Many players have tried to become coaches over the years, and just because you have a famous last name does not mean you will be a great coach or GM.
However, in recent times this does not seem the case. Steve Yzerman, a former player of the Detroit Red Wings, has landed a job as GM and led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Eastern Conference appearance in his first year.
The league is changing and perhaps former players would be the best to teach/manage teams. These are the top seven players who would make interesting coaches or GM's.
Eric Daze is one of the most underrated forwards in recent history. His speed and puck handling abilities were amazing, and he did not play dirty. Sadly because of injuries, he was forced to retire before the Chicago Black Hawks won the Stanley Cup.
Daze played like a champ. In his last true full season of play, he had 70 points in 82 games. Chicago's team, before the days of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, was gritty. They usually tried to play physical, and it cost them games. The goaltending was bad and the players were not that great. Daze gave the city of Chicago hope. He was the face of the Blackhawks.
He officially announced his retirement on March 20, 2010. He has not played a game since 2005-06, but he never gave up hope. This is why he would make a great coach. He still has a passion for hockey. The dream of winning a Stanley Cup still lives within him, and that drive that would make him a great coach.
Paul Coffey is name very familiar not only to players but coaches as well. His temper was legendary in fights with coaches. As a result, he was usually traded.
He was on some of the greatest dynasties of both the 1980's and 1990's.
Some of his accomplishments are:
- Most goals in one season by a defenseman
- Most shorthanded goals in one season by a defenseman
- Most points in one game by a defenseman
- Most goals by a defenseman in a single playoff year
- Longest point-scoring streak by a defenseman
These are just a few of his records.
Coffey was on of the hockey's greatest, and letting him have control over a team would be interesting to see, since he caused so much trouble in front offices before.
Regarded as one of having the most deadliest slap shots in NHL history, Al MacInnis, knowledge of how to shoot a puck would benefit any modern-day defenseman.
His shot still is talked about. On January 17, 1984, MacInnis shot a puck at goaltender against St. Louis goaltender, Mike Liut, and it split his mask. After that, the NHL never looked the same at him again. He has been clocked at shooting the puck at over 100 mph.
What many people do not know about MacInnis is that early on in his career he struggling skating. The team that drafted him, the Calgary Flames, did not give up on him. He was greatful for that, and as a result, he became the great player we all know today.
This is the reason why he would become a great coach. He could make poor skaters into great ones. Plus, his resume stands out. He was on the Olympic Team that helped Canada win its first gold medal in over 50 years. He was one of the few defenseman to have over 100 points in a season, and he was regarded as a great set up man. He knew how to pass.
Any team would be lucky to even have MacInnis today, and other teams should take advantage of him before its too late.
Scott Niedermayer has played in more tournaments then most players have in their life. He has played in the Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup, World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, IIHF World Championship, the Olympics and the World Cup.
He has experience and is dedicated to the game of hockey. He knows how to win, and his record shows it. He has won four Stanley Cups. He gave rebirth to hockey in Anaheim. The main reason that the Anaheim Ducks are still somewhat of a powerhouse in the West is because of him. It has only been a year since he retired, but his presence is still felt in the league.
Messier is working hard to improve his resume to get a GM job, and with Quebec getting a hockey team, things may go to plan. In 2010 Messier coached Team Canada in two European tournaments (Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup).
Currently, he is a special assistant for the Rangers, but that may change. Like Steve Yzerman, he wants to manage, and if leaving his beloved team must happen, he will.
Chris Chelios is a name that many forwards feared. He played with grit was not not afraid to fight or play dirty. He is literally the NHL's "Man of Steel." He played until he was 48 years old. Only Gordie Howe has played longer.
The strange thing is no matter how old Chelios gets, he still plays like a kid. He never gave up his tough-guy persona. He was always a grinder and never stopped playing that way. It takes a lot to play in the NHL and AHL, mentally and physically. That is why Chelios would make a great coach for strength and conditioning.
He knows what must be done and to never give up. He was captain of Team USA, and despite critics saying he was too old, he still played. He took his career as far as humanly possible. Currently, he is executive adviser to the general manager to the Detroit Red Wings, but that might not be for long.
Joe Sakic is one of the most classiest players ever to play the game of hockey.
The Colorado Avalanche would not be the same without him.
He knew how to play and lead. He holds many records in both the NHL and the Avalanche. Although he started his career in Quebec, his leadership ability blossomed in Colorado. The Quebec Nordiques were one of the worst teams in the NHL, which led them to move to Colorado. When the team moved his numbers went up.
In his first season as a Avalanchen, he had 120 points and led the team to a Stanley Cup.
He showed grace when the Avalanche won the Cup again in 2001, by passing the cup to Ray Bourque. He chose to pass the Cup rather then take the traditional captain skate around. His actions speak louder than words, and he would make a great GM.