The perception of coaches around the National Hockey League usually tends to be pretty universal. If a head coach is well respected within his own market, take someone like Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville for example, odds are that if he finds success he will usually be well respected around the league. In this way many coaches are sparred the vitriol of rival fans when compared to what their players go through, but what they do have to deal with however is how the players talk about them behind the scenes.
No one can really know just how much players on different teams talk to one another about how things are on their team or how their relationship with their current head coach is going, but there's no doubt that there is indeed some talking going on. That being said though we never really have a way of knowing how the players feel about their own head coaches or even rival head coaches, but this week The Athletic made an effort to find out. The Athletic released the results of a six week survey that polled nearly 200 players from around the league with a near equal split between players in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference and this was one of the questions posed to those players.
Although the question was not as blunt as "Which coach do you hate the most?" It was not that far off with the players instead being asked "Which coach, aside from your own, would you not want to play for?" The answers to this question may surprise you although the winner I must admit does not come as much of a surprise to me.
According to the poll a whopping 30 percent of all players surveyed selected Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella as the one they would least like to play for. The Blue Jackets head coach has a reputation as one of the most disagreeable men in the entire league so it really comes as no surprise at all that he would top the list.
Round out the top 5 are Edmonton Oilers head coach Ken Hitchcock with 27 percent of the vote, Toronto Maple Leafs Mike Babcock with 15% of the vote, the recently fired Randy Carlyle who still got 11% of the vote and recently fired Ottawa Senators head coach Guy Boucher claimed 3% of the vote.