It's the reality of the business: Coaches are hired to be fired.

It happens to people who've barely had time to order a nameplate for their office door. And it happens to people who have made playoffs and won Stanley Cups.

It'll happen again this year, too.

Ex-Vancouver boss Bruce Boudreau was the latest victim of the coaching ax in January, losing his gig with the Canucks after 46 games this season. He was fired just a year after he'd coached the final 57 games of 2021-22 when Travis Green and GM Jim Benning were let go.

Given that most teams are in the final 15 games of their regular seasons, the next transaction may not come until after the schedule is complete, but there are surely a handful who feel their seats growing warmer by the day.

The B/R hockey team took a look at the places where near-term transitions are most likely and compiled a list of coaches who'll be on the hot seat for the balance of 2023. 


Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues

It's hard to have more tumult in a season than Craig Berube has had.

The former player won a Stanley Cup in his first season in St. Louis after taking over the Blues when Mike Yeo was fired just weeks into the 2018-19 season.

They have been postseason fixtures in the three seasons since but were 13 points off the Western Conference playoff pace entering Friday night and had already endured separate streaks of four, five, six and eight losses with 15 games remaining.

Cup winners Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O'Reilly were dealt away at the trade deadline as the team leaned into a retooling phase, but given their presence at the beginning of the season and the lack of success as a whole, it wouldn't be a shock to see Berube take the fall.

Recent comments questioning the commitment of holdover star players like Robert Thomas haven't helped his locker-room standing either.

Perhaps the Cup buys one more year to right the ship, but if GM Doug Armstrong's number comes up on his phone in early April, it might be wise for the coach to let it go to voicemail.


Dallas Eakins, Anaheim Ducks

Perhaps Dallas Eakins is best left to the AHL.

The 56-year-old has gotten a pair of NHL coaching gigs following extended stints of success in the sport's top North American minor league.

He had two first-place finishes and 16 postseason wins across four seasons with the Toronto Marlies before getting the head coaching job in Edmonton for 2013-14. And he made three playoffs in four seasons with the San Diego Gulls before landing in Anaheim for 2019-20.

As for the results with the Oilers and Ducks, well…meh.

Eakins won 36 of 113 games with Edmonton before he was canned by the Oilers just 31 games into his second season, and he's about to finish a fourth straight season with no playoff berths for the Ducks, who entered Friday just five points out of the NHL's basement.

Their minus-102 goal differential is worst in the league by a mile, and though letting Eakins go wouldn't magically turn the team into a contender, it'd certainly provide a page turn for the holdovers and perhaps be a good start to the Connor Bedard era if he lands in the pond.