After every offseason, many NHL coaches go into the upcoming season with a new hand of players: Some have picked up a full house and others a pair of two’s. Whatever their hands may be, coaches are expected to win it all with the cards they are dealt.
Many playoff-missing teams saw their general managers conduct extreme makeovers in their team’s roster. With every team’s new lease on life (the Minnesota Wild) came another team’s worst nightmare (the New Jersey Devils).
From there, it is primarily up to the coaches to optimize team chemistry and usage of every player. Inversely, a coach who has lost a valuable player needs to come up with a plan to mend that void on the ice.
As the season is set to (hopefully) begin, certain coaches will be watched with a special set of expectations.
Here are five NHL coaches with big expectations early in the season.