Conducting business with the media is an important part of being an NHL coach, and some coaches are savvier than others.
Sometimes a coach can be accommodating or evasive with the media, and balancing both is a crafty tactic that some coaches utilize more than others.
There are a number of great coaches to choose from, and here is one man's opinion of the most media-savvy coaches in the NHL.
Trotz always has something to say.
Barry Trotz is the league's most tenured coach, and there is a reason why he has been behind the Predators bench for 16 years. Trotz is a tough but fair coach who holds his team accountable at all times.
There have been times he has used his interactions with the media to motivate his club, and other times Trotz is his normal jovial self with the press. Trotz has lost his temper on a few occasions, but he is savvy with knowing when to bark and when to bite.
Laviolette has a good personality.
Peter Laviolette is the Philadelphia Flyers' bench boss, and he is generally good at interacting with the press. Laviolette has a ton of experience as a head coach, so he usually provides some important insight when he is asked a question.
HBO's 24/7 documentary for the Winter Classic did a good job showing Laviolette interacting with the media, and he shrewdly skirted around a question involving an interaction with Steve Ott. All in all, Laviolette is usually reliable for a good quote, and his demeanor with the media is respectable.
Muller has been great for the Hurricanes.
Kirk Muller was a hardworking player, and he has a similar work ethic as a coach. He is a student of the game and did his homework before becoming an NHL bench boss.
Muller was prepared for the job by being an AHL coach for a number of years, and he then made his debut with the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes' bench boss is a great communicator, and that is something that makes his interactions with the media pleasant. He is an intelligent individual who will explain the methods behind his madness, and he is just easy to talk to.
MacLean's bug-eyed walrus response was classic.
Paul MacLean has had a short tenure with the Ottawa Senators, but he has been a huge hit with the media. He learned from Mike Babcock in Detroit, and MacLean has brought an aura of flair and savvy to Ottawa.
During the playoffs MacLean was in a battle with opposing head coach Michel Therrien, and the Senators' bench boss handled the situation perfectly. Whether it is his use of intellect, humor or just plain facts, MacLean is masterful with the media.
Quenneville is in control when at the podium.
Extra media access is never granted for interactions with Joel Quenneville, and that is a tactic that he and the Chicago Blackhawks use to their advantage. There are few coaches who fans get excited to listen to, and Quenneville commands attention when he speaks.
He sometimes doesn't speak for very long, but the mystery and allure surrounding him has created an interesting dynamic in Chicago.
Due to the limited access, there is never a chance for him to elaborate in detail on individual issues, and for that reason the Blackhawks usually keep a low profile during the regular season.
Throughout the winning streak in 2012-13 Quenneville was prodded about the streak, but he refused to give in. He was always concerned with just winning hockey games, and that is what made him and the Blackhawks very successful.
Julien has been an NHL coach for more than a decade.
The media respects Claude Julien for his commitment, and he usually answers every question directed to him. There have been times where he sat and answered questions for minutes in English, and then he would take time to speak to French reporters in attendance.
Julien usually gives the same message in both languages, and he realizes that the media has a job to do just like him. Julien is one of the smarter coaches in the league today, currently at the head of the Boston Bruins, and he knows how to carry himself with the press.
AV will fit in with the Blueshirts.
One of the reasons the New York Rangers hired Alain Vigneault was because he was the antithesis of John Tortorella when it comes to media relations. "AV" was under a lot of scrutiny with the Vancouver Canucks, and he will deal with less media with the Rangers.
Hockey is a secondary sport in New York, but it is a religion in Canada. During his tenure with the Canucks, Vigneault was able to joke with the press, and his personality should make writers like Larry Brooks of the New York Post very happy.
Darryl Sutter has always been under the media spotlight. As the GM of the Calgary Flames, Sutter was the man in charge when difficult questions needed to be answered. Instead of wilting like a flower deprived of water, Sutter gave answers that justified his actions.
In Los Angeles, one of the largest media markets in the world, Sutter has fit in well, and he gives thoughtful answers to questions.
When necessary, he sometimes uses humor to lighten the mood in the room.
Sutter is one of the more savvy coaches when it comes to handling the press, and his general kindness is one of his best weapons.
Hartley's experience and tenure allow him to handle the media.
Bob Hartley is great with the media, and it is partly because he is a former media member. Hartley was an analyst for RDS for a brief period of time, and he forged some relationships that allow him to interact with the media today.
He also is a smart coach with a track record of success. Hartley was at the helm during the Colorado Avalanche's glory years in which they won a Stanley Cup and four consecutive division titles.
With the Calgary Flames, Hartley is under media scrutiny, but he can handle it because the roles were reversed not too long ago.
Mike Babcock has represented the NHL admirably.
Mike Babcock has a reputation of being one of the NHL's best coaches. He is a smart tactician who gets the most out of his players, and he is great with the media. It is seldom that Babcock will raise his voice with the press, but he has a unique way of politely telling reporters to go stick it.
If you ask Babcock a hockey-related question, expect a well-thought-out answer. If you attempt to waste his time he will do his best to be polite about it, and overall he has a great profile with the media.