Since the NHL regular season came to a close last weekend, three head coaching vacancies have opened up already, with possibly one or two more to come.

NHL teams are rarely as cutthroat as their NFL counterparts where on Black Monday, non-playoff teams cut a swath through coaching staffs. In the NHL, only one coach was let go quickly – Jeff Blashill, in Detroit and that was largely expected.

Blashill’s contract had run out and after seven years, general manager Steve Yzerman determined it was time for the players to hear a different voice.

The other two openings, in Winnipeg and Philadelphia, were just as predictable. In each case, an in-season replacement – Dave Lowry in Winnipeg and Mike Yeo in Philadelphia – was elevated from assistant to head coach in the hopes that they would oversee a season-saving about-face.

It didn’t happen for either team. So, the search for the next coach is underway in both markets and will be tied completely to the personnel they have and the expectations going forward. Neither Winnipeg nor Philadelphia believes their downward spirals cannot be reversed quickly, with a few roster tweaks and a different leader behind the bench. In that respect, those jobs will probably feature more immediate pressure than in Detroit where Yzerman, when asked about the progress of the rebuild, pithily noted: “This is the end of Year 3. Next year is the start of Year 4.”

In terms of his willingness to share information about his team and his plans, Yzerman is the new Lou Lamoriello – playing his cards extremely close to the vest. As our Max Bultman noted in his postseason story, Yzerman acknowledged as much: That he was doing his best to talk a lot and say very little.

But in saying very little, Yzerman also gave a glimpse into his thought process as he ponders his most critical offseason move. Does he go with a known commodity behind the bench, someone that’s fallen into his sphere of influence over the years? Or look beyond that. The value of doing it the first way, which is also the more traditional path, is that Yzerman would know the successful candidate on a deeper level and they would start out on the same page. That carries less risk and NHL GMs tend to be a risk-averse group.

But as Yzerman was musing aloud about the process, he conceded he might need to push himself to look beyond his circle and consider candidates from other corners of the hockey world – a difficult concept to wrap his head around.

That shows some self-awareness and also got me thinking about the other key difference between the NHL’s hiring process and that of the NFL. Frequently, in the NFL, the next head coach of a non-playoff team comes from the senior staff of a playoff team — the offensive or defensive coordinators of successful programs will be in line for a head coaching position.