The Nashville Predators have had just three head coaches in their 24-year history, with Head Coach John Hynes being the third, and it’s looking like that number will stay the same into next season.
Per a tweet from Adam Vingan of The Athletic, Hynes is in line to receive a “multi-year contract” and that the team also has an option for one year on the expiring contract:
John Hynes’ expiring contract includes a one-year team option, but I am hearing that the Predators have signed Hynes to a new multi-year contract.
— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) May 18, 2022
Nashville Predators taking a big risk extending Hynes multiple years
This all comes on the heels of the Nashville Predators being swept by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and really not putting up much of a fight aside from a Game 2 historical performance from Connor Ingram in net, and games that were temporarily close back home for Games 3 and 4.
However you slice it, the Avalanche were clearly the vastly superior team and the Predators have a long ways to go before being included among the best teams in the Western Conference.
So if what Vingan is hearing is indeed what ends up happening, then this really is a head-scratcher. Not because Hynes doesn’t necessarily deserve another season to follow up on what the Predators did this past season, but more so showing that much faith in him long-term.
The Predators did overperform last season and Hynes does deserve a lot of credit for that. It’s apparent that the players like playing for Hynes and he watched some core veterans have career years under his coaching leadership.
What scares me is can we count on all of that to happen again next season? And even if it does, are we just going to get the same sad result in the first round of the playoffs?
General Manager David Poile is probably under even more scrutiny than his head coach he’s about to extend to a new contract as he’s been the only general manager in this franchise’s history, and has very little postseason success to show for it, much less a Stanley Cup.
Both Hynes and Poile are scheduled to have their end of season press conference on Thursday morning, and I’m sure there will be plenty of questions surrounding this possible decision of multiple years for Hynes:
General Manager David Poile and Head Coach John Hynes will hold their end of season press conference tomorrow at 11 CT. https://t.co/oQhjb1kUWk
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) May 18, 2022
What we need to hear during this press conference is truth and honesty about how this team is going to break out of being a very average team over the last three seasons.
What is Poile planning to do this offseason to break out of that rut and build a true Stanley Cup contending team? What qualities does he see in Hynes that gives Poile the confidence to re-sign him to not just one year, but multiple years?
The outside noise is also getting louder with Barry Trotz being surprisingly let go by the New York Islanders and the thought of a Trotz/Predators reunion. Even Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts Podcast threw out the possibility of Trotz wanting to get into a front office role.
You also have a lot of fans who think it would be a great idea to bring in a fresh approach by bringing up Karl Taylor from the AHL Milwaukee Admirals for his first NHL head coaching job.
Taylor has done an outstanding job coaching the Admirals and has coached many of these current players on the Predators.
Hynes is 92-64-10 for a .584 point percentage in his three seasons behind the bench for the Nashville Predators. Considerably better than his five-year tenure with the New Jersey Devils when he had a .487 point percentage.
What has me cringing is Hynes’ postseason record as head coach of the Predators, which is 3-11. Nowhere near acceptable enough to convince me he deserves a multi-year extension. Come on now.
In the end it’s not really that surprising that Hynes is being retained after the Predators outperformed preseason expectations, but multiple years remains baffling and a major risk to take by the front office.