With All-Star voting still underway to fill out each team’s roster, the NHL has announced the head coaches that will man the benches next month in Sunrise, Florida.
Jim Montgomery of the Boston Bruins (Atlantic), Rod Brind'Amour of the Carolina Hurricanes (Metropolitan), Pete DeBoer of the Dallas Stars (Central), and Bruce Cassidy of the Vegas Golden Knights (Pacific) have each been named head coach of their respective divisions. The positions were awarded based on each team’s first-place divisional position as of Wednesday.
Notably, three of the four coaches given the nod are in their first season with their respective clubs. Montgomery, DeBoer, and Cassidy were all hired this past summer, while Brind'Amour serves as the veteran of the group having guided Carolina since 2018.
Montgomery will be making his All-Star coaching debut. The Bruins coach has led his club to a dazzling first half, with the team perched comfortably atop the NHL standings as owners of a pristine 32-4-4 record. The Bruins have yet to lose in regulation on home ice and are currently on pace to break the record for most points in a season held by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens. Boston has been dominant across the board under Montgomery, ranking first in both goals for and goals against this season, while also boasting the league’s third-best power play and best penalty-kill unit.
Brind'Amour will be returning to the Metropolitan bench for the second straight season after leading them to a tournament victory in Las Vegas last season. His Hurricanes again serve as the class of the Metro, having caught fire in December and rattling off an 11-game winning streak to set a new franchise record. Carolina’s play has been excellent as usual, as a crop of emerging stars and strong goaltending from rookie netminder Pyotr Kochetkov have helped the Hurricanes surge into pole position in their division with a 25-9-7 record.
In the Western Conference, DeBoer will serve as an All-Star game head coach for the third time and the first time as coach of the Central Division. DeBoer has the Stars humming, boasting a 25-11-6 record while ranked top-five in both goals for and goals against on the season. Behind potential Hart candidate Jason Robertson and darkhorse Vezina contender Jake Oettinger, Dallas has elevated from a playoff bubble team to a legitimate powerhouse under DeBoer, who previously coached the Pacific Division twice, including last year while head coach of the Vegas Golden Knights.
His replacement, Cassidy, will serve as the Pacific Division bench boss, marking the second time he’s earned head coaching honours at the NHL All-Star Game. Coming off their first playoff miss in franchise history, Cassidy has brought the Golden Knights squarely back into the conversation as Stanley Cup contenders. His club leads all Western Conference teams in wins with a 27-13-2 record, while rookie netminder Logan Thompson has excelled in Cassidy’s strong defensive system that has Vegas ranked top-10 in goals against per game.
Fan voting for the final 12 All-Star spots continues through Jan. 17, while NHL All-Star Weekend takes place at FLA Live Arena in Florida on Feb. 3-4.
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