NHL Coaching Odds: Who wil Coach in Montreal, Seattle Next Season?

The 2020-21 NHL Season is approaching its halfway point and people are already looking towards a couple of potential coaching vacancies for next season.

On February 24, the Montreal Canadiens fired head coach Claude Julien, as well as assistant coach Kirk Muller. The decision comes after a 9-5-4 start to the season in which the Canadiens should be playing a lot better. Assistant coach Dominique Ducharme will be the interim head coach for the rest of the season.

On the other hand, the Seattle Kraken expected to make their NHL debut in the 2021-22 season, however, they have yet to find their head coach.

Bovada has released their odds projected who will be the next full-time coaches for the Canadiens and Kraken.

Who will be the Canadiens’ next Full-Time Coach?

Odds via Bovada as of Wednesday, February 24

  • Guy Boucher +200
  • Dominique Ducharme +250
  • Patrick Roy +350
  • Benoit Groulx +750
  • Andre Tourigny +800

As is the case in recent Canadiens history, expect their next full-time coach to be bilingual. Like others on this list, Guy Boucher would fit that role. In six NHL seasons, Boucher has amassed a 191-187-46 coaching record with two trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. Currently, he’s been working with RDS, a French media station in Montreal.

Meanwhile, Ducharme could end up having a successful 2020-21 season with the Canadiens that could see him being hired on a full-time basis. While he’s never coached at the NHL level, Ducharme has had success with junior players. He coached the Halifax Mooseheads to a Memorial Cup victory in 2013 and won silver and gold medals at the World Juniors with Team Canada.

A return of Patrick Roy to Montreal would also be interesting. Most hockey fans know that when he played for the Canadiens, some volatile animosity led to Roy’s departure. Some people say time heals all wounds and the Canadiens fanbase may welcome Roy back with open arms. Roy was also the 2013-14 Jack Adams Award winner for the best coach in the league. He hasn’t coached in the NHL since 2016, though.

Who will the Kraken’s First Full-Time NHL Coach be?

Odds via Bovada as of Wednesday, February 24

  • Gerard Gallant +200
  • Bruce Boudreau +250
  • Claude Julien +850
  • Todd Nelson +850
  • Mike Babcock +850

The first full-time head coach for an NHL expansion team is always important. Gerard Gallant coached the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season, leading them to the Stanley Cup Finals. If he could do it for the Golden Knights, it’s unsurprising that sportsbooks feel like Gallant can do it again in Seattle.

At the same time, Gallant was fired after three seasons with the Golden Knights, so maybe he’s not ideal for long-term success. Instead, the Kraken may take a look at Bruce Boudreau. While Boudreau has yet to win a Stanley Cup, he has the second-highest points percentage (.635) out of any NHL coach who’s coached at least 900 games. He’s also made the playoffs in 10 out of the 14 seasons he’s coached in.

A surprising twist would be if recently-fired Canadiens head coach Julien ended up in Seattle. Yes, Julien failed to make an impact in his second stint in Montreal, but the pressure wouldn’t be as high with the Kraken. He also coached the Boston Bruins to a 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship, so his resume is not lacking.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.