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Report: Predators make surprising move behind the bench

By Michael Gallagher,

Andrew Brunette

Nashville Predators general manager-in-waiting Barry Trotz played things about as close to the vest as possible.

Never actually confirming the team was exploring other head-coaching candidates, NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes confirmed the Predators are making a change behind the bench, firing John Hynes and replacing him with Andrew Brunette.

A 2022 finalist for the Jack Adams Award, given annually to the top coach in the NHL, Brunette was not retained by the Florida Panthers last offseason despite guiding the club to a 51-18-6 record and Atlantic Division title after replacing Joel Quenneville just seven games into the season.

Hynes, who was given a multi-year extension last offseason, had one year remaining on his contract. It’s not known if any of the Predators assistant coaches — Dan Hinote, Todd Richards or Dan Lambert — will be retained.

The move ends more than six weeks of speculation regarding Hynes’ future with the club. The 48-year-old coach was under evaluation by Trotz, who will officially take over as the team’s general manager on July 1.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported over the weekend that the Predators were interviewing other coaching candidates.

“I do believe the Predators have talked to some other potential coaches,” Friedman said . “Some people would like to see John Hynes get some clarity here on what his future is. But I think the Predators have looked elsewhere.”

In 247 games with the Predators after replacing Peter Laviolette, Hynes had a 134-95-18 record (.579 points percentage). The team won just three of 14 playoff games under his guidance and never made it past the first round. Nashville never finished better than fourth place in the Central Division in any of Hynes’ seasons.

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