Who Will Be The Next NHL Head Coach Fired?

By Steve Bittenbender
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Editor's Note: This story last updated June 18, 2024.

Pascal Vincent’s first NHL head coaching gig was an impossible job from Day 1. Thrust into leading the Columbus Blue Jackets just one month before the season began, Vincent had to step in thanks to the unexpected departure of Mike Babcock, who was the target of an investigation that he violated the privacy of Blue Jackets players.

Vincent, who had been an assistant in Columbus since 2020 and a longtime head coach at lower levels, was dismissed late Monday by newly hired General Manager Don Waddell, who had nothing but kind words for the now-unemployed coach.

“As I spent time with Pascal over the past few weeks, I found him to be an outstanding person and smart hockey coach who worked very hard last year under trying circumstances, but I believe a change behind the bench is in our team’s best interest,” Waddell said in a statement announcing the move.

Columbus finished with a 27-43-12 record this past season, the worst in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. While the Blue Jackets were expected to be cellar dwellers this season, it’s understandable that a change was made – even if we didn’t have Pascal on our next NHL coach fired board – given the hiring of a new general manager. To borrow a line from Bill Parcells, if the Blue Jackets want Waddell to cook, at least they ought to let him shop for the groceries.

With Pascal’s firing, we at OntarioBets have updated our odds board for the next NHL coach to get a pink slip. These, again, are unofficial odds that you will not find at any licensed Ontario sports betting app.

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Odds Of Next NHL Coach Fired




Percent Chance

Pittsburgh Penguins

Mike Sullivan



Utah Hockey Club

Andre Tourigny



Montreal Canadiens

Martin St. Louis



Chicago Blackhawks

Luke Richardson



Detroit Red Wings

Derek LaLonde



Calgary Flames

Ryan Huska







On Thin Ice In Pittsburgh?

Mike Sullivan might have a new contract kicking in. Still, given that the Penguins have missed the playoffs two straight seasons, it’s likely he’ll have a short leash behind the bench in the 2024-25 season (futures lines are available at some Ontario betting sites).

The Pens were the oldest team in the league last season, and while they did make some moves to get younger, they’re still a team that revolves around Sydney Crosby, who turns 37 in less than two months, and Evgeni Malkin, who turns 38 on July 31.

Pittsburgh has just missed out on the postseason the past two seasons, so they might get one last run out of Crosby and Malkin. Caesars Ontario Sportsbook lists the Penguins among four teams – alongside the Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators – at +2000 odds to win the Eastern Conference next season.

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More Change In Store For Utah?

The former Arizona Coyotes have already undergone a massive change after gaining approval to relocate to Utah for next season. He likely will start the season as the team’s coach, but Andre Tourigny might not be around long enough to learn what the team will be nicknamed. The Utah Hockey Club franchise has made the playoffs just once since the 2012-13 season, and the last time the team won a playoff series, they weren’t the Arizona Coyotes. They were the Phoenix Coyotes.

With all that has changed with that beleaguered franchise over the years, there’s still not a lot for Tourigny to work with on the ice. DraftKings Ontario Sportsbook gives Utah +7500 odds to win the Stanley Cup next season. That’s the same price as the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. Only the Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks (all at +15000) and the San Jose Sharks (+30000) have longer odds to win it all.

USA Today photo by Philip G. Pavely


Steve Bittenbender

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters. He shares his expertise on OntarioBets, among other sites.

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