It was a good day to be a former Colorado Avalanche player.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Nashville Predators fired their current head coach, John Hynes, and are expected to replace him with former Avalanche forward Andrew Brunette. The 49 year old Brunette played for Colorado from 2005 to 2008, racking up points playing on a line mostly with Joe Sakic. It also appears that Dan Hinote will stick around in Nashville, even with the change.
Brunette spent this past year as the associate head coach of the New Jersey Devils, but helped lead the Florida Panthers to the Presidents Trophy in 2021-22. In February, he was arrested in Florida for suspicion of a DUI. None of that seemed to bother teams, as he was still highly sought after for head coaching jobs, interviewing with many teams before Nashville hired him today.
In the AHL, the Iowa Wild announced their new head coach is former Avalanche player Brett McLean. The 44 year old played for Colorado from 2005 to 2007, picking up 75 points in his two seasons.
That’s two in one day, but are more coming?
Alex Tanguay, who spent nine seasons in Colorado, and scored the Cup clinching goal for the Avalanche back in 2001, has been an assistant coach the last four seasons. The first two years were spent in Iowa with the Wild’s AHL affiliate, and the last two years, he’s been an assistant for the Detroit Red Wings. Tanguay recently was an assistant coach for Team Canada at the World Championships, and ran their top powerplay unit. Who just happened to be the man running that powerplay? Calgary’s MacKenzie Weegar, who was named the top defenseman in the tournament.
On 32 Thoughts yesterday, Elliotte Friedman threw out that Tanguay’s name as a potential head coach for the Flames, who are still searching. This isn’t the first time he’s thrown his name out there for the job. He may even be an option for an assistant job there if he doesn’t get the head coaching job. The World Championships may have been an audition for him, with how he put Weegar in a great position to succeed.
And then, of course, there’s Patrick Roy. His Quebec Remparts have advanced to the next stage of the Memorial Cup, as they won each of their first two games. In the same episode of 32 Thoughts, Friedman mentioned that he believes the Columbus Blue Jackets have spoken to Roy about their head coaching vacancy. This might be his best chance at another job in the NHL, as he’s stepping down from the head coach job with Quebec after this season.
The list of former Avalanche players coaching around the league grew on Tuesday, and it may continue to grow, the way things are going.