The NHL is one of the major pro sports in the United States and Canada, but it is a business in which inexplicable coaching changes are made.
Whether it's New Jersey firing Robbie Ftorek despite the Devils having the best record in the Eastern Conference, or Toronto firing Ron Wilson this past season despite his receiving a one-year contract extension a couple of months before, dumb coaching changes are not uncommon in the NHL.
There are also cases in which a coach may be "replaced" because of clashing with team management.
Some firings are dumb because the coach had been doing his job but his players were under-performing. Others were were dumb because of their timing.
Nonetheless, here are the 10 dumbest coaching changes in NHL history.
The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup in 1999-2000 with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, and Robbie Ftorek was a key piece as the team's commander behind the bench.
However, he was unceremoniously fired by the Devlis after he coached his 74th game of the season. Given his success, the firing was dumb because of what he meant to the team.
On Dec. 26, 2011, Ron Wilson Tweeted that he had received a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs. This came as a surprise move from Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke, but the more curious move came a couple of months later.
Wilson was fired in March after the Toronto Maple Leafs had fallen far out of the playoff picture.
The move was not wrong by Burke, but it was dumb when you consider it came so quickly after a one-year contract extension.
Marc Crawford is well known for his success as a head coach with the Vancouver Canucks, but he was also the bench boss of the Dallas Stars for two seasons.
His team failed to make the playoffs two years in a row. But his final season was a five-point improvement from the previous year and came despite the team's top player, Brad Richards, missing time with a concussion.
The Stars were heading in the right direction, so the move by general manager Joe Nieuwendyk came across as dumb.
Bruce Boudreau was a coach who pushed the right buttons and made the right moves to make his team competitive and successful.
However, after a 12-9-1 start to the 2011-12 season, the Washington Capitals severed ties with the coach who had guided the team to four consecutive division titles.
The firing was dumb because the team was successful under Boudreau. According to ESPN.com, the organization made the move at least in part because Alex Ovechkin had clashed with Boudreau.
Ted Nolan led the Buffalo Sabres to a division title and an appearance in the conference semifinals in 1996-97, and he won a Jack Adams Award for his efforts.
Although he technically wasn't fired, Nolan was not offered another contract after his deal expired in 1997. That was one of the dumbest moves in league history.
Nolan had successfully led a team whose only star was Dominik Hasek, yet the team opted to let him go.
Scotty Bowman is widely considered the greatest coach in NHL history. He won almost everywhere he coached.
In 1986, Bowman was relieved of his duties as coach and general manager of the Buffalo Sabres after coaching only 12 games during the 1986-87 season.
Bowman took off from coaching for a few years, but he went behind the Pittsburgh Penguins' bench during the 1991-92 season and led them to a Stanley Cup.
This move is one of the dumbest in history because after his dismissal by the Sabres, Bowman went on to win four Stanley Cups.
Ken Hitchcock was the winner of the 2011-12 Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach, but he is a coach who has been hired and fired a few times during his career.
One of the dumbest firings came in 2001-02 when "Hitch" was fired by the Dallas Stars despite having a winning record.
This came after he guided Dallas to five division titles, two Stanley Cup appearances and a Stanley Cup win in 1998-99.
Every NHL coach has a shelf life in which he can be effective. But you don't fire a coach with a winning record and a proven track record.
"Iron" Mike Keenan was one of the toughest bench bosses in the history of hockey, and he found his crowning moment with the New York Rangers in 1994.
Keenan guided the Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years when the Blueshirts defeated Vancouver in seven games.
However, Keenan "resigned" from his coaching position after the season, which came as a huge shock. The Rangers' bench boss had clashed with general manager Neil Smith, according to the Chicago Tribune, and was replaced.
This move was one of the dumbest in NHL history, It is never wise to replace a coach who has just led a team to a championship.
During the 2006-07 season, the New Jersey Devils were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and had one of the best coaches in the league in Claude Julien. However, with a record of 47–24–8, Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello decided to give Julien the boot.
It was a stupid move because the Devils were at the top of their game when Julien was fired. Fast forwarding to a few seasons later, the move really looked bad when Julien guided Boston to a Stanley Cup title.
Guy Carbonneau narrowly missed out on winning the Jack Adams Award during the 2007-08 season with the Montreal Canadiens.
It was a great season for the Canadiens, but what happened next was a dumb move by the team. Before the 2008-09 season ended, Carbonneau was fired.
After all that the former player did for the team, the coaching change came off as peculiar.
Carbonneau's dismissal despite a winning record through 66 games—with the Canadiens on pace to make the playoffs— was an interesting and dumb move.