It’s been 12 seismic months in NHL Brothers training.
Since the start of the 2021-22 season, there have been training changes in CanucksAnd the CanadianAnd the oiledAnd the BruinsAnd the golden knightsAnd the leopardsAnd the IslandersAnd the SharksAnd the Black HawksAnd the FlyersAnd the red wingsAnd the Planes And the stars.
This is over a dozen organizations with new master trainers, if you keep score.
To catch up, the off-season designations were:
• Peter DeBoer in Dallas (four-year deal, average salary of $4.25 million)
• Bruce Cassidy in Vegas (five years, $4.5 million)
• Paul Morris in Florida (three years, just under $4 million)
• John Tortorella in Philadelphia (4 years, $4 million)
Rick Bowness in Winnipeg (2 years at $2.5 million, with a third-year club option closer to $3 million)
• Jim Montgomery in Boston (three years at just under $2 million)
• David Quinn in San Jose (three years, just under $2 million)
• Luke Richardson in Chicago (four years, $1.5 million)
• Derek Lalonde in Detroit (unconfirmed term, but I think it’s three years)
• Lynn Lambert on Long Island (an uncertain term, but I think three years with a choice)
Martin St. Louis (three years in Montreal, I think, south from $3 million a season) and Jay Woodcroft (three years for $2 million in Edmonton) also signed new deals after taking over their teams midway through last season.
We should also mention that veteran head coach Mike Sullivan has signed a three-year extension at Pittsburgh, giving him a total of five years left. He had this season and next on his current deal. The extension is believed to be worth about $5.5 million annually when the 2024-25 season begins, which would make Sullivan among the highest-paid coaches in the league. In my opinion, it is totally worth it.
On Mike Sullivan, and why the Penguins are right about keeping him around for many more years. Click here to read it and to sign up for The Athletic for $1 per month: https://t.co/XpJ7IJwsxO
– Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) August 31, 2022
Although this isn’t 100 percent confirmed, I believe John Cooper is currently the highest-paid coach in the league, at about $5.3 million a season (not counting the fact that Mike Babcock owes another $5.875 million from maple leaves for this season, the last of that eight-year deal).
Even with all this movement, and looking into the future, we know there are also some decisions looming elsewhere. Here’s a look at the coaches entering the final years of their contracts – pending UFAs, if you like:
Dallas Eakins, ducks: New Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek decided to pick the option year in the Eakins deal in April, which I think was a smart move to give himself time to evaluate his coach further. I’ve always thought a new GM should delay his first change of training as long as possible. You just get so many recruits as coaches as a general manager. And who knows, maybe Verbeek and Eakins will craft the type of relationship off this list for rebuilding that leads to a new coach contract. But as it stands, Eakins, who took over as head coach at Anaheim in June 2019 after four years at AHL San Diego, is entering this season as a UFA suspended.
Daryl Sutter, flame: I wouldn’t be surprised if extended here with award winner Jack Adams. My sense is that Sutter would be open about it, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the organization had already discussed it. But as we speak, the veteran coach is entering the final season of the deal he signed in March 2021 when he took over.
Lindy Raff demons: This is my own reading of things, not anything that comes to me from anyone, but the Devils who hired finalist Jack Adams, Andrew Brunet, as co-coach on July 15 (in a three-year deal) seem to indicate where this is heading after the season, Given the expiration of the RAV deal. But then again, who knows? I think the Devils will take a positive step as a team this season. What that means for Raff, 62, given his pending UFA status, we’ll see.
Bruce Boudreaux, Canucks: Who knew that the mutual option that was present in Boudreau’s deal this season (with a salary of $2.5 million) would cause so much panic and intrigue? But after a strange break, both sides finally confirmed that the veteran coach would be back for this season.
Bruce Boudreau opens up about it #canox Back: “I’ve always wanted to come back”
– Thomas Drance 25 May 2022
Where does it go from here? This is anyone’s guess. Signature GT Miller The extension indicates the organization’s intent to try to retool it while also trying to win games, which is good news for Boudreaux as much as having a competitive roster as he had hoped. Let’s see where this new year goes, as far as the coach’s future.
Peter Laviolette, capitals: The veteran bench chief was appointed in September 2020 on a three-year deal totaling just under $15 million. My understanding is that there have already been discussions about a possible extension. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but they are talking.
Besides the pending UFAs, there is the group of coaches with this season and the following left on their current deals, so they signed during the 2023-24 season:
Some of these situations may lead to decisions being made next summer, before these coaches enter their lame duck years.
I think Sabers are at a really high level in Granato and I can see that lead to an extension next summer if the team takes an impressive step forward this season. A qualitative future is rather clear, depending on whether the team finally makes it out of the first round of playoffs. The Stanley Cup champion Avalanche would be smart to extend Bednar next summer, and I suspect that’s exactly what will happen. Bednar is earning $2.1 million this season and $2.3 million. million next year, so he should be in line for a decent raise given his recent exploits.
(Bruce Boudreau photo: Sergey Belsky/USA Today)