Minnesota Wild Season Preview; Ranking The Northwest Division Coaches

Joseph GuntherContributor IAugust 19, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Todd Richards of the Minnesota Wild watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on January 16, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Wild 6-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The National Hockey League’s Northwest Division is seeing a lot less turnover than it did last offseason.

Four of the five teams welcomed new head coaches last summer. One of those four is doing it all over again this year.

The Calgary Flames are entering its second season with Brent Sutter as its head coach. Last season, was the first time in three seasons as a head coach that Sutter's team missed the playoffs (the previouis two seasons came with the New Jersey Devils). He has a 137-88-21 career record.

The Colorado Avalanche shocked the NHL world by hiring the inexperience Joe Sacco. He had just two seasons of head coaching (both were sub-.500 seasons with the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League). He led the upstart Avalanche to the playoffs and finished third in the Jack Adams Award voting.

The Edmonton Oilers are the only team with a new head coach this season. Tom Renney, formerly the head coach of the New York Rangers, is replacing Pat Quinn. Renney is a defensive-minded coach that compiled 203-170-9-46 record with the Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.

The Minnesota Wild had a disappointing season with new coach Todd Richards. After a terrible, the Wild fought back into playoff contention. But, by the time the Olympic break came around the injuries began to mount and the playoff hopes quickly faded.

The Canucks have the longest tenured and most successful coach in Alain Vigneault. He won led the Canucks to a Northwest Division title in three of the last four years. He also has one Jack Adams Award.