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Top 10 NHL Coaches 2022 Rankings

Ranking the best NHL Head Coaches such as Jon Cooper, Craig Berube, Darryl Sutter and more as Jared Bednar leads the way in the 2022 NHL season

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By Fan Rankings | July 19, 2022 - 10:26 PM

The National Hockey League bench boss, the position either loved, or hated by fans of a franchise. When a team is struggling, it is often the coach who finds himself the odd man out before any of the players.

Minus one time when the Avalanche moved Matt Duchene instead of Jared Bednar after an awful season.

NHL coaches have had a tough time after two or three covid affected seasons, but now the NHL is on track. Here are the top ten NHL coaches from the 2021-2022 season.




Honorable Mention

Jay Woodcroft

Team: Edmonton Oilers

Anyone who can coach in Edmonton is worthy of an edition on this list. Despite having the second or third best player in the NHL on your team, coaching there is tough. In February of 2022 the Oilers fired Dave Tippet, he was placed as the interim head coach.

He took the Oilers to a 26-9-3 record, finishing second in the Pacific, before getting swept by the Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche. He was then hired as the new head coach.




Top 10 NHL Coaches

10. Bruce Cassidy

Team: Boston Bruins 

Bruce Cassidy was drafted by the Blackhawks 18th overall in 1983 but was more of a minor league player.

Cassidy got his start behind the bench with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings of the ECHL back in 1996. It was not until 2008 he joined the Boston Bruins, starting his time with their AHL affiliate in Providence.

He got a crack at the big show in 2016, then took them to the Cup Final in 2019. He and his bruins went 51-26-5 for 4th in the Atlantic, the Bruins would lose to the Hurricanes in seven games and would lose his job. He now coaches in Vegas.




9. Rick Bowness

Team: Dallas Stars 

Fun fact about Rick Bowness, he was drafted 26th overall in 1975 by the Atlanta Flames and 62nd overall by the Indianapolis Racers.

He got his first real coaching position in 1989 with the Boston Bruins, and has bounced around the NHL.

He was an assistant coach for the Dallas Stars in 2018, and then quickly became the head coach of the Stars when Jim Montgomery left the team.

He and his Stars went 46-30-6, finishing in the Central last season. They ended up losing to the Flames in seven games after an incredible game seven. The Stars would then fire him, now he is back in Winnipeg.




8. Craig Berube

Team: St. Louis Blues 

This longtime Philadelphia enforcer kept the Philadelphia curse alive in that anyone with the Flyers wins the Stanley Cup after they leave the city.

After two seasons in Philadelphia and a quick break from NHL head coaching, he became the bench boss in St. Louis.

His first season, he and his Blues went on a Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup Final and won. He and the Blues went 49-22-11 this season and met Colorado in the playoffs. He was ineffective in curbing the Avalanche for a second season in a row, losing in six games.




7. Mike Sullivan

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Sullivan might have the easiest job coaching the three best core players in the NHL with Crosby, Letang, and Malkin.

He joined the Penguins in 2015, and for two seasons in a row he took his team to the Cup Final, winning both times. This season, he and his Penguins went 46-25-11 for third in the Metropolitan. They ended up losing to the Rangers in seven games.

He has taken the Penguins to the post season every year since 2015, if you include the bubble qualifying round.




6. Rod Brind’Amour

Team: Carolina Hurricanes 

Rod Brind’Amor was beloved by both Philadelphia and Carolina fan bases, where he spent most of his career.

He won the Cup as a player with the Hurricanes in 2006 (Philadelphia curse), and the team would eventually retire his number.

He joined the Canes as a coach in 2018, and he has taken his team to the postseason every year. This past season he went 51-20-8, winning the Metro. He would then lose in the second round of the playoffs to the Rangers in seven games.




5. Jon Cooper

Team: Tampa Bay Lightning 

Jon Cooper was a home-grown coach for the Lightning, as he took their AHL affiliate in Norfolk to the Calder Cup and won, he could not take the Crunch to the same place.

He was then promoted to the NHL in 2013. Besides the 2016-17 season, they never missed the postseason. He took the Lightning to three consecutive Stanley Cups, losing in their third.

He may be the best coach in the NHL, but his two Cup wins could be credited with easier teams in the Finals.

He, and the Lightning, were ineffectual against the Avalanche, only winning two games off Avalanche mistakes. They went 51-23-8 in their last season.




4. Gerard Gallant

Team: New York Rangers

Gerard Gallant is a pretty good NHL coach, despite the Golden Knights more or less screwing him over.

That front office is starting to develop a bad reputation. He joined the Rangers this season, a team aggressively and successfully retooling to compete.

They did just that as Gerard and the Rangers went 52-24-6. He took his team to the conference finals this year and eventually lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning.




3. Andrew Brunette

Team: Florida Panthers 

Andrew Brunette had one of the best coaching debuts in NHL history. His playing career lasted from 1989 to 2011, sadly never really winning anything.

He made his NHL coaching debut this season with the Florida Panthers, going 75-51-6, finishing first in the Atlantic.

The Panthers were early favorites to come out and play the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup. They were swept in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.




2. Darryl Sutter

Team: Calgary Flames 

Darryl Sutter is personally one of my favorite coaches in the NHL, and that might be because he got longtime Flyers Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Simon Gagne Stanley Cups. He has had a long coaching career and is currently in his second stint with the Calgary Flames.

He took the Flames to the best season in a long time, going 50-21-11 and finishing first in the Pacific. They would eventually lose to the Oilers in the second round off a more than controversial call. He is your 2022 Jack Adams Award winner




1. Jared Bednar

Team: Colorado Avalanche 

Jared Bednar is the best coach in the NHL, and arguably has been for a very long time. After Roy left the Avalanche right before camp opened, the Avalanche were in a serious pinch.

He was promoted to the big show from the farm team and in his first season with the Avalanche the team went 22-56-4, one of the worst seasons in NHL history.

Fast-forward six years, Bednar became the first coach in hockey history to win the Kelly Cup, Calder Cup and Stanley Cup. The three years of second round losses don’t matter anymore.



How would you rank these NHL coaches after the 2022 season? Rank below to be added in the Power Rankings.

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