Second NHL Coach to be Fired During the 2016-17 Season

What a gyp. The first NHL coach fired this season wasn’t even on oddsmaker’s radars and if you had money on this wager you were likely just as irked as Gerrard Gallant when the axe came down on his head.

In response to the surprising firing of the former Panthers’ bench boss, Bovada has released odds for the second coach to be fired this season and it’s the usual suspects occupying the board.

I was shocked when I heard the Gallant news. I, however, would not be shocked if Jack Capuano was fired by the time I posted this article. The Islanders have been one of the worst teams in the league so far and I don’t see it getting much better. Cap is in the midst of his seventh season as the Isles play-caller and he’s never advanced past the second round of the playoffs. It’s time for a change in Brooklyn.

Garth Snow, the general manager of the Islanders, has given Capuano his vote of confidence but as we’ve seen from GM’s in the past – they lie. In the great words of Queen Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “the lady doth protests too much, methinks.” I would be baffled if coach Cap made it to Christmas, but maybe Isles’ management is waiting for the holidays to come around to soften the blow.

If it’s not clear from that short rant, my money’s on the +175 line for Jack Capuano to be the next head coach to hit the unemployment line. It would be on Willie Desjardins if it weren’t for the total ineptitude of the Canucks’ front office.

Who will be the first Head Coach fired in the 2016-17 NHL season?

Odds as of November 8 at Bovada               

  • Willie Desjardins (VAN) +150
  • Jack Capuano (NYI) +175
  • Glen Gulutzan (CAL) +400
  • Paul Maurice (WPG) +700
  • Bill Peters (CAR) +750

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The Vancouver Canucks’ delusions seem to continue and the rumors that Willie Desjardins’ job is in jeopardy continue to swirl as they’ve now lost nine straight games.

It was only a matter of time before the ’Nucks started to suck and now they really, really suck. During their nine-game losing streak, they’ve scored just 12 total goals – the Blue Jackets scored 10 in ONE game on the weekend. While I don’t think Desjardins is the culprit for the Canucks’ woes, I do believe he’ll serve nicely as the organization’s scapegoat and will more than likely suffer the consequences for Jim Benning’s failures as a general manager.

Desjardins has been with the club for parts of three seasons now but it’s likely his days are numbered. Bovada is offering a +200 line for the Canucks bench boss to be the first to lose his job and as the clouds over Vancouver get darker and darker, the elephant in the room gets bigger and bigger. Willie might not last the rest of the Canucks’ current road trip.

If cooler heads prevail in the ’Nucks front office, Islanders head coach Jack Capuano is the next in line with his head on the chopping block.

The Islanders have underachieved this year and have not attained the kind of success they should have with the talent that’s come and gone through the New York dressing room the last few years. This is Capuano’s seventh season with the club and he’s never led them past the second round of the playoffs. If the Isles continue to struggle, Capuano could be looking for work – and it may come from the potential vacancy in Vancouver.

Who will be the first Head Coach fired in the 2016-17 NHL season?

Odds as of November 8 at Bovada               

  • Willie Desjardins (VAN) +200
  • Jack Capuano (NYI) +210
  • Peter Laviolette (NAS) +650
  • Dave Tippett (ARI) +650
  • John Tortorella (CLB) +1000
  • Paul Maurice (WIN) +1200
  • Michel Therrien (MTL) +1500

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Like in most pro sports, NHL head coaching jobs seem to be very fleeting. There are, however, a group of men who always seem to be on the hot seat and if you enjoy betting on the job security of other people, sportsbooks have released odds on who will be the first NHL head coach fired this season.

It’s not a lock that a coach will be fired this year but it is awfully likely. Two coaches, Todd Richards of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Mike Johnston of the Pittsburgh Penguins, were both given their marching orders in the middle of last year’s campaign and there are a few guys this year who could be on the chopping block.

Bovada was the first book to have odds out on this prop and John Tortorella, head coach of the Blue Jackets, is the No. 1 candidate to be canned before the end of the year. Torts is no stranger to being fired as he was relieved of his duties as the Canucks bench boss after one season only a year after losing his job as head coach of the Rangers.

Willie Desjardins and Jack Capuano sit right behind Torts in the odds table and both serve as excellent candidates to hit the unemployment line at some point this year. The Vancouver Canucks have had four head coaches since 2006 and three since 2013 – they are a franchise in a transitional period but can’t seem to accept that. If the ’Nucks, who have actually started the season 3-0 – only adding to their delusions – start to fall out of the playoff race, Desjardins could have to dust off the ol’ resume.

The best value bet I can offer here is Michel Therrien. It doesn’t matter what kind of success a Montreal Canadiens team is having, the coach and players are under perpetual pressure and always seem to be on the hot seat. Montreal has gotten off to an excellent start – despite Carey Price not yet suiting up – but if the offense starts to stagnate, like it did last season, Therrien will be out of Montreal.

NHL teams are weird, though, so this one is tough. Teams will sometimes fire a coach just to mix things up even if a team is succeeding. There are a few names that I feel should be on this list that are not and Bovada has made it an option to have “Others available on request,” so if you have an inside scoop, it may pay off to give them a shout.

Who will be the first Head Coach fired in 2016-17 NHL season?

Odds as of October 19 at Bovada               

  • John Tortorella (CLB) +325               
  • Willie Desjardins (VAN) +350               
  • Jack Capuano (NYI) +375               
  • Michel Therrien (MTL) +550               
  • Claude Julien (BOS) +650                
  • Paul Maurice (WIN) +700              
  • Alain Vigneault (NYR) +700

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