Now that we are weeks removed from the shocking resignation of Patrick Roy, it appears the smoke has started to clear as Sakic has interviewed some candidates for the vacant head coach position for the Avalanche. As of right now it would appear the two top candidates for the vacant position are the Blackhawks assistant coach, Kevin Dineen, and the former Avalanche player and San Jose assistant coach, Bob Boughner. Let's break each of these individuals down so we can deliberate between who we want to see as our next bench boss!
Dineen was the former head coach of the Florida Panthers, before being terminated in 2013. During his tenure, he led the team to its first Southeast division title, only to be ousted in the first round of the 2012 Playoffs by the New Jersey Devils. Dineen also brings to the table a great deal of international head coaching experience, having led the women's Canadian team to their fourth consecutive Gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Dineen also coached the Under-18 Canada team during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships, where the Canadians took the bronze medal. Following his international success, Dineen found his way back in the NHL as an assistant coach for his ex-Hartford Whaler teammate, and the man who changed Chicago's cup fortunes, Joel Quenneville.
As we now look at Dineen to take the reigns for the Avalanche, one can't help but be enticed by the thought of implementing one of the league’s best systems on a team with so much talent. Any tricks he can being over from one of the league's best bench bosses can only benefit the organization moving forward. Another positive is that he's not brand new — he’s already had success on an NHL level, as well as internationally.
Bob "The Boogieman" Boughner
Here is another familiar name from the organization’s past. Boughner played for the Avalanche for a couple of years between 2004 and 2006, ultimately retiring in Burgundy & Blue. As far as his coaching career, nowadays you can find Boughner along side with Pete DeBoer coaching the San Jose Sharks, which would be another upgrade considering the fact that the Sharks recently made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Although Boughner has not yet been the main bench boss behind an NHL team, he has found success in being the head coach of the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During his time in junior, the team missed the playoffs only three times during his eight year tenure with the team. Boughner also led his team to two consecutive championship seasons, winning the OHL Championship and the Memorial Cup back-to-back. Like Dineen, he also found success on the international level, leading an undefeated U-18 Canadian team to the gold medal in the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament in 2009.
Who’s it going to be?
Overall, fans should be getting excited and optimistic about who will take the reins of our beloved Avalanche. Both of these candidates are learning from some of the top notch coaches in the NHL. If Joe Sakic is seeking experience, then look for Dineen to be made an offer, as he has been the head coach of an NHL team before.Boughner would be another interesting choice, as he is a fast-rising name and has certainly been learning successful hockey under DeBoer and the San Jose Sharks. Is he ready to take over his own NHL-caliber team?
According to Mike Chambers, we may find out as soon as today!