NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – May 31, 2023
Leafs to hire Brad Treliving as general manager, Predators fire John Hynes and hire Andrew Brunette as head coach, the Capitals hire Spencer Carbery as their new head coach, the latest Stanley Cup Final news and more in today’s NHL Morning Coffee Headlines.
TSN: Darren Dreger broke the news that the Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to hire Brad Treliving as their new general manager. Treliving spent nine seasons as GM of the Calgary Flames before stepping down last month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs were reportedly seeking someone with management experience to replace former GM Kyle Dubas. Treliving certainly has that but whether he can succeed where Dubas failed in terms of ending the Leafs’ 57-year Stanley Cup drought remains to be seen.
Under Treliving, the Flames reached the playoffs five times and finished atop the Pacific Division in 2018-19 and 2021-22. During his tenure, he drafted Matthew Tkachuk, Adam Fox, Sam Bennett, Andrew Mangiapane, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Dillon Dube. Treliving also traded for Dougie Hamilton, Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Tyler Toffoli, Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, Milan Lucic and Travis Hamonic.
However, the Flames also missed the playoffs four times and only reached the second round twice while Treliving was their general manager. He’s also had his share of failures, such as losing Johnny Gaudreau to free agency while the jury remains out on his swap of Tkachuk for Huberdeau and Weegar.
Treliving faces some significant issues with the Leafs. Topping the list is signing Auston Matthews to a contract extension. He must also determine the futures of Leafs stars John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander and the fate of head coach Sheldon Keefe.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators fired head coach John Hynes on Tuesday, replacing him with Andrew Brunette. An assistant coach this season with the New Jersey Devils, Brunette was a 2021-22 finalist for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year after guiding the Florida Panthers to their first-ever Presidents’ Trophy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Predators incoming general manager Barry Trotz is facing some criticism for leaving Hynes twisting in the wind while he sought new head-coaching candidates given his own history as a long-time NHL head coach.
Nevertheless, Trotz has signaled that change will be afoot for the Predators. He obviously wanted his own man behind the bench and was going to take his time to find him. Now that he has his new bench boss, his focus could shift toward making some roster changes this summer.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: The Capitals have hired Spencer Carbery as their new head coach. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Maple Leafs leading their power play. Before that, he spent three seasons as head coach of the Capitals’ AHL affiliate in Hershey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carbery will be under pressure to quickly reverse the aging Capitals’ fortunes after they missed the postseason for the first time since 2013-14. He’ll be reunited with defenseman Rasmus Sandin, who played under Carbery in Toronto until acquired by the Capitals before the March trade deadline. Meanwhile, Capitals assistant coaches Scott Allen and Bryan Murray will be returning next season.
TSN: The Calgary Flames reached out to former New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant, who is interested in their vacant head-coaching job.
LAS VEGAS SUN: The Vegas Golden Knights’ ongoing success is attributable in part to two former Florida Panthers. The Golden Knights selected Jonathan Marchessault in the 2017 expansion draft when the Panthers left him unprotected. Around the same time, they acquired Reilly Smith in a trade with the Panthers.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Patric Hornqvist has been sidelined since December by a concussion but he remains a valuable member of the Panthers. He’s been on the ice in a non-contact jersey during practices, peppering goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with shots while providing guidance and encouragement to other teammates.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hornqvist remains out for the season and the future of his playing career is murky right now. For the time being, he’s like another assistant coach for the Panthers.
TWINCITIES.COM: After spending several seasons with the Minnesota Wild as an assistant coach, Brett McLean is taking over as head coach of their AHL affiliate in Iowa.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said he has no interest in joining their front office. Inducted on Sunday into the IIHF Hall of Fame, Zetterberg is spending his days as an unofficial consultant with the Wings as well as with his former Swedish club (Timra) and the Swedish national team. His only active hockey work is helping out with his son’s practices as he puts his focus on his family and a life outside of hockey.