The Washington Capitals’ excitement over Adam Oates, who literally received the head coaching job the same day he was accepted as a member of the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame induction class, should be harbored with caution.
The NHL is dense with a history of exceptional players who subsequently transition to coaching, only to flop in their role behind the bench. A similar fate has befallen many successful minor league coaches.
In other cases, unremarkable head coaches have kicked ice chips over their forgettable stints by later becoming respectable general managers or television or radio analysts.
The following alphabetical slideshow is a salad bowl rich with all of the above as well as names that were little known before, during and after their attempts at coaching in the NHL.