Tag: Mike Haviland

Adam Oates

Rick Tocchet thinks the Capitals should hire Adam Oates as head coach


If it was up to former NHL head coach and star forward Rick Tocchet to pick the new coach for the Washington Capitals, his choice would be simple. He’d be all about Adam Oates.

Tocchet tells CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley that Oates has that special something other candidates can’t provide behind the bench.

“He’s not a rah-rah guy. He’s not going to stand up and give you a Knute Rockne speech. But he’s a man’s man and a pro. I think he could be a great head coach.

“Let’s put it this way: If I was an owner or a GM I’d find a way to get Adam Oates on my team. In my opinion, 85 percent of the league’s coaches are the same. Adam gives you that extra 15 percent that can put a team over the top.”

Tocchet and Oates were teammates in both Boston and Washington and were on the same coaching staff together in Tampa Bay. To say Tocchet has a good feel for what Oates can do might be an understatement. Oates is believed to be a finalist for the Caps job along with Norfolk Admirals coach Jon Cooper and Blackhawks assistant coach Mike Haviland.

One thing working in Oates’ favor is his history with Caps GM George McPhee as he was running the Caps when Oates called D.C. his home from 1997 to 2001. The Caps are expected to make their coaching choice this week.

Report: Washington interviews ex-Chicago assistant Haviland for head coaching gig


Per the Chicago Sun-Times, a league source confirmed that former Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland has interviewed for Washington’s head coaching position.

Haviland was controversially fired in May after a rumored rift within the Chicago coaching staff. The move was surprising because many viewed Haviland as one of the league’s best assistants — he was a finalist for Winnipeg’s head coaching gig last summer — and he was revered by players.

‘‘Havy was an awesome coach,’’ former ‘Hawk Colin Fraser told the Sun-Times. ‘‘I had him for three years as a head coach in the minors. We got along great. He was my favorite coach.”

It’s unclear who else Caps GM George McPhee has interviewed for the head coaching gig, though it’s not the only position he needs to fill. After stating it was unlikely that assistants Dean Evason and Jim Johnson would return for 2012-13, McPhee saw Evason take the head coaching gig with Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee.

Blackhawks’ Quenneville on staying: “I love everything about what we have here”

Joel Quenneville

The Chicago Blackhawks have come a long way since hiring head coach Joel Quenneville. That fact might not be clearer in the fact that there were murmurs about a potential departure after two “disappointing” first-round exits following the team’s resounding Stanley Cup run in 2010. You can put those rumors to bed, however, as Quenneville told Chris Boden and others “that was never in the cards.”

“I love everything about what we have here,” Quenneville said. “I have two more years left (on my contract) and I’m happy here. Nothing gave me an indication that [a departure] was on the horizon.”

That doesn’t mean that everything will be the same next season, however. The Blackhawks decided to part ways with one assistant (Mike Haviland) and keep Mike Kitchen in the mix. Adam Jahns and others note that Quenneville is very close with Kitchen but Coach Q made two stern claims: this wasn’t a matter of cronyism and he’s calling the shots as far as his assistants go.

On “dysfunction” in the coaching staff: “I knew it could be better but there was dysfunction” and Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman “provided opportunity for change.”

Haviland’s the one out of a job, but Quenneville told the press that much of the failures were on his head.

“I feel like I should be absorbing as much as anybody,” Quenneville said. “I take ownership for what happened this year.”

It’s not surprising that the Blackhawks are sticking with a coach who won them a recent Cup and navigated some choppy post-cap-purge waters, but the calls for his head will get louder if Chicago doesn’t make good on its talented core again. If that happens, he’ll at least go down fighting with “his guys.”

Blackhawks changes begin with firing of assistant Mike Haviland


The Chicago Blackhawks had an up-and-down 2011-12 season, yet their power play was mostly down. It looks like that flaw won’t cost head coach Joel Quenneville’s job, but assistant Mike Haviland is out of a top after four years as a helper.

(Quenneville is currently holding an informative press conference that we’ll break down pretty soon.)

Haviland was primarily in charge of the power play for some time before making way to Mike Kitchen. CSNChicago.com’s Chris Boden points out that unit started off in the bottom of the league with Haviland, received a nice boost when Kitchen took it over and then flat-lined again. Not taking advantage of the man advantage reared its ugly head on the largest scale in Chicago’s six-game series defeat at the hands of the surging Phoenix Coyotes.

Here’s your totally random question to chew on for a moment, then: would the Blackhawks’ power play have struggled so much if Brian Campbell wasn’t traded? Keeping his hefty cap hit on the docket would have been a challenge in itself, but one cannot help but wonder if it’s something that Haviland (and Kitchen too, to some extent*) might ponder as he searches for his next coaching gig.

* – Kitchen probably will keep his job, so he’ll lose less sleep.

Craig Ramsay will not coach Winnipeg next season, search narrowed to Noel and Haviland

Image (1) thrasherscoachramsay-thumb-250x347-20816.jpg for post 3526

The writing must have been on the wall when Craig Ramsay was told that he’d have to interview for his own job, but Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff made it official when he told Ramsay he would not be retained for next season. The move isn’t terribly surprising as the team has already opened the interview process for a new coach. In fact, it was rumored that Cheveldayoff was going to bring in his own coach from the day he was hired. Still, the decision must hurt as Ramsay still had a year on his three-year contract.

Bringing in a lame-duck coach for an interview sounded uncomfortable to say the least. If the GM wasn’t happy with the direction of the team, they why would he bring in the former coach for an interview? The always classy Ramsay expressed that it was an awkward process for all involved, but respected the way Cheveldayoff handled an extremely difficult situation:

“The whole situation was pretty awkward. Kevin handled his part well. They just didn’t feel they could make a significant commitment to me. He must have had other coaches in mind.”

“It was tough on everybody. It’s too bad it took so long. … I’ve been in the league for 40 years. I don’t want to stop coaching. Hopefully, something pops up. It will work out.”

The second part of Ramsay’s quote is certainly worth noting. Even though most of the head coaching vacancies stayed open for an extended period of time, most of the openings were filled last week amidst a flurry of hirings. Now Ramsay is left without a chair as the music is about to stop in the NHL coaches’ annual game of musical chairs. If he were given his walking papers when Kevin Cheveldayoff took over the GM role on June 7, Ramsay could have had the opportunity to apply for openings in Minnesota, Dallas, or Ottawa. As of today, only New Jersey and Winnipeg have head coach openings.

Then again, this was a different situation that called for different solutions. It’s normal for a new GM to want to bring in his own guys to make it “his team.” Since it’s a new team with a new GM in a new city—it’s natural for the team to be led by a new head coach as well.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the search for a new head coach has been narrowed down to Chicago Blackhawks assistant Mike Haviland and Manitoba Moose head coach Claude Noel. Included in the same article is speculation that a final decision could be made this week before the NHL Draft in Minnesota this weekend.

Both of the remaining candidates have ties that could give them the inside track to the job in Winnipeg. Haviland has been an assistant with the Blackhawks over the last three seasons. For the last two seasons, he’s worked with Cheveldayoff who had been the assistant GM under Stan Bowman. On the other hand, True North is familiar with Claude Noel since they also own the Manitoba Moose.

Neither applicant has ever held a permanent head coaching position at the NHL level—a fact that could change as early as this week.