It seems like every year in the National Hockey League we witness some form of the coaching carousel, or perhaps musical chairs would be a more appropriate analogy for what goes on year after year in the league, but this season has seemingly been unlike the others.
Not only have the coaches around the National Hockey League held on to their jobs, despite in some cases failing to meet expectations by a catastrophic margin, but there have been very little rumors of potential turn over after the season. That was the case now roughly two thirds of the way through the 2017-2018 NHL season, but things may finally be starting to shake up behind the scenes.
On Tuesday night during a segment of TSN's Insider Trading, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun touched on arguably the most discussed coaching rumor in recent days, a rumor that suggest that head coach Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals may soon be behind the bench of a different NHL organization.
"Brian McLellan the GM was extended last week, but not in that news release was anything about Barry Trotz," said LeBrun.
There has been speculation that Trotz will not receive another contract from the Capitals after this season, something that would effectively make him a free-agent. While LeBrun confirmed one aspect of that rumor he also shot down another.
"I'm told there haven't been any contract talks with Barry Trotz this year, now that doesn't it can change before the end of the year."
While LeBrun made it clear that the Capitals still have plenty of time to make an offer to Trotz between now and the end of the playoffs, he also acknowledge the rumors that it certainly seems like there is a lot up in the air in Washington right now.
"But at this point it does feel like his future is uncertain, that perhaps the playoff performance of this team will have a bearing on whether or not Barry Trotz will get an offer from Washington."
Trotz is widely regarded as one of the very best coaches in the entire NHL and it seems extremely safe to say that the offers would begin pouring in immediately from all around the league if his time in Washington came to an end.
"If he goes to market he'll be a big name," said LeBrun.
While a divorce between Trotz and the Capitals would certainly send shock-waves through the NHL, and would also likely cause a bidding war between a number of teams, he may not be the biggest fish on the market this summer if the rumors are to be believed. In a big surprise LeBrun acknowledged the rumors that have been floating the Chicago Blackgawks in the past few weeks, and they are truly shocking indeed.
"Who knows by the way with all the speculation out of Chicago what ends up happening with Joel Quenneville."
This is the first time, at least to my knowledge, than a legitimate NHL insider has given credence to the rumors that Quenneville may be seriously contemplating a departure from his position as head coach of the Blackhawks. Or perhaps it's general manager Stan Bowman, who has always had a contentious relationship with Quenneville, who has finally had enough of the veteran head coach.
If Quenneville, a man many consider to be the undisputed #1 coach in the entire National Hockey League, were to hit the market we could have another situation like the one we had with head coach Mike Babcock when he left the Red Wings.
This could be an extremely exciting summer.