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Super 16

Super 16: Top coaches in Stanley Cup Qualifiers

Sullivan, Quenneville, Trotz among best in NHL.com rankings

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

The NHL Return to Play Plan is in its second week of training camps. The Stanley Cup Qualifiers will start Aug. 1, with the top four teams in each conference, based on points percentage, playing a three-game round-robin, and the No. 5-12 seeds playing eight best-of-5 series. The winners of those series will advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the four teams from the round-robin. The losers will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft in the Second Phase of the NHL Draft Lottery on Aug. 10.

NHL.com has been previewing the League's return with weekly Super 16 rankings covering positions and teams. This week, the Super 16 covers the top coaches of the 24 teams returning to play.

Nine Stanley Cup championships and 17 trips to the Stanley Cup Final highlight the combined achievements of the men in this week's Super 16, the top coaches among the 24 whose teams are returning to play this season.

Mike Sullivan, who has two of those championships and Cup Final appearances, tops the list. The Pittsburgh Penguins coach edged Florida Panthers coach Joel Quenneville, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Chicago Blackhawks, by six voting points.

Twenty-two of the 24 coaches returning received at least one voting point.

To create the Super 16, each of the 12 participating staff members put together his or her version of what they think it should look like. Those were submitted and a point total assigned to each. 

The coach selected first was given 16 points, second got 15, third 14 and so on down to No. 16, who received one point. 

Here is the Super 16:

 

1. Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 166

Career regular season record: 284-171-63, 15 ties (.606 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 41-31 (.569 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 2 (2016, 2017)
Stanley Cup championships: 2 (2016, 2017)

Sullivan coached the Penguins to a .623 points percentage this season, fifth in the Eastern Conference, despite injuries to centers Sidney Crosby (core muscle surgery, missed 28 games) and Evgeni Malkin (lower body, 14 games), forwards Jake Guentzel (shoulder surgery, 30 games) and Patric Hornqvist (lower body, 17 games), and defensemen Brian Dumoulin (ankle surgery, 41 games) and Justin Schultz (lower body, 23 games). The Penguins will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in five seasons under Sullivan if they defeat the No. 12 Montreal Canadiens in the Qualifiers.

Video: Pittsburgh Penguins Highlight Reel

 

2. Joel Quenneville, Florida Panthers

Total points: 160

Career regular season record: 925-558-145, 77 ties (.608 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 118-97 (.549 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 3 (2010, 2013, 2015)
Stanley Cup championships: 3 (2010, 2013, 2015)

In his first season with Florida, Quenneville coached the Panthers to a .565 points percentage, 10th in the Eastern Conference. They can make the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and sixth time in their history (since 1993-94) by defeating the No. 7 New York Islanders in the Qualifiers. Quenneville is the only active coach who has won the Stanley Cup three times, all with the Blackhawks, and one of 11 coaches in NHL history to do it. He won the Jack Adams Award as NHL coach of the year in 1999-00 with the St. Louis Blues.

 

3. Barry Trotz, New York Islanders

Total points: 152

Career regular season record: 845-618-151, 60 ties (.568 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 59-62 (.488 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 1 (2018)
Stanley Cup championships: 1 (2018)

Trotz coached the Islanders to a .588 points percentage this season, including a New York-best 17-game point streak (15-0-2) from Oct. 12-Nov. 23. He won the Jack Adams Award for a second time last season, his first with New York, after coaching the Islanders to a 23-point improvement from 2017-18. They allowed 100 fewer goals last season (196) than they did the season before. Fourth in history with 845 NHL wins, he won the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals in 2018.

 

4. Bruce Cassidy, Boston Bruins

Total points: 133

Career regular season record: 208-113-41, nine ties (.628 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 24-24 (.500 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 1 (2019)
Stanley Cup championships: 0

Cassidy coached the Bruins to within one win of the Stanley Cup last season. This season, he coached them to the Presidents' Trophy. They finished had a .714 points percentage in their 70 games. Boston will play in the round-robin portion of the Qualifiers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the Eastern Conference hub city, against Washington, Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers to determine seeding for the playoffs, which the Bruins will reach for the fourth time in as many seasons under Cassidy.

Video: Boston Bruins Highlight Reel

 

5. Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers

Total points: 127

Career regular season record: 689-456-105, 35 ties (.591 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 68-71 (.489 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 2 (2011, 2014)
Stanley Cup championships: 0

Vigneault, in his first season in Philadelphia, coached the Flyers to a .645 points percentage, fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers improved seven points from last season despite playing 13 fewer games. He coached the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011 and guided the New York Rangers there in 2014. Vigneault won the Jack Adams Award in 2006-07.

