TIDBITS: Bob Hartley, Mike Sullivan, Brent Sutter, and the Edmonton Oilers

Here is a look at some of the more talked about coaching candidates and some of the league’s vacant coaching jobs.

Bob Hartley

Zurich Lions head coach Bob Hartley.

Zurich Lions head coach Bob Hartley.

Despite reports to the contrary, TSN’s Darren Dreger told TSN Radio 990 in Montreal on Tuesday that Bob Hartley isn’t as close to becoming the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens.

The rumours are untrue. That’s not to say that Bob Hartley won’t be the top candidate and end up with the top job as head coach, but I don’t get the sense that it’s imminent and I don’t think it’s going to happen this week.

One complication may be the fact that Hartley is under contract for one more year with Zurich Lions of the Swiss league. The club’s general manager Peter Zahner told the Toronto Sun that Hartley’s been courted by a number of teams but he remains under contract with the Lions.

Several teams have contacted us to see if they could negotiate with him. It was like that when they fired (Jacques Martin) in December, too. Bob seems to be a candidate whenever there is a dismissal.

Some reports in the Calgary Sun and Toronto Star suggested that the Calgary Flames may be one of those teams.

Mike Sullivan

New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan.

New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan.

Speaking of the Flames, Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times that the club has New York Rangers assistant coach Mike Sullivan as a top candidate for their vacant head coaching position.

According to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News Sullvan still has “aspirations” of being a bench boss in the NHL.

The former Boston Bruins head coach tells Newsday’s Steve Zipay that while he would like to be run his own team again, he’s not in a hurry to leave the Rangers.

Do I have aspirations to be a head coach again? Sure I do, but I have a great situation here.

Brent Sutter

Former Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter. Photo courtesy Flickr user redmile.

Former Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter. Photo courtesy Flickr user redmile.

Brent Sutter tells Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal that he has not been asked to coach the Edmonton Oilers, nor has he interviewed with the club.

There’s been so much made of this because I went over to coach in the world championship and (Oilers president) Kevin Lowe was the manager and I have a relationship with Tamby (GM Steve Tambellini). I know him really well. But I have not had one conversation with the Oilers. We never discussed this (coaching) once over there (Helsinki at the worlds). No contact with the Oilers since I’ve been home either. They may be interested, they may not. Kevin and Steve know where I’m at.

Sutter went on to say that he has not put his name in for any of the current vacant coaching jobs, including that in Edmonton or the one in Washington. And he won’t be too bothered should he not receive any offers.

If nobody calls, I’ll work the farm (Sylvain Lake) and work with the Red Deer Rebels (as owner).

Edmonton Oilers

As for the Oilers, Matheson lists Oilers associate coach Ralph Krueger, Paul Maurice, Marc Crawford (who interviewed with the Oilers in 2009 when Craig MacTavish left), John Stevens, Ron Wilson, and Sullivan as potential candidates.

AHL coaches such Dallas Eakins, Jon Cooper, and Oilers farm guy Todd Nelson could also be on the Oilers’ radar.

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Alin is the founder of iTalkHockey and Editor-in-Chief of RumorMeThis and RumorMeThat.
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