011 47 games
Peter DeBoer New Jersey Devils July 19, 2011 268 games
Ken Hitchcock St. Louis Blues Nov. 6, 2011 1,051 games
Dale Hunter Washington Capitals Nov. 28, 2011 0 games
Kirk Muller Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 28, 2011 0 games

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