2011 NHL All Star Game: 10 Coaches We Would Like to See
The 2011 NHL All Star Game is right around the corner, and with the coaching staffs for the respective teams being announced (at least partially), I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some coaches whom it would be fun to see behind the bench in an All-Star game this year or in the future.
Peter Laviolette of the Flyers, Alex Vigenault of the Canucks, Joel Quenneville of the Blackhawks and his assistant Mike Haviland, have all already secured automatic spots on the bench due to the Flyers and Canucks leading their respective conferences, and the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup.
Therefore, none of them is on this list. Here are ten other coaches we would like to see.
Marc Crawford, Dallas Stars
Marc Crawford has taken a team that most picked to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference, and has them sitting in third place in the West as we approach the 2011 NHL All Star Game.
If his team continues its improvement, Crawford could find himself behind the bench for a mid-season classic within the next few seasons.
Craig Ramsay, Atlanta Thrashers
The Atlanta Thrashers have been one of the league's most surprising teams this season, and Craig Ramsay is a big reason why.
The Thrashers have been tough to play night in night out, bringing as much energy as any team in the league.
With nothing more than a handful of former Blackhawks and a stud goaltender, Craig Ramsay has turned Atlanta into a contender.
Joe Sacco, Colorado Avalanche
Joe Sacco, a finalist for the 2010 Coach of the Year award, is at it again as the Avalanche find themselves right in the thick of things in the Western Conference on the strength of their offense.
Imagine what Sacco could do with the offensive talent in an All Star game. It would be fun to watch.
Mike Babcock, Detroit Red Wings
Mike Babcock, like the Detroit Red Wings, is as steady as they come.
The Red Wings are always in contention for the top seed in the Western Conference, and that makes Babcock a possibility to be behind the bench for the All Star game more often than not.
Barry Trotz, Nashville Predators
Nashville's head coach since 1998, Barry Trotz is the most underrated coach in the league.
The Predators find themselves in contention not because of the talent they possess, but because of the system and discipline Trotz has built his team around.
Granted, that system would not be the most exciting to watch during an All-Star Game, but Trotz is one of the NHL's best and most consistent coaches.
Randy Carlyle, Anaheim Ducks
Few thought the Ducks would be in the position they are in heading into the break, and Randy Carlyle deserves a lot of credit for it.
The top line has earned respect, but the man behind the bench holds this team together.
Dave Tippet, Phoenix Coyotes
2010's NHL Coach of the Year, Dave Tippet, has his young team on the verge of a playoff berth once again.
It's a shame that nobody in Phoenix cares about the Coyotes, because they have a great young team developing.
Guy Boucher, Tampa Bay Lightning
If the Tampa Bay Lightning continue to play like they have, rookie head coach Guy Boucher could be up for Coach of the Year Honors come season's end.
He has done a great job down in Tampa and deserves a spot behind the bench in the mid-season classic.
Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins
Dan Bylsma has a lot of talent with which to work in Pittsburgh, but there is no denying the job he has done with it.
He's a players' coach and would be a perfect fit to coach the 2011 All-Star Game.
Bruce Boudreau, Washington Capitals
Anyone who watched HBO's 24/7 series knows how entertaining a personality Bruce Boudreau is.
Perhaps HBO could mic him up one last time for kicks.