It’s been known for a week that Oilers farm coach Todd Nelson was being considered for the vacant NHL head coaching position in Carolina. On Tuesday, TSN’s Darren Dreger revealed that he was still in the running for that job.
Hurricanes seek permission from NYR to interview Ulf Samuelson for coaching vacancy. Oklahoma’s Todd Nelson also still a Canes candidate.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 17, 2014
The Process in Carolina
Carolina and Pittsburgh have asked the LA Kings for permission to interview John Stevens.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 17, 2014
So Nelson, Samuelsson, Martin and Stevens. I’d guess there’s a few more in the running too.
— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) June 17, 2014
The Hurricanes seem to be leaving no stone unturned in their search for Kirk Muller’s replacement. John Stevens is highly-regarded and has a history as an NHL head coach, Jacques Martin has a *long* history as an NHL head coach, Ulf Samuelsson has worked under Dave Tippett and Alain Vigneault in the NHL and had two years as a head coach in Sweden.
That’s pretty significant competition, and we haven’t even mentioned Dan Bylsma, recently let go by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
If Nelson is still in the running a week after being interviewed, it suggests he’s a serious candidate for the job as opposed to being talked to as part of that team’s due diligence; one wonders whether the Hurricanes might offer him an associate coaching position if he doesn’t end up as their primary candidate, much the way Edmonton did with Tom Renney in 2009-10.
Nelson has done excellent work in Oklahoma City, and it would be a significant loss for the Oilers if he ends up in Carolina.