Predators hire ex-Devils coach John Hynes

John Hynes has been named the new head coach of the Nashville Predators, just over a month after being fired by the New Jersey Devils.

The Predators fired head coach Peter Laviolette on Monday after six seasons with the team. Hynes becomes just the third head coach in Nashville’s franchise history.

The Predators are 19-15-7 for 45 points, sitting seven points out of third place in the Central Division and four points out of the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Laviolette had coached the Predators since 2014, amassing a record of 248-143-60. Nashville made the playoffs every season he was behind the bench, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, where the Predators lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

1 Related

Hynes was hired by the Devils in 2015 and went 150-159-45 with the team in five seasons, making the playoffs just once. He was formerly the head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the AHL from 2009 to 2015. His general manager there was Ray Shero, who later hired him to become his first head coach in New Jersey.

“John Hynes is bright young coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans,” Predators general manager David Poile said in a statement. “We love his coaching résumé and are confident that he has learned from every stop during his career, and has the best skill set to get the maximum potential out of our team.”

Shero is one connection between Hynes and the Predators, having served as assistant GM under Poile. Hynes also has a connection with Nashville assistant GM Jeff Kealty, who played with Hynes at Boston University. Hynes has also worked inside the USA Hockey Development Program, and Poile has been an executive with USA Hockey throughout his career.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to join an organization with a history of success, a team with immense talent and a phenomenal fanbase,” Hynes said in the statement. “This organization has a strong foundation, from its ownership and executives to the entire front-office staff, and I’m excited to come in and try to maximize this team’s abilities.”

Hynes takes over a Nashville team that has underwhelmed this season. While they’re sixth in offense (3.44 goals per game), the Predators have had an uncharacteristically bad season defensively at 3.27 goals against per game, which is 24th. Last season, they were fourth at 2.58 goals against per game. The Predators have the second-best goals scored percentage (56.28) at 5-on-5 in the NHL. On special teams, they’re 24th on the power play (16.8) and 29th on the penalty kill (74.0). The Predators are third from the bottom in team save percentage (.889) this season.

Credit: Source link