NHL Rumors: 3 Coaches Who Are on Thin Ice in 2023-24

The 2023-24 NHL season is right around the corner as the longest preseason in sports is finally over. The games mean something now and that includes not only on the ice for the players but also behind the bench with coaching staffs. There's several head coaches who will be on the hot seat this season if things don't go as planned, including these three bench bosses:

Ottawa Senators, DJ Smith

The Senators management and new owner are on the same page that the rebuilding is over and the results better be coming. Smith is in charge to lead his group to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and if Ottawa doesn't manage to get to the second season, look for Smith to be let go. If things don't go as planned these first couple months, there's even a chance he gets replaced before Christmas. The expectations are high for the Sens to improve, and frankly their roster has improved, so it will be up to Joonas Korpisalo and the head coach to lead the team to the promised land.

Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike Sullivan

With Ron Hextall out and Kyle Dubas in, it's Mike Sullivan who is on the hot seat behind the Penguins bench. Dubas has been busy so far in his tenure, landing the reigning Norris trophy winner and re-tooling in the team's bottom six and backup goaltender positions. Now, Sullivan needs to land some results. If things don't go as planned in Pittsburgh, Sullivan could be the first coach fired this season.

Toronto Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe

Much like Sullivan in Pittsburgh, Keefe is under a new boss and could be out if the wins don't come in bunches. The expectations in Toronto for Treliving and company is at least the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the Leafs can make the conference final, Keefe is likely safe. But if not, there's going to be changes regardless of what extensions were handed out in the summer months. The heat is on in Toronto and Keefe is standing right under the heat lamp.

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