Latest NHL Buzz
— Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet got a 4 year deal worth $1.75 million per season and he was an ownership hire. Even if the losing continues, now 0-10-1 on the season, he’s likely safe from Barry Melrose territory of getting fired 16 games in on the first year of a job.
The Coyotes, though, are beyond just a mess right now.
What a few scouts say is the Coyotes are playing at a faster pace under Tocchet than last year, but there hasn’t been a more poorly structured team and lack of hockey IQ on the ice as a whole in years than what evaluators have seen from the Coyotes this season.
For significant stretches the Coyotes look like a group playing pick up hockey.
It didn’t appear Tocchet was walking into such a dire situation but he’s now in one as changing a losing culture is often harder than it looks on paper.
— Will Barry Trotz make it to Christmas as Capitals coach? The chatter around the league is that Trotz is under the hot seat more so than Alain Vigneault is in New York as both teams are off to disappointing starts. That said, in New York when things are going bad like they are for the Rangers, no coach is ever safe.
The Capitals situation will be an intriguing one and if they are still playing around .500 hockey four to six weeks from now, keep an eye on a coaching move.
Trotz is in the last year of a contract, and while Daryl Sutter’s name is circulating among some executives, the Capitals gave serious thought to replacing Trotz over the summer with assistant Todd Reirden.
— Dan Bylsma’s stock as a head coaching candidate was so low this summer, the Florida Panthers who offered Bylsma their head coaching job in the summer 2014 (Bylsma wanted a 5 year deal), made zero contact with Bylsma or his reps this summer when they had another opening. He also wasn’t brought in for interviews from any other clubs.
Bylsma currently doing some analyst work, is due $8.55 million from the Sabres through the 2019-2020 season as he was fired with three more seasons left on his deal.
A consensus around the league is that Bylsma could be waiting a long-time before he gets another shot, but one situation down the road those close to Bylsma wonder about is Detroit where Red Wings GM Ken Holland is said to have been very high on Bylsma in the past.
— Prior to finalizing a deal for Riley Sheahan last Friday, the Pittsburgh Penguins were engaged in heavy talks with the San Jose Sharks surrounding Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"