SUN Hockey Pool

Open posts abound in NHL

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Toronto is not the only hockey city with intrigue in the hockey office.

Here's a look at which teams are looking for coaches and general managers:

- Boston Bruins: Executive vice-president Charlie Jacobs says there are six or seven GM candidates, likely ranging from high-profile Dave Taylor and Craig Patrick, to B's interim GM Jeff Gorten. If it's Gorten, then coach Mike Sullivan has a better chance of staying.

- Los Angeles: New GM Dean Lombardi is wary of hiring a big-name coach with clout, which would remove Pat Quinn from the picture. Canucks assistant Mike Johnson might fit the profile better.

- New York Islanders: Dallas Stars' pro scout John Weisbrod moved up the list when Lombardi went to L.A., but big names yet to declare are Neil Smith, Patrick and Taylor. A darkhorse could be Ottawa Senators' assistant GM Peter Chiarelli. There is likely a coach to be hired, too, after Brad Shaw cleaned up for Steve Stirling. Ex-Isles defenceman Dave Lewis is looking, but another alumnist, Brent Sutter, won't want to risk an NHL debut in this unstable situation.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Like Milbury, Patrick departed with no natural successor. Put most of the Isles-Bruins field here, as well as other assistant GMs such as Ray Shero (Nashville), Jim Nill (Detroit) and Steve Tambellini (Vancouver). But Michel Therrien will stay as coach.

- St. Louis: With former Rangers exec Dave Checketts now heading up the ownership group, MSG Network's John Davidson has been mentioned as a president. If that were to happen, any number of Rangers old boys could be GM's.

- Vancouver Canucks: Reconciliation between Quinn and the Canucks is a remote possibility, but is the 63-year-old a good fit for this team? Most think GM Dave Nonis wants Alain Vigneault to move up and continue working with the kids.

Lewis is also going to apply here.

Keep an eye on:

- New Jersey Devils: Lou Lamoriello won't likely be back as coach, even if he wins the Cup.

- Philadelphia Flyers: When he hasn't conducted a meet, greet n' beat the Leafs in playoffs, coach Ken Hitchcock has only one series win pending the results this week versus Buffalo. But like Quinn, Hitchcock has won 40-plus games three times with two different teams, so you'd better have a great Plan B. Owner Ed Snider says he's still in Hitch's corner.

- Phoenix Coyotes: Wayne Gretzky says he'll decide on returning as coach in the next month. If he doesn't, it's a possible fit for Quinn or another Gretz pal, Marc Habscheid.

- Tampa Bay Lightning: Fiery John Tortorella was tolerated as long as the Bolts were championship material. If he is fire, he wouldn't be out of work for long.


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