Outside the Box (and Continent)
Here’s a name most may not know, but someone who may be worth a look when it comes to getting their first chance at an NHL Head Coaching Position: Rikard Grönborg.
Even if you don’t know who Rikard Grönborg is, you know some of the players he has had a hand in coaching and developing. Do Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm, Viktor Arvidsson, or Calle Jarnkrok ring any bells?
As one of the coaches for the Swedish National Team, including being on staff during their 2014 Silver Medal run in Sochi, Grönberg has had a hand in developing Swedish talent and making them a team worth reckoning with on the international stage.
At the international level with Sweden, he has three World Championships as a coach: one as an Assistant in 2012-2013, and two as head coach in 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. As a head coach of the ZSC Lions in Switzerland’s top hockey league, he has produced a winning record of 48-30 over two seasons, and for the 2021 season has already clinched a playoff birth.
Record aside, Grönborg is respected in virtually all aspects of the game, whether it be at the development level, international level, or the professional level. The last place for him to prove himself would be the NHL, and he’s already the hot name in a lot of circles.
On top of that, he’s already been in touch with a few teams as Sporting News reported last year that the New Jersey Devils reached out to him to gage his interest. He may not have been named the Devils helmsman, but imagine if he got to build a team from the ground up with one of his fellow country-men, and a player on the cusp of being elite, in Filip Forsberg? That has to be tempting.
In a league where the old become new again far to often, if the Nashville Predators were to think outside the box, Grönborg has a strong case as to why he’s the hire to make.
Who’s to say if the Nashville Predators ultimately make a change. I don’t know, and honestly don’t think, that Hynes is the guy. That being said, I also don’t know if the right move is to cut bate now, or wait until the end of the season.
What I do know is that the Nashville Predators can’t put off the inevitable.
If the team is going into a rebuild, as many suggest they will (or even, are), then they need a coach who is capable of navigating such a period, and getting as much potential from the new faces as possible, while making the most of what we already have.
Time will tell if a coaching change is made sooner rather than later, but if it is, the Nashville Predators should be exercising as many options as they can to find the right fit.