NHL sees several coaching and GM changes during playoffs

With the NHL playoffs being in full gear over the past several weeks fans may have missed out on all the front office changes that have taken place since the regular season ended. Let’s go over these moves so we know just who’s in charge when the teams head into the upcoming NHL Entry Draft on June 22/23 in Dallas, Texas. Since the season came to an end there have been four coaching changes and three general manager moves.

Bill Peters took over the head coaching duties with the Calgary Flames on April 23rd after he resigned from the same position with the Carolina Hurricanes. He compiled a 137-138-53 record in Carolina and never made the playoffs in his four seasons at the helm. The 53-year-old Alberta native will now be taking over a Calgary club which missed the postseason this year. The coaching job became vacant with the Flames after Glen Gulutzan was fired.

The Dallas Stars named Jim Montgomery as their new head coach on May 4th to replace 66-year-old Ken Hitchcock who announced his retirement a few weeks earlier. Hitchcock remains with the team as a consultant after 22 years of coaching in the NHL which included a Stanley Cup triumph with Dallas in 1998/99. Hitchcock ranks third in NHL history in coaching wins with 823. The 48-year-old Montgomery has over 10 years of college coaching experience and won the national title in America in 2017, but this is his first crack at the NHL.

Former NHL star Rod Brind’Amour was named the new head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on May 8th, shortly after former bench boss Bill Peters left the club. Brind’Amour has been with the team as an assistant coach since 2011, a year after he retired as a player, and helped out with player development. This will be the 47-year-old’s first head coaching job in hockey.

The latest head coach to be hired was David Quinn as he joined the New York Rangers on May 23rd. The 51-year-old takes over from Alain Vigneault who was fired on April 8th right after the season ended with the club missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Vigneault spent the last five years with the Rangers and led the team to the Stanley Cup Final and also won a Presidents’ Trophy. Quinn’s previous jobs include being a development coach with USA Hockey as well as coaching in the college ranks and the AHL. He has NHL experience as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche.

As for the general managers, Carolina named Don Waddell as the club’ president and GM back on May 8th as the 59-year-old replaces Ron Francis. Waddell is a former pro player, scout, NHL coach and general manager. He’s been the president of the Hurricanes for the past four years and the club hasn’t made the playoffs for the past nine seasons now.

The Toronto Maple Leafs named 32-year-old Kyle Dubas as the club’s new general manager on May 11th. Dubas was formerly an assistant GM with the club to 75-year-old Lou Lamoriello. However, Lamoriello wasn’t re-signed by the team as they hoped he’d take a consulting job with the club. Lamoriello then jumped ship and ended up with the New York Islanders as president of hockey operations. Dubas was previously a general manager with Sault Ste. Marie in  the OHL and the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The Leafs also lost assistant general manager Mark Hunter after Dubas was promoted as he left the club. Dubas then promoted Brandon Pridham and hired Laurence Gilman as assistant general managers. 
The newest general manager is Paul Fenton as he was hired by the Minnesota Wild on May 21st. The 58-year-old former NHL player was previously an assistant GM with the Nashville Predators and general manger of the Milwaukee Admirals AHL team. Fenton takes over the reins from Chuck Fletcher who was let go by the team a few weeks earlier.

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