Who will be behind the bench opening night?
by Brandt Corbin
Its been an awkward off-season thus far, five teams that missed the playoffs are seeking new head coaches. Same might be said for Winnipeg as the head coaching job remains up in the air. Of the four teams that have hired their coaches, all of them are rookies. Coaches like Ken Hitchcock, Marc Crawford have not been given serious consideration for any of the jobs, same can also be said for Peter Deboer, Brad McCrimmon or Kirk Muller.
Will Kevin Cheveldayoff and his hockey ops’ department follow suit and bring in someone with a lack of experience? I said earlier in the week I didn’t expect Crawford, Hitchcock, or Craig MacTavish to get serious consideration, but according to some reports I could be wrong about MacTavish who has recieved an interview. Other reports today say that current coach Craig Ramsay will get his interview.
Two others have ties to hockey op’s staff
The hiring’s thus far in the off-season, have had one common theme. Most of them had ties to the organization that hired them, that two can be said for Winnipeg’s next head coach. Aside from Ramsay and MacTavish, the other two favourites might have the inside track. Claude Noel, who was hired by assistant general manager Craig Heisinger to coach the Manitoba Moose last year, is being considered. The other potential option is Chicago Blackhawks’s assistant coach Mike Haviland, was worked with Cheveldayoff for the past three years. On top of that Haviland has coached both Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd, all of them won the Cup last season, does that possibly give him the upper hand?