UPDATE: It's official, John Hynes is the head coach of the Nashville Predators.
Read below for the press release announcement courtesy of the Preds' official website:
Nashville, Tenn. (January 7, 2020) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/GM David Poile announced Tuesday that the team has named John Hynes as the third head coach in franchise history.
"John Hynes is bright young coach and great leader who has a track record of both effectively developing young players and successfully motivating veterans," Poile said. "We love his coaching resume and are confident that he has learned from every stop during his career, and has the best skill set to get the maximum potential out of our team."
"This is a tremendous opportunity to join an organization with a history of success, a team with immense talent and a phenomenal fanbase," Hynes said. "This organization has a strong foundation, from its ownership and executives to the entire front-office staff, and I'm excited to come in and try to maximize this team's abilities."
In parts of five NHL seasons - all spent with the New Jersey Devils - Hynes has compiled a 150-159-45 record as a head coach. He was named head coach of the Devils prior to the 2014-15 campaign and led them to a six-point improvement in his first season, finishing with 84 points compared to 78 the season before. Following a 2016-17 season that saw his team finish 28-40-14 (70 points), Hynes engineered a 27-point improvement in 2017-18, the largest in New Jersey history, and led the Devils to the playoffs for the first time since 2011-12.
During the 2017-18 campaign, Hynes's Devils finished with a 44-29-9 record (97 points) and featured Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall, who tallied a career-high 93 points (39g-54a) in 76 games. He also oversaw the development of 2017's No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier, helping him record a career-best 52 points (20g-32a) - tied for the sixth-most among NHL rookies - in his first NHL season. For his efforts, Hynes earned the sixth-most votes for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.
Multiple players across the League have elevated their play under Hynes's watch in his tenure with the Devils. In addition to helping Hall to an MVP award and Hischier to a spot as one of the NHL's top young players, Hynes also assisted in the development of forward Kyle Palmieri, who established career highs in goals (30) and points (57) during his first season in New Jersey in 2015-16. Prior to his trade to Anaheim, forward Adam Henrique reached the 50-point mark under Hynes in 2015-16 and followed it up with a 20-goal, 40-point season the year after. Additionally, current Edmonton Oilers defenseman Adam Larsson posted a career-high 24 points (3g-21a) in 2014-15, Hynes's first season with the Devils; defenseman Sami Vatanen tallied 28 of his 32 points in 2017-18 under Hynes following a trade from Anaheim; and he helped develop current NHL regulars such as Damon Severson, Miles Wood, Will Butcher and Jesper Bratt.
Before joining the Devils organization, Hynes served as head coach of the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for five seasons from 2010-15 and was an assistant coach in 2009-10. Hynes led the Penguins to five consecutive Calder Cup Playoff berths, including back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Final in 2012-13 and 2013-14, and earned AHL Coach of the Year honors in 2011. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton allowed the fewest goals in the AHL in four of his five seasons at the helm and Hynes helped develop several players who are making an impact in the NHL today, such as Pittsburgh's Bryan Rust and Toronto's Kasperi Kapanen.
In between assistant coaching positions at UMass-Lowell (2000-01) and the University of Wisconsin (2002-03), Hynes spent nine seasons on the coaching staff of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, serving as an assistant from 1998-2000 and 2001-02 and as head coach from 2003-09. While with the NTDP, Hynes developed players like Patrick Kane, Jimmy Howard, Phil Kessel, Jimmy Hayes and Jason Zucker while also excelling on the world's stage, claiming four U-18 World Championship medals - two of them gold (2002 and 2006).
The 44-year-old native of Warwick, R.I., served as head coach of the United States at the 2004 World Junior Championship, where the Americans won Gold for the first time and earned their first medal in the event since 1997.
Hynes began his coaching career at his alma mater of Boston University as an assistant under longtime Terriers head coach Jack Parker in 1997-98. A forward on the Terriers hockey team from 1993-97, he helped lead BU to four consecutive Frozen Four appearances, including an NCAA title in 1995. He was teammates with Predators Assistant General Manager Jeff Kealty for three seasons while at Boston University.
Hynes and his wife, Sarah, have three daughters - Sophia, Julia and Anna.
In case you missed the news yesterday, the Nashville Predators have officially dismissed head coach Peter Laviolette from his position with the team.
Check it out:
The Preds have been an absolute disaster this season and currently sit 7th place in the NHL's Central Division, just one point up on the last place Chicago Blackhawks. Given the talent that general manager David Poile has assembled on this team, it's nearly unbelievable to think that they'll miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. Put bluntly, something had to be done.
Just last week Poile told the media that he was not considering a coaching change "at this time." It's interesting how quickly things can change. C'est la vie.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, along with other hockey media personalities, is reporting that the Preds have hired former New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes. Check it out:
Suffice it to say, Preds fans are NOT happy with this hiring. Hynes did very little during his time with the Devils, earning a playoff berth just once in his five year stint.
In any, read below for the press release announcement of yesterday's, courtesy of the Predators' official website:
Nashville, Tenn. (January 6, 2020) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/GM David Poile announced Monday that the team has relieved Head Coach Peter Laviolette and Associate Coach Kevin McCarthy of their coaching responsibilities.
"Under the leadership of Peter and Kevin, our organization reached unprecedented heights - from our franchise-altering run to the Stanley Cup Final to a Presidents' Trophy and our first two Central Division titles," Poile said. "Their passion for the game, ability to motivate a team and drive to be the best makes this a difficult decision. On behalf of the entire organization, I would like to thank Peter and Kevin for all their contributions to the Nashville Predators over the past five-and-a-half seasons."
"On and off the ice, the Laviolette and McCarthy families have left an indelible mark on the entire Smashville community," Predators President and CEO Sean Henry said. "While Peter and Kevin worked to make our team on the ice one of the elite, their wives, Kristen and Rhonda, spearheaded countless charitable endeavors to Nashville that made a lasting impact, changed lives, and for which we owe them a debt of gratitude."
Laviolette and McCarthy led the Predators to 248 wins from the start of the 2014-15 season to the present date, the sixth-most in the NHL over that span. In 2014-15, the Predators improved by nine wins and 16 points in the standings, with Laviolette and his staff representing the team at the All-Star Game after leading the League in point percentage at the season's midpoint (.725, 27-9-4 record). He was also a finalist for the 2015 Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach. In the spring of 2017, the Laviolette-led Predators became the third club seeded lowest in its conference to advance to the Stanley Cup Final since the League adopted the conference-based playoff format in 1994. The club followed that up with the best record in franchise history (53-18-11, 117 points), a Presidents' Trophy and a Central Division title in 2017-18, then made it two Central Division crowns in a row a season ago.