NHL Rumors: Teams Looking For Coaches To Follow Flyers Footsteps

Several teams, including the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and Ottawa Senators, are looking for a new coach this season.

During their end-of-the-year media availabilities, they all talked about a coach with experience that can push their young players to the next level. All these teams mentioned above have the talent to take the next step.

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The Devils were amongst the most disappointing teams this past season. You can make the argument it was Ottawa and/or Buffalo. But all three teams were expected to be in the playoffs or at least close to competing for the playoffs.

So it begs the question: Do they follow the Philadelphia Flyers model and hire a coach like John Tortorella? As we know, players are in a new day and age, and they can’t be pushed like they used to, but Tortorella is somewhat mastering this delicate balance.

When Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet was on NHL Network Radio with Gord Stellick and Scott Laughlin, he talked about how some teams around the NHL are looking at Philadelphia and wondering if they can do the same thing.

Elliotte Friedman: “You know, it’s interesting yesterday. I was listening to Kevyn Adams. I couldn’t listen to it live, but I watched it later. And you’ve talked about a coach with experience. I really think that a lot of teams are looking at this year. They think that the way Tortorella approached the season is what they need with young players. I think that it’ll be an interesting debate. There’ll be an exciting conversation.

But I really do believe that teams now feel that young players, it’s different. You can’t do it the way they used to do it in the 50s, or in the 70s or potentially even the 90s, but young players need to be pushed, and you’ve got to find the right balance between pushing them hard and being supportive.

Because like I said, you can’t do things the way that they used to be done. But I would bet you that if you ask a lot of teams, we bring the approach that Tortorella brings into our organization a lot of teams would want to do it, and like if you take a look at Ottawa, Jacques Martin, what did he tell those guys?  If you guys don’t learn how to play without the puck, you’re never gonna win.

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You take a look at Buffalo this year. All the talent in the world. But again, underachieved. I think teams look at what kind of happened with Philly this year. Do they have talent? Yes. Are they as talented as Buffalo? I don’t think so. Are they as talented as Ottawa? I don’t think so. But look how close they made it.

I think teams look at that and they say we have to find that person for us.”

Some of the names out there are Craig Berube and Gerard Gallant. Berube, especially, will be on the list for both the Sabres and Devils.