Oddsmaker: Hynes favored as next Pittsburgh head coach

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According to online oddsmaker Bovada, John Hynes is the odds-on favorite to be the next head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hynes, 39, is currently the coach of the Pens’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and will interview for the vacant head coaching gig next week — one of the first head coaching candidates identified by new GM Jim Rutherford.

As such, Bovada has listed Hynes at 2/1 (+200) to get the gig. The rest of the coaches in the mix?

Mike Keenan 5/2 (+250)

Willie Desjardins 4/1 (+400)

John Stevens 4/1 (+400)

Jeff Daniels 6/1 (+600)

Todd Nelson 6/1 (+600)

Ron Wilson 9/1 (+900)

Interesting to see a couple of new AHL coaching names surface in Jeff Daniels and Todd Nelson — Daniels currently works as the bench boss and GM of Carolina’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte, while Nelson is currently coaching Edmonton’s AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

As for Hynes, he’s certainly an interesting candidate, having coached at a number of different levels over the last decade — NCAA (Wisconsin), the US National Team Development Program, USA Hockey at both the U-18 and World Junior level and, of course, in the American League.

He’s also a product of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coaching tree.

The AHL club has enjoyed tremendous success sending bench bosses through to the NHL over the last 10-15 years. Todd Richards had the job before moving onto Minnesota and then Columbus; his successor was Byslma, who had the job for two years before jumping to the Penguins.

Bylsma’s successor, Todd Reirden, spent one year in WBS before moving to an assistant coaching gig with the Penguins, a job he still (tentatively) holds.

Other WBS coaches currently in the NHL include Wild bench boss Mike Yeo (who spent six seasons as an assistant) and Montreal’s Michel Therrien, who won the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship in 2004.