NHL head coaching tracker: Ducks hire Greg Cronin, Blue Jackets reportedly target Mike Babcock for vacancy
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NHL head coaching tracker: Ducks hire Greg Cronin, Blue Jackets reportedly target Mike Babcock for vacancy

Apr 15, 2023

The Stanley Cup Final is underway, but the offseason has already begun for many NHL franchises. Multiple teams have already made head coaching changes.

One of the biggest head coaching vacancies still remaining lies with the New York Rangers. The Rangers were bounced from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the opening round as they fell to the New Jersey Devils in seven games. Shortly after Game 7 was a wrap, New York fired head coach Gerard Gallant after just two seasons behind the bench. The Rangers have yet to hire a head coach, but have expressed interest in several candidates including Peter Laviolette, Patrick Roy and John Hynes.

The Calgary Flames also have a head coaching vacancy after the team parted ways with veteran head coach Darryl Sutter. Sutter had spent the last three seasons as the Flames bench boss, but did miss the postseason in two of those three campaigns. In the first year of the post-Johnny Gaudreau era, Calgary accumulated a 38-27-17 record (93 points) and finished in fifth place in the Pacific Division.

With the NHL head coaching carousel still spinning, we'll have you covered with our tracker of all of the coaching moves.

The Anaheim Ducks named Greg Cronin as the team's next head coach on Monday. This comes after the franchise elected not to renew the contract of previous head coach Dallas Eakins, who produced a 100-147-44 record in four seasons with the Ducks.

"While we did cast a wide net in searching for the next head coach, it became clear to me that Greg would be the ideal fit for the position," Ducks General Manager Pat Verbeek said in a statement. "Being a young team, I felt we needed a teacher of the finer points of the game, and someone who has worked extensively over time with talented young players, helping them develop into successful NHL players. Greg has done all that and more, and we are excited to name him head coach of the Anaheim Ducks."

Cronin, 60, brings an abundance of experience as he has 36 years of coaching and player development experience. He has spent 12 years as an NHL assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs and two different stints with the New York Islanders.

Cronin has served as the head coach of the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles since 2018 and also previously spent six seasons as the head coach at Northeastern University. He has led the Eagles to a 164-104-30 record during his tenure with the team and they have been to the Calder Cup Playoffs in four of his five seasons.

According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the Columbus Blue Jackets are expected to hire veteran head coach Mike Babcock. The deal is expected to become official when Babcock's contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs expires on June 30. Babcock hasn't coached in the NHL since the 2018-19 season, when he spent 23 games behind the Maple Leafs bench.

Babcock will replace former Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen, who put together a 62-85-16 record in two seasons with the team.

The Nashville Predators parted ways with head coach John Hynes and announced that Andrew Brunette has been hired as the franchise's next head coach.

Hynes tallied a 134-96-18 record in four seasons as the Predators head coach, but never could lead the team past the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 48-year old had one year remaining on his contract with Nashville.

Brunette spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils. He was named the associate head coach of the Florida Panthers in October 2021 after Joel Quenneville resigned as the team's head coach. Following the 2021-22 season, the Panthers hired Paul Maurice as their next head coach. Florida did offer Brunette a significant assistant coach position with the franchise, but he chose to join the Devils' coaching staff instead for the 2022-23 season.

During his time as the Panthers head coach, Brunette accumulated a 51-18-6 record and led the team to a first-place finish in the Atlantic Division.The Panthers ended up being eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that season.

The Washington Capitals have tabbed Spencer Carbery as their next head coach, the team announced on May 30. Carbery spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs after rising up through the minor leagues through the Capitals organization.

Prior to hiring Carbery, the Capitals elected to part ways with previous head coach Peter Laviolette following the 2022-23 campaign. Laviolette's contract expired with Washington, so technically he wasn't fired.

Carbery was in charge of the Maple Leafs' power-play this past season and Toronto ended up thriving, as they converted 26% of their power-play opportunities -- good for second in the NHL behind the Edmonton Oilers.