The New York Rangers officially ended their head coaching search on Tuesday, following the script expected by fans of the team and New York sportsbooks by hiring Peter Laviolette.
Laviolette replaces Gerard Gallant, who had some success in New York. A disappointing first-round playoff series loss to the New Jersey Devils sealed Gallant’s fate as he was let go shortly thereafter.
Laviolette arrives with a sparkling resume. The winningest U.S.-born coach in history, Laviolette has one Stanley Cup Championship to his name and has reached the finals three times with three different teams. His 752 wins place him eighth all-time.
Laviolette spent the past three seasons in Washington but didn’t have his contract renewed after missing the playoffs this past season.
The Rangers aren’t the only team with a new head coach, as the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and the Capitals all also have new leadership behind the bench.
With this in mind, EmpireStakes.com – your source for NY sportsbook promos- decided to compare the Rangers situation with the other teams to determine which coach will be most successful and which coach has the most expectations.
New Coaches and Highest Expectations
EmpireStakes.com lists the field, from highest expectations to lowest.
- New York Rangers: Peter Laviolette
- Calgary Flames: Ryan Huska
- Washington Capitals: Spencer Carbery
- Nashville Predators: Andrew Brunette
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Mike Babcock
- Anaheim Ducks: Greg Cronin
Breaking Down Our List
To no surprise, most teams that have new coaches don’t have very high expectations, as the need for a new coach usually comes after an unsuccessful season. Of the six teams that have a new coach, only the Rangers made the playoffs last year and will be expected to do so once again.
Laviolette has a strong roster to work with this year, hence the high expectations on the club. He has been a strong offensive coach in the past, something that should suit a team with Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Adam Fox and more on the roster. Scoring goals should be no issue for the team and Igor Shesterkin remains one of the best, if not the best goalie in the league.
It is Stanley Cup or bust next year for the Rangers and Laviolette certainly appears to be the perfect man for the job. When New York betting apps come out across the board with 2023-24 Stanley Cup odds, the Rangers no doubt will have the shortest odds on this list.
Calgary missed out on the playoffs by the slimmest of margins and actually had more regular season points than the Florida Panthers. After player frustration grew with tough head coach Darryl Sutter, Ryan Huska has been promoted to the position for the first time in his career. He will be expected to guide the team back into the playoffs.
The roster is strong enough to do so and Huska is familiar with everyone in the organization, so he is much more set up for success than most first-time coaches.
Laviolette’s former team also hired a first-time coach, bringing in their former AHL head coach and Toronto assistant Spencer Carbery. Carbery was the most sought-after first-time coach of the bunch and has familiarity with the organization. The Stanley Cup window seems to have closed on the Caps, but they have enough talent to get to the playoffs and the real focus over the next few years will be Alex Ovechkin’s push for the all-time goals record.
Nashville has a new GM (Barry Trotz), and with that often comes change. Trotz let former coach John Hynes go in favor of Andrew Brunette. Hynes was rumored to have been in the mix for the Rangers job before Laviolette won out. Brunette did a great job with a talented Florida team a couple of years ago, but this Predators squad doesn’t have the scoring options he had at his disposal then. Anything close to a playoff spot will be a success.
Columbus and Anaheim were at the bottom of the league last year and both teams have hired tough, old-school coaches in Mike Babcock and Greg Cronin. These guys should help improve both teams, but expectations are low and they are both massive underdogs to win the Cup. Simply getting the teams back to playing the right way and giving them hope for the future will be enough for them to meet expectations.
Laviolette surely has the most pressure of any of the new coaches, but with good reason as he also has the most tools at his disposal. After almost making the playoffs with an oft-injured Caps squad, Laviolette should be extremely excited about what he can do with this high-octane Rangers team.