After a disappointing season where they missed out on the playoffs, the Nashville Predators are shaking things up.
According to insider Kevin Weekes, the Preds are hiring Andrew Brunette as their next head coach, which means current boss John Hynes will be let go with one year remaining on his deal.
**Breaking News** 🚨 📰
I’m told, the @PredsNHL are making a change behind the bench, and one time Predator Andrew Brunette will be their new HC in Music City. @espn @NHL @NHLNetwork @TSNHockey @DKSportsbook #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/QOQFdTRuh4
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) May 30, 2023
Brunette played for the Predators during his NHL career and most recently coached the Florida Panthers in 2021-22 for one season, leading them to the conference semifinals before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He also served as an assistant coach and assistant GM with the Minnesota Wild before working with Florida.
This isn't too much of a surprise, to be honest. New Nashville GM Barry Trotz refused to speak on Hynes' future as the Predators' head coach last month and voiced he will evaluate everything from the players to the coaching staff. Via NHL.com:
“As I said, this will be a process,” Trotz said. “I'm going to evaluate from the players, the staff, to John. We're going to talk about his plan for next year and go from there. That's the process, and you've got to respect the process. It's the same process (current GM) David (Poile) has gone through with me for a long time, so I don't think he was able to answer that question right away.”
Hynes certainly did a respectable job during his time in Music City, though. He led the franchise to the playoffs in his first three years and did keep them in the race for most of the 2022-23 campaign despite trades and injuries.
As for Brunette, his coaching resume might be short, but he's evidently capable of bringing the best out of his players. A solid hire by Nashville and a face that fans will certainly remember.