NHL Rumors: Insider claims current head coach could break league record salary held by Mike Babcock

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets announce Mike Babcock as Head Coach
NHL Rumors: Insider claims new head coach vacancy could break league record salary held by Mike Babcock

Former NHL coach Mike Babcock is the highest-paid coach in league history. However, according to hockey insider Kevin Weekes, that could change.

Weekes reported that a current head coach could break Babcock’s record, depending on circumstances. Babcock signed an eight-year, $50 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015.

While a record-breaking coaching deal is not likely, some intriguing developments could make it happen.

"There could be 1 current NHL Head Coach that might potentially hit or surpass Mike Babcock’s industry-leading 7M per Yr deal he signed with the @MapleLeafs. It would take plenty of factors for it to align, but plots are thickening," Weekes tweeted.

Perhaps the biggest factor could be the number of head coaching positions available. Just today, the Seattle Kraken dismissed Dave Hakstol. That’s another open coaching position in addition to the San Jose Sharks vacancy.

Also, Travis Green is an interim coach for the New Jersey Devils, while Andre Tourigny’s future in Utah is murky at best. Jacques Martin also took over from DJ Smith in Ottawa but is yet to be confirmed as the Senators’ full-time coach.

Then, there are coaches currently on the hot seat, such as Sheldon Keefe in Toronto and Ryan Huska in Calgary. Meanwhile, John Tortorella’s future with the Philadelphia Flyers seems a bit cloudy, though both sides have reiterated their commitments.

With the Kraken's coaching position open, among others, it could create a bidding war for an elite-level head coach.

Could the next Kraken coach break Mike Babcock’s record deal?

Two possibilities emerge as the Seattle Kraken search for their next head coach.

First, the Kraken could target a younger coach to lead an equally young core. However, hiring a younger coach, such as current assistant Jay Leach, may seem like a long-term decision more than a win-now move.

Second, the Kraken could target a veteran coach whose track record speaks of a win-now attitude. With several coaches on expiring deals, one coach comes to mind: The Carolina Hurricanes’ Rod Brind’Amour.

Brind’Amour’s current deal expires at the end of this season, leaving the door open for a potential record-breaking deal.

Would Brind’Amour leave Carolina after this season? Weekes pointed out that the stars could align.

For Seattle fans, prying Brind’Amour away from Carolina would be a home run. Maybe Seattle could play it safe and anoint Jay Leach as the next coach. But if someone like Brind’Amour became available, the Kraken may break the bank to bring him on board.

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