photo of a tank Brian Burke left on his desk
wasn't meant as a reminder to keep on rolling.
We’re now into month two of the NHL season, and patience is running out in various cities around the league. With several teams struggling and the playoff races already tightening, some franchises will be looking to make major changes very soon.
We’ve already had one coach fired, and there’s little doubt that more will be on the way – probably joined by a GM or two. But who?
Based on my conversation with sources around the league, here are some of the coaches and GMs who find themselves on the hot seat as we head into the season’s second month.
Ron Rolston, Buffalo Sabres – Is rumored to have angered Buffalo management through his failure to do things “The Sabres Way”, such as that time a small child asked him for an autograph and he politely declined instead of repeatedly hitting him in the head.
Dallas Eakins, Edmonton Oilers – Is gradually running out of ways to change the subject every time Kevin Lowe corners him in his office and starts asking him to remind him which Cup-winning Oilers team they were teammates on.
Paul MacLean, Ottawa Senators – Was briefly worried when he recently walked into his office and found a pink slip on his desk, only to realize it was just a $5 bill from the stack of Monopoly money Eugene Melnyk now uses to pay everyone.
George McPhee, Washington Capitals – Even though it’s worked for years, can’t help but worry that owner Ted Leonsis will eventually figure out that there really isn’t an NHL bylaw that says that all GMs must actually have the initials “GM”.
Greg Sherman, Colorado Avalanche – Was absolutely shocked to see his name on this list, since even he had forgotten that he’s still technically the GM in Colorado.
Jay Feaster, Calgary Flames – Has said that he can’t help but feel like his seat is getting a little warm these days, which may be related to the way that Brian Burke is standing behind him spraying his chair with a blowtorch while whistling casually.
Kevin Dineen, Florida Panthers – Has been on the hot seat all season, making it the only seat ever regularly occupied at a Florida Panthers game.
Todd McLellan, San Jose Sharks – Years of postseason disappointment had every expert agreeing that McLellan would probably be fired as soon as the Sharks lost their second game, so he could be in big trouble by mid-January.
Mike Yeo, Minnesota Wild – Sources say he no longer inspires the team with his trademark fiery locker room speeches where he scans the dressing room and locks eyes with each player, since he keeps getting tripped up when he gets to the empty locker with the “Reserved for Tomas Vanek - July 1, 2014” sign.
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators – Sources swear that his head is not on the chopping block, given that that would be physically impossible without the presence of a neck.
Alain Vigneault, New York Rangers – Some members of the New York media have already written columns calling for him to be fired, before immediately adding “Ha ha just kidding, but seriously, please don’t ever let the bad man come back and hurt us again.”
Claude Noel, Winnipeg Jets – His name is Claude Noel, so I guess we all shouldn’t be especially surprised when he gets scratched right before Christmas.
Craig Berube, Philadelphia Flyers – Has already angered GM Paul Holmgrem by making the same mistake that got his predecessor Peter Laviolette fired; namely, constantly filling out his lineup card with players acquired by Paul Holmgrem.
Randy Carlyle, Toronto Maple Leafs – His seat is probably the hottest in the entire league right now, in the sense that his office chair was just placed on a line with Phil Kessel and now has seven points in its last three games.
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