NHL coaching changes tracker: Carolina Hurricanes go with franchise legend Rod Brind'Amour

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are soldiering on, but for most of the league, it's time to look ahead. For some teams, that means completely changing the front office. For others, it just means a new head coach. For still others, it means both.

As those outside the playoff picture and on the verge of either a retooled approach or full-on rebuild look ahead to 2018-19, we've got you covered with all the big coaching changes around hockey. Here, you'll find updates on every major hiring, firing and retirement among NHL head coaches:

Carolina Hurricanes hire Rod Brind'Amour

The Carolina Hurricanes have found their replacement for Bill Peters, who resigned to fill the vacancy in Calgary, and it's a familiar face. Hurricanes' great Rod Brind'Amour, a former center who led the Hurricanes to their first and only Stanley Cup in 2006, will be on the bench for the Hurricanes next season.

Brind'Amour has been the Hurricanes' assistant and development coach since the 2011 season, just a year after he retired in 2010. His specialty, naturally, is in forward development, and with young players like Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen having breakout seasons in their early 20s, it appears to be paying off. Brind'Amour is a name that the Hurricanes can rally behind, now it's just time to hope that it goes better than the Patrick Roy experiment in Colorado. In addition to Brind'Amour, the Canes also named Don Waddell president and GM. 

Dallas Stars hire Jim Montgomery

As first suggested by SB Nation College Hockey's Chris Dilks and reported by TSN's Elliotte Friedman among others, the Stars have officially announced they're doing a 180 after the retirement of Ken Hitchcock, going from seasoned leader to up-and-coming first-timer. 

Montgomery isn't just any old NHL newbie, though. The 48-year-old former center (1995-2003) has spent more than a decade making a name for himself in the college ranks, starting as an assistant with Notre Dame and later, in 2013, becoming head coach for the University of Denver Pioneers, who won the national title in 2017 and went 125-57-26 under his watch. He's a relatively out-of-the-box replacement for Hitchcock, albeit one whose reputation as an aggressive players' coach should up Dallas' intensity.

Bill Peters hired by Calgary Flames

The previous two coaching moves could really only end like this. In what will likely be the least surprising move of the offseason, Bill Peters has been hired by the Calgary Flames after opting out of his contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. Although Peters went just 137-138-53 with the Hurricanes in four seasons -- never making the playoffs -- he'll have more talent on a Flames' roster just one year removed from the postseason. Peters said in his introductory press conference that the Flames have a "lot of good talent and a lot of good pieces." Peters, who hails from Alberta, added that "there's a different feel, a different buzz" to coaching in a Canadian market. The first (and most obvious) domino has fallen in this coaching offseason, and now the Stars and Rangers are on the clock.

Carolina Hurricanes' Bill Peters resigns

Days after the Flames axed Glen Gulutzan, the 53-year-old Peters has exercised the opt-out clause in his contract with Carolina, as NBC Sports reported and the NHL has since confirmed. No one may have seemed more like a goner than Peters as the Hurricanes wound down their 2017-18 campaign, which saw the team finish 36-35-11 and out of the playoffs for the ninth straight year. By initiating his own departure, the former Detroit Red Wings assistant has thrust himself into the rumor mill regarding Calgary's opening thanks to his connection to Flames management, his Alberta upbringing and his four years of experience.

Calgary Flames fire Glen Gulutzan

Just about nothing went -- or at least stayed -- right for the Flames in 2017-18, when an oft-injured and offensively inept group went 37-35-10 just a year after carrying momentum into the playoffs, where they were immediately swept by the Anaheim Ducks. Hired as head coach after a stint with the Dallas Stars in the same capacity from 2011-2013, Gulutzan reversed Calgary's fortunes in his first year on the job, getting the Flames back to the playoffs. But someone had to pay after their stinker of a follow-up this year.

Dallas Stars' Ken Hitchcock retires

Instead of letting the Stars make a tough choice after a 2017-18 campaign marred by a late-season slump, the 66-year-old Hitchcock retired from behind the bench on April 13, ending a 22-year run as an NHL head coach. His move to a front-office consulting role came just a year after he returned to Dallas for a second stint with the Stars, whom he led to the team's first-ever Stanley Cup win in 1998-99. Hitchcock is third in league history with 823 career victories and the Stars' winningest head coach, but his touch couldn't save an under-performing crop of big-name acquisitions after earning five postseason berths with the St. Louis Blues.

New York Rangers fire Alain Vigneault

The Rangers didn't waste any time making a change atop their staff after the last game of their regular season. Vigneault's April 8 dismissal may have been a surprise to the coach himself, especially since his five years running the show included a Stanley Cup Final appearance and Presidents' Trophy. But it was an anticipated shift for a team that went public with its intentions to rebuild after a disappointing 2017-18, which saw the Rangers miss the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

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