NHL Coaches with the Most Difficult Jobs in the 2013-14 Season

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IAugust 19, 2013

NHL Coaches with the Most Difficult Jobs in the 2013-14 Season

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    All NHL coaches have difficult jobs, but heading into the 2013-14 season, there are a few who have more turbulent situations than others.

    A couple of first-year coaches are walking into extremely difficult, pressure-filled environments where the expectations are higher than the team's talent level.

    Other incumbents have to find a way to continue getting the most out of their team after a disappointing past 12 months.

    The combination of a limited roster and the ruthless media can sometimes be too much for a coach, but they all need to balance the pressures around them and find success.

    Here are the five NHL coaches with the most difficult jobs heading into the 2013-14 season.

Bruce Boudreau

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    Bruce Boudreau already had a pretty difficult job ahead of him for the 2013-14 season, and with the head-scratching trade of Bobby Ryan, his job got a whole lot tougher.

    He has had spurts of success as a head coach, but Boudreau will need to have more consistent success while getting his star players, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, to also be more productive on a nightly basis.

    With Teemu Selanne's future also in jeopardy there is a lot up in the air for Anaheim this season, but Boudreau needs to find a way to deliver.

Mike Yeo

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    Mike Yeo's job was somewhat in question after this season following a disappointing first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks, but he will be back behind the bench for the last year of his contract.

    The Minnesota Wild were the best team in the NHL through the first 30 games of the 2011-12 season, but they eventually fizzled and missed the playoffs entirely.

    With Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in town, along with a number of promising young prospects, Yeo will need to produce in 2013-14 to have his contract renewed.

Alain Vigneault

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    I do not envy the situation Alain Vigneault is walking into in New York. He not only has to deal with the unrealistic expectations of fans and the swarming media, but with a somewhat tumultuous roster as well.

    Marian Gaborik fell out of favor with previous coach John Tortorella and was shipped out to Columbus. Brad Richards was so far in Tortorella's doghouse that he was a healthy scratch in the playoffs.

    Top prospect Chris Kreider also had a very disappointing 2013 campaign. The roster is talented, but Vigneault will have to juggle off-the-ice nonsense while getting the most out of his players.

Peter Laviolette

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    Peter Laviolette is a fiery head coach with a Stanley Cup to his name, but 2006 was a long time ago and Philadelphia is not like Carolina.

    The Flyers' roster is a bit in flux, with a number of talented 24-and-under players offset by past-their-prime stars, and Laviolette has to figure out how to balance that along with a two-goalie approach.

    Vincent Lecavalier and Mark Streit need to take on major roles and be effective, while Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have to continue improving and produce like they're capable of. If all of that doesn't happen, Laviolette's days in Philly are numbered. 

Patrick Roy

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    The Colorado Avalanche have the franchise's all-time two biggest stars, Joe Sakic (general manager) and Patrick Roy (head coach) running the ship now, which brings a lot of pressure in and of itself.

    Roy inherits a talented albeit hole-filled roster as a first-time NHL head coach. His first draft pick was the No. 1 selection, which he used to take Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon was the best player in the draft, but the Avalanche now have a logjam at center, which Roy will have to figure out.

    He comes into his first season with the fans' good graces, but that can all change quickly and is often irreversible.