For the select few who are given the opportunity to lead a team as an NHL head coach, oftentimes the journey to reach that coveted position is far longer than their actual opportunity to mentor and conduct from behind the bench.
Of the 32 head coaches in the NHL, 12 of them have been on the job for less than a year. That means 38 percent of the teams have replaced their head coach in the last 12 months.
Today’s NHL truly lives up to the expression that professional coaches are only hired to be fired.
Bovada has recently posted odds allowing us to bet on the next NHL coach to leave their current position, either because they were fired or because they decided to step down.
For more information on the number of ways to wager on hockey, check out our How to Bet on the NHL page. To find the sportsbook that’s right for you to get some money down on the ice, head over to our Sportsbook Review hub.
Here’s a look at the sportsbook’s full list of next NHL coach fired odds:
Odds to Be Next NHL Coach Fired
|Dominique Ducharme (Montreal)||-125|
|Rick Bowness (Dallas)||+300|
|Todd McLellan (Los Angeles)||+400|
|Barry Trotz (Islanders)||+550|
|Jared Bednar (Colorado)||+700|
|Peter DeBoer (Vegas)||+700|
Odds as of December 22 at Bovada
Favorite: Dominique Ducharme (-125)
On February 24, 2021, the Montreal Canadiens fired head coach Claude Julien and assistant coach Kirk Muller before giving Dominique Ducharme the interim head coaching duties. Only a couple of months later, Ducharme found himself leading the Canadiens into the Stanley Cup Final, and he was officially named the permanent head coach this past summer, signing a three-year contract.
Fast-forward 30 games into this season and somehow Ducharme has gone from the long-term solution behind the bench in Montreal to being the betting favorite as the next coach to lose his job.
Success Can Be Fleeting
To be fair, the Canadiens front office has undergone major upheaval this season, led by the termination of longtime general manager Marc Bergevin. It is very common for a new GM to hand-pick their own coach and obviously the odds are suggesting that whoever lands the GM role in Montreal will want to do just that.
Ducharme might have a better chance of holding on to his position if the Canadiens weren’t already out of the playoff conversation this year. Montreal will be a team that experienced the thrill of playing in a Stanley Cup Final one year and then didn’t make the playoffs the next.
I suspect Ducharme will lose his job barring some sort of miracle turnaround in the second half of the season. Whether he gets fired midseason or the front office waits until the offseason will be interesting to watch.
Other Odds For Next NHL Coaching Change
The 2021-22 NHL season has not even reached the halfway point and already we have seen several coaching changes this year. Most recently, the Winnipeg Jets’ Paul Maurice resigned from his position after more than eight seasons behind their bench.
Maurice was the second-longest serving coach behind only Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper. For perspective, Bruce Boudreau is now coaching his third NHL team since Cooper was hired in Tampa.
It is Boudreau and not Cooper who is the norm for this position.
Rick Bowness (+300)
Rick Bowness had not been an NHL head coach for over a decade when the Dallas Stars came knocking with an opportunity. Bowness proved to be the inspiration Dallas needed midway through the 2019-20 season, and under his guidance the Stars made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Unfortunately, the 2020-21 campaign did not play out in a similar fashion for Bowness and the Stars. When the playoffs rolled around last year, the team was on the outside looking in. Key injuries, COVID-19 and some extreme weather that hit the city helped derail Dallas’ season.
Bowness returned to the bench this year, although it came with expectations that the team must perform much better. Although the Stars are definitely in contention for a playoff spot, they are currently not a top-eight team in the Western Conference.
Todd McLellan (+400)
Todd McLellan made the playoffs in his first six years as head coach in San Jose and was then fired after missing the playoffs in year 7. McLellan was soon hired in Edmonton and was expected to help turn the team into a playoff contender. He made one playoff appearance in his three full seasons with the Oilers and was let go 20 games into his fourth year.
McLellan is now in his third year with the LA Kings. After missing the playoffs in his first two seasons, the Kings are currently on the Western Conference playoff bubble. Similar to Bowness with the Dallas Stars, as long as the Kings are fighting for a spot, you would expect McLellan to remain the bench boss. However, if they were to fall out of the race at any point, a change behind the bench would not be a surprise.
Barry Trotz (+550)
When it comes to head coaching resumes, very few coaches can compare to what Trotz has done in his career. With over 1,700 games coached, multiple Jack Adams awards and a Stanley Cup ring, it was obvious why Trotz was considered one of the best coaches in the league before this season started.
Unfortunately for Trotz and his Islanders, what can go wrong has gone wrong in New York this year. The Islanders are on pace to finish with less than 70 points thanks to COVID, key injuries and a lot of bad luck.
Trotz has led New York to back-to-back conference final appearances and he has done it without a lot of top-end talent. If anyone has a long leash on this list, I suspect it would be him. However, New York also had serious playoff aspirations this year and it doesn’t look like they’ll come to fruition.
Either Barry or the team could decide enough is enough and end this relationship before the season ends.
Peter DeBoer (+700)
The Vegas Golden Knights have been in existence for just over four seasons. During that span, they have made the playoffs four times, made a Stanley Cup Final appearance once and had a coach who won the Jack Adams Award.
However, Peter DeBoer was not that coach, and Peter DeBoer has not led his Golden Knights to a Stanley Cup Final. Fairly or unfairly for DeBoer, the expectations from ownership, management and Vegas fans are definitely Stanley Cup or bust for this team.
Vegas is currently winning enough games to be considered one of the favorites to come out of the Western Conference. If the second half of the season plays out the same as the first half, DeBoer will definitely be the boss behind the bench for Game 1 of the playoffs.
If Vegas were to do the unexpected and somehow drop out of the race, DeBoer would definitely suffer the consequences. He may have a lot more pressure on him than most coaches, but so far he seems pretty safe.
Jared Bednar (+700)
Maybe only Colorado’s head coach is facing more pressure than DeBoer this year. When the season started, Colorado was +500 as the betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
Bednar is in his sixth year with Colorado. He has made the playoffs in four consecutive seasons but has failed to advance out of the second round. Just shy of 30 games this year, the Avalanche find themselves holding on to a playoff spot, but not by much.
Nathan MacKinnon has missed almost half their games. Cale Makar missed a week of action and rarely has Colorado been able to dress a full roster this year.
However, expectations have never been higher in Colorado than they are this year. Bednar will get a pass for the first 30 games, but if Colorado is still fighting for a playoff spot over its next 30, GM Joe Sakic will have an interesting decision to make before the playoffs.
Coaching changes happen often in the NHL and many times it can only take a couple months of disappointing results for a coach to become unemployed. For this bet, my money is on Rick Bowness to be the first of the group no longer patrolling the bench.
I believe Dallas has playoff aspirations this season and after missing the dance last spring, Bowness won’t be given a long leash. The Stars are not on the right side of the playoff standings and if things don’t change quickly in Dallas, then a change behind the bench might be next.
Doc's Picks Service
Need more winning picks? Get $60 worth of premium member picks from Doc’s Sports – a recognized leader and trusted name in sports handicapping since 1971.
Odds Shark Staff Mon, Aug 8, 11:58am