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A Defining Year: Is Hynes on the Hot Seat?

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In this article I look at if John Hynes should have more expected of him with an improved roster in 2016-2017.

Detroit Red Wings v New Jersey Devils
“Where’s the spittoon? I’ve had this tobacco in my cheek since Wilkes-Barre.”
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

No he’s not. Let me start out by saying that I shamelessly chose a blatant clickbait title ... #srynotsry. Hynes is in the second year of a rebuilding franchise that actually overachieved by many peoples’ estimations last year. So, he is not starting the season in jeopardy of losing his job.

HOWEVER!!!

He could put himself on the hotseat for 2017-2018 with another poor season. That being said, could also set himself up for a very bright future as a savior or a crumbling franchise. He is the youngest coach in the NHL and could establish himself as the one with the most encouraging future. So pre-colon portion of the title is a much more apt description of this article than the post-colon portion.

Now that I’ve successfully dug myself into a two-paragraph hole trying to justify my poor title choice, eschewing journalistic integrity at every turn, let’s actually start analyzing this claim.

What’s the current opinion of Hynes?

Generally speaking—positive. Fansided has Hynes as the #20 coach in the league heading into the 2016-17 season, and The Score has him at #23. Roy was still considered the coach of the Colorado Avalanche at the time, but ranked below Hynes in both situations.. The Fansided one was from 5 months ago so has none of the 5 new coaches for 2016 in it.

There’s only so high you can go in league rankings in two years. That being said, the Stanley Cup Finals this past year were just played between two coaches in the first years of their respective stints. But for a first-time NHL coach, Hynes was just about everything we could have hoped for.

We aren’t the only ones who see it either. He led the USA IIHF team to a 4th place finish after being named head coach. He has also been named an assistant coach for Team USA for the World Cup team which opens two weeks from Friday.

Many recognize him as a possible future player in the league and world stage. And he can help his case by having another solid year.

What needs to happen this year?

By this question, I mean what needs to happen for Hynes to be comfortable heading into 2017-2018.

Last year we were well short of the playoffs. However, we were clearly rebuilding, we were sellers at the deadline, and we got the injury bug bad. This year, if we are healthy, I think Hynes success is tied to the team success which I talked about last week and you guys gave a lot of great feedback on as well.

Specifically though, I’m going to call him (and, to a lesser degree, Shero) out on “Fast, Attacking, Supportive” starting this year. With the moves made, specifically trading Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall, I expect more pucks flying at the other guys’ net and more away-from-the-puck movement. If we don’t move up much in the standings, I think it will be forgivable as much is still in flux with this roster. However, if we finish dead last in goals again, I think there’ll be some splainin to do.

Your Thoughts?

1. What did you think of Hynes’ performance last year?

2. Is it possible that he puts himself on the hot seat for next year (or sooner) with a bad season?

2(a). What needs to happen for him to avoid it?

Yeah, I put sub-bullets in my audience feedback section. I like to keep the bar high for my readers. Stop mocking me.