NHL Rumors: Wild 3-Team Head Coaching Swap Could Be Unfolding

There are several NHL teams with an opening on their bench, looking for a new head coach. But according to a report from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen, a wild scenario could see coaches flipping from one team to another, involving three clubs who still have a currently employed bench boss.

The Toronto Maple Leafs staved off elimination on Tuesday night, edging the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime, and now trail their first-round series by a 3-2 count. But if the Leafs, as most still expect, do get eliminated by the Bruins in either of the next two games, it's believed that Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe will be sent packing.

That would set off a chain of events that could spell changes on the bench for three teams. 

Garrioch says it would go down like this:

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Fire Keefe, Craig Berube becomes top candidate

Pittsburgh Penguins:

Set free Mike Sullivan, Hire Keefe

New Jersey Devils:

Let go interim coach Travis Green, Hire Sullivan

We brought you the rumor last week about Sullivan potentially wanting to join his buddy Tom Fitzgerald in New Jersey; Garrioch seems to second that opinion if this scenario unfolds as he suggests

In Pittsburgh, GM Kyle Dubas would be glad to bring in 'his guy' from Toronto, Keefe, to take over the reins on the Penguins' bench and move on from Sullivan, even though he still has three years left on a deal at a $5.5 million AAV. 

Berube was fired back in December in the middle of his sixth season with the St. Louis Blues. He has a Stanley Cup ring from leading the 2019 Blues to the promised land, and still has two years remaining on his contract at about $4 million annually. Garrioch says he'd immediately become a top candidate in Toronto as soon as that job opens up.

Seems like the coaching carousel could be just as entertaining as any player free agency this offseason. 

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports