Even though the National Hockey League season has just begun, that does not mean that there are not coaches who are on the hot seat to have successful seasons if they want to keep their jobs. Two of these coaches apply their trade in Canada. Of course, we are talking about Toronto Maple Leafs bench boss Ron Wilson and Calgary Flames coach Brent Sutter. Ron Wilson, Maple Leafs
As everyone is well aware of, Toronto GM Brian Burke and Wilson are chums. They were together in Providence in college, have worked together with USA Hockey and are part of a tandem that needs to get the Leafs back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Unfortunately for Wilson, the onus is really on him to get it done, rather than Burke. Wilson has been the coach of the Leafs ever since the 2008-09 season. In his three seasons as the head coach of one of the league’s most storied franchises, Wilson has gone 101-107-38.
Looking at his numbers, they are underwhelming as he has yet to get the Leafs into the playoffs. If the Leafs do not get into the playoffs this season, it could be Wilson that is on his way out.
Brent Sutter, Flames
On the western side of Canada, Sutter’s coaching stint with the Flames has not exactly been smooth sailing. His brother, Darryl Sutter, was let go and is no longer running the team. There were rumors that things were not exactly hunky-dory between the two siblings, so it was surprising that the GM was let go rather than the head coach.
Secondly, Sutter has yet to get his team to qualify for the postseason in his two seasons as bench boss. Considering that his team has put up over 90 points in each of his two seasons, it just goes to show you how good the Western Conference really is.
With that said, if Sutter does not get the Flames into the postseason this year, Flames GM Jay Feaster will have a tough decision to make going into the 2012-13 campaign. And if the team gets off to a slow start, Sutter's seat will assuredly heat up.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.