Last week’s SB Nation FanPulse poll (sign up here if you’d like to participate in these weekly polls) asked a question that suddenly became incredibly timely: Which NHL head coach would be fired first?
The poll was limited to just five choices, which created some debate among a few team site editors who thought their guy should be in line to walk the plank.
For Islanders fans riding their franchise-record 16-game point streak and still enjoying the honeymoon of the Barry Trotz Era, we got to just sit back, munch on popcorn and watch the carnage. How delightful it is to finally be in a spot where an Islanders coach being fired — or as it was in the Snow era, a coach should be fired but you know won’t be — isn’t even up for discussion.
Barry Trotz has coached over 1,600 regular season NHL games, ranking third overall behind Scotty Bowman and Joel Quenneville. As Mike Babcock might say, Barry “is a good pro in this league. He’s coached a long time in this league. He’s had a lot of success in this league.”
Babcock has, too, but he’s 300 games and over 120 wins behind Trotz. And with this week’s news out of Toronto, that gap is going to continue to grow. In the parlance of Babcock’s times, “I’ll continue to bet on Barry.”
Congratulations if you voted in the poll and correctly pegged Babcock as the first to go this season. His replacement, Sheldon Keefe, reveled in a victory in his debut. Here’s how the poll results looked:
Which of these head coaches will be fired first?
- Bruce Boudreau - Minnesota Wild (37.51%)
- John Hynes - New Jersey Devils (26.26%)
- Peter DeBoer - San Jose Sharks (19.46%)
- Mike Babcock - Toronto Maple Leafs (12.78%) [Winner!]
- Jon Cooper - Tampa Bay Lightning (3.99%)
A couple of other candidates on this list look like hot seat residents, though many would also add Bill Peters in Calgary and Jeff Blashill of the Red Wings to the list.
It will be interesting to see which other names fall as the second quarter of the season sets in. It will remain a relief to know the Islanders coach will not be among them.