Connect with us

Daily Links

Fantucchio’s Focus: GM and head coach hirings across NHL; what’s taking so long for the Rangers and Penguins?



Andrew Brunette was formally introduced as the new head coach of the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

Good morning; my name is Andrew Fantucchio. Today is Thursday, June 1, and here’s what I’m focused on around the NHL today.

Treliving Hired By Leafs:

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Brad Treliving as the organization’s new General Manager.

Treliving joins the Maple Leafs after nine seasons as the GM of the Calgary Flames. Now in Toronto, the two biggest questions Treliving faces are whether or not to bring Sheldon Keefe back as the team’s head coach and if he will keep the core of John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner and William Nylander intact.

The hiring of Treliving comes two weeks after Toronto’s President and Alternate Governor, Brendan Shannahan, opted not to renew the contract of former GM Kyle Dubas on May 19.

Seattle extends GM Francis through 2026-27:

The Seattle Kraken has reached a contract extension with General Manager Ron Francis that will keep him with the organization through the 2026-27 season.

The Kraken made its first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff appearance this season in only their second year in existence.

Predators introduce Brunette as new head coach:

The Nashville Predators officially introduced Andrew Brunette as the team’s new head coach on Wednesday. Brunette was hired by incoming Predators GM and former New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz.

“I want to play faster,” Trotz said. “I want to have a team that has a really good identity. I want us to be an exciting team. And when I started thinking about all those things… that’s Andrew’s strength. I’ve known Andrew a long time. You’ve seen it in the teams he’s coached – they bring a style of that flair. At the same time, they’re really responsible on the other end of the puck, and he knows that that’s been the ‘Predator Way.'”

The hiring of Brunette comes full circle for the Predators. An original member of the team, Brunette scored the first goal in the history of the franchise on Oct. 13, 1998.

Following a 16-year career as a player in the NHL, Brunette transitioned to coaching. In 2021-22, he was the interim head coach of the Florida Panthers and worked as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils last year.

What’s the hold-up for Pens and Rangers?

GM and head coaching jobs are beginning to be filled across the league, but two of the most coveted positions in the NHL remain open.

The Pittsburgh Penguins remain without a General Manager after cutting loose their entire front office on April 14. While Pittsburgh has been tied to several candidates, including ex-Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, the delay may be due to inexperience from Penguins ownership.

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers are still searching for a new head coach. The Rangers let go of former head coach Gerard Gallant on May 6, after being eliminated from the postseason by the New Jersey Devils in the first round in seven games.

Former Washington Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette is considered one of the favorites to get the job. However, it was reported by Mollie Walker of the New York Post the Rangers were granted permission to interview former Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes on Wednesday.

More from National Hockey Now:

Stanley Cup Final: Read the latest coverage from Florida Hockey Now and Vegas Hockey Now

Detroit: Dominik Hasek had to collect his memorabilia from Czech Hockey Hall of Fame

Philadelphia: Tortarella disagrees with criticism of Flyers’ new hires

Buffalo: Sabres building toward future by learning from past failures