On Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes joined four other NHL teams in the search for a new head coach. The Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, and Nashville Predators are also looking for a new boss.
In his press conference on Monday, Ron Francis said that they would be looking at several candidates in a wide open search. When asked if the new coach would need to have NHL coaching experience, Francis did not specify.
"I'm looking for a good teacher, a strong leader, an excellent communicator, and someone who can manage different personalities", said the GM.
He did not rule out Rod Brind'Amour or Charlotte Checkers coach, Jeff Daniels when asked about them. Francis also said that he had received emails and text messages inquiring about the position already that day.
The Carolina general manager mentioned that there were many friends and former teammates whom he admired as good coaches, but would not mention names.
There are certainly several candidates out there for Francis to look at.
If he wants experience, John Tortorella (.538) was just released by the Canucks. Marc Crawford (.556) coached in the Swiss league last season and is available. Ron Wilson (.531) is rumored to be in play. Barry Trotz (.533) consistently took another small market team to the playoffs more often than not in Nashville. Terry Murray (.557) had a lot of NHL success and is now in the AHL coaching the Phantoms. Guy Boucher (.546) is also out there.
Have Peter Laviolette (.570) and Peter Karmanos hugged and made up?
Even "Iron" Mike Keenan (.551) might be a possibility. While he has not coached in the NHL since 2009, he just led a team to the KHL finals this past season.
Others are available with less experience but connections to Francis. Kevin Dineen, (.479) is a strong possibility, John Stevens, (.521) is currently an assistant for the Kings, and Ulf Samuelsson, who coached Modo for three years, has been mentioned but is a long shot.
There is yet another grouping of coaches who have excelled in the AHL and/or Juniors, with little or no NHL experience, like Davis Payne, Willie Desjardins, and Jeff Blashill.
If you were GM of the Hurricanes, who would you hire? Here is your chance to see if you are on the same page as Ron Francis. Will he go for experience? Will he hire someone he is familiar with as a friend or former teammate? Will he hire another possible up-and-coming coach like Muller was?
Vote for one choice in our poll and and feel free to elaborate in the comments. If you do not see your choice in the poll selections, let us know who you want in the comments.