Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

More Coaching Options

06/03/2022 at 7:20am EDT

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

...But the other side of that coin is taking a chance with an AHL head coach or an NHL assistant who has never got that look yet.

Here’s a look at some of those candidates, in no particular order.

Derek Lalonde/Jeff Halpern, Lightning assistant coaches: I think there’s a decent chance NHL clubs start exploring Jon Cooper’s coaching tree soon enough and when you talk to people around the league, many feel both Lalonde and Halpern have earned that chance. Although yet another deep playoff run this spring might take them out of some interview opportunities just based on the calendar. That’s the weird thing about the business sometimes.

Lalonde was head coach of the AHL’s Iowa Wild before joining Cooper’s staff in July 2018. He also coached in the ECHL and USHL; the guy has put in his time to be sure. Halpern, the former NHL forward, joined the organization in 2015-16 in player development and joined Cooper’s coaching staff as an assistant in 2018. And while we’re at it, Lightning assistant coach Rob Zettler, former head coach in AHL Syracuse, is also worth mentioning here. He, too, could get a look as NHL clubs attempt to raid the mighty Lightning. That’s what winning does.

Spencer Carbery, Maple Leafs assistant coach: The Leafs hired Carbery last July after he was named AHL head coach of the year with Hershey. I’m told the Washington Capitals were ready to pay him a handsome salary — at least AHL-wise — to keep him, but Carbery chose to join Sheldon Keefe’s staff in Toronto and all he did was coach the Leafs’ power play to No. 1 in the NHL. I don’t know if he will get outside calls this summer or not, but when you talk to people around the league, they say it’s only a matter of time. For example, I wonder if Detroit GM Steve Yzerman comes calling as part of his due diligence in his head coaching search …

many more ($$$) names...

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