Nashville Predators: The Case For and Against John Hynes

Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes talks to players from the bench in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators head coach John Hynes talks to players from the bench in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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John Hynes, Nashville Predators
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The case for keeping John Hynes for Another Year

For all of Hynes’ imperfections there is one thing that even his most staunch naysayers cannot — or at least should not — deny. He is a great leader, and that is something that really matters, especially on a team as young as the Nashville Predators will be in the coming years.

Criticism of his lineup decisions is 100 percent warranted, but you are rarely left wondering why he made such choices. Look at this explanation as to why he benched Glass during a game earlier in the year.

Oftentimes other coaches will just respond with something along the lines of “he just has to play better” or “we are going to keep those things in house.” It is rare to see a detailed, thought-out explanation like the one Hynes gave here, and he has offered similar explanations for just about all of the controversial decisions he has made.

I really appreciate that as just as a fan and writer of the team, and as a player that has to make you feel good since you know exactly what you have to earn that ice time.

Let’s also think back to early March 2022, when the Predators were in a bit of a slump, but started to pick themselves back up. Matt Duchene credited Hynes for much of that, as he willingly told the media how Hynes pressed the team about getting away from what had made them good, and the whole team listened and responded.

The fact that the team not only listened to him, but that there was a veteran player publicly talking about it speaks volumes, because you truly have to earn that respect as a head coach.

For as much as the team has struggled to meet high expectations under Hynes, he can certainly motivate them to play through adversity when things are reach a low point.

The Predators rallied to make the playoffs in 2020-21 when they looked to be out of it in mid-March, and proved that ability yet again in 2021-22.

Duchene, Filip Forsberg, and Roman Josi all had career years when the Predators were expected to take a step or few back, and even though the season did not end so well, the start to the year proved that he could actually coach.

Do we even need to talk anymore about what the team dealt with towards the end of this year, between the trade deadline fire-sale and the injuries? A truly bad coach would not have gotten them near the playoffs, and yes Saros was a huge part of it, but the youth doing well and just the team being intact as they were shows that Hynes can bring them together.

All of this is to say that at the very least, Hynes is not this absolute dumpster fire of a head coach that a lot of people make him out to be. He has not proven to be a great one by any means, but if he was that much of a disaster, the season would have ended with loss after loss after loss, and that did not happen.