With coach Ralph Krueger’s Buffalo Sabres (6-1-1) leading the Atlantic Division and Dave Tippett’s Edmonton Oilers sitting atop the Pacific Division, offseason coaching changes are an important storyline in the NHL’s early going.
But this is an old story, not a fresh approach
Last year, new coach Rod Brind’Amour took the Carolina Hurricanes to their first playoff appearance in a decade and made it to the Eastern Conference Final before bowing out. Coach Craig Berube, an in-season coaching arrival, guided the St. Louis Blues to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
“When you bring in a new coach, I truly believe you get the best from all guys,” Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said. “As a player, you get a chance to showcase what you are all about.”
Historically, coaching changes often give NHL teams an initial boost, whether it is at the start of a season or in-season.