 

6. John Tortorella, Columbus Blue Jackets

Total points: 122

Career regular season record: 655-515-120, 37 ties (.553 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 52-58 (.473 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 1 (2004)
Stanley Cup championships: 1 (2004)

Tortorella, a two-time Jack Adams Award winner (2003-04 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2016-17 with the Blue Jackets), coached Columbus to a .579 points percentage this season despite an NHL-high 419 man games lost to injury. The Blue Jackets won a playoff series last season for the first time, sweeping the Lightning, who won the Presidents' Trophy. The winningest United States-born coach in NHL history, Tortorella won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. Columbus, the No. 9 seed in the East, plays the Toronto Maple Leafs, the No. 8 seed, in the Qualifiers.

 

7. Jon Cooper, Tampa Bay Lightning

Total points: 120

Career regular season record: 347-180-50 (.645 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 36-32 (.529 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 1 (2015)
Stanley Cup championships: 0

Cooper has the best points percentage of any active coach (minimum 200 games). The Lightning, who tied an NHL record with 62 wins last season, were second in the NHL this season with 43 wins, one fewer than the Bruins. Tampa Bay had a .657 points percentage, second in the Eastern Conference. The Lightning will be in the playoffs for the sixth time in eight seasons under Cooper.

 

8. Craig Berube, St. Louis Blues

Total points: 119

Career regular season record: 155-96-44 (.600 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 19-14 (.576 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 1 (2019)
Stanley Cup championships: 1 (2019)

Berube coached the Blues to their first Stanley Cup championship last season after taking over for Mike Yeo on Nov. 19, 2018. St. Louis was last in the NHL in early January, finished third in the Central Division and needed 26 games to win the Cup. This season, they finished first in the Western Conference with a .662 points percentage and will play in the round-robin portion of the Qualifiers at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the Western Conference hub city, against the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars to determine seeding for the playoffs.

 

9. Dave Tippett, Edmonton Oilers

Total points: 92

Career regular season record: 590-438-129, 28 ties (.564 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 33-41 (.446 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 0
Stanley Cup championships: N/A

Tippett's first season with the Oilers resulted in a four-point improvement from last season in 11 fewer games. They finished fifth in the Western Conference with a .585 points percentage and will play the No. 12 Blackhawks in the Qualifiers. Tippett won the Jack Adams Award in 2009-10 with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Video: Edmonton Oilers Highlight Reel

 

10. Peter DeBoer, Vegas Golden Knights

Total points: 86

Career regular season record: 430-334-113 (.555 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 46-38 (.548 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 2 (2012, 2016)
Stanley Cup championships: 0

The Golden Knights were 15-5-2 in 22 games under DeBoer after he took over for Gerard Gallant on Jan. 15. DeBoer coached the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012 and the San Jose Sharks to the Cup Final in 2016. The Sharks made the playoffs in each of DeBoer's four full seasons (2015-19).

 

11. Paul Maurice, Winnipeg Jets

Total points: 82

Career regular season record: 732-647-122, 99 ties (.527 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 36-44 (.450 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 1 (2002)
Stanley Cup championships: 0

The Jets finished with a .563 points percentage this season, ninth in the Western Conference, despite losing four of their top five defensemen from the previous season (Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, Ben Chiarot). Winnipeg will play the No. 8 Calgary Flames in the Qualifiers.

 

12. Rod Brind'Amour, Carolina Hurricanes

Total points: 58

Career regular season record: 84-54-12 (.600 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 8-7 (.533 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 0
Stanley Cup championships: N/A

Brind'Amour helped the Hurricanes reach the Eastern Conference Final last season, his first as their coach, in Carolina's first playoff appearance since 2009. The Hurricanes finished sixth in the Eastern Conference this season with a .596 points percentage and will play the No. 11 New York Rangers in the Qualifiers. 

 

13. Claude Julien, Montreal Canadiens

Total points: 56

Career regular season record: 658-440-148, 10 ties (.587 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 63-51 (.553 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 2 (2011, 2013)
Stanley Cup championships: 1 (2011)

Julien won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and coached Boston to the Cup Final in 2013. He coached the Canadiens to a .500 points percentage this season, 12th in the Eastern Conference. They will play the No. 5 Penguins in the Qualifiers.

Video: Montreal Canadiens Highlight Reel

 

14. Jared Bednar, Colorado Avalanche

Total points: 55

Career regular season record: 145-136-35 (.514 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 9-9 (.500 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 0
Stanley Cup championships: N/A

The Avalanche are tied for 11th in wins (123), and are 10th in points (277) and points percentage (.592) the past three seasons. After losing in the Western Conference First Round in 2018 and in the second round last season, Colorado finished second in the West this season with a .657 points percentage.

 

15. Todd Reirden, Washington Capitals

Total points: 31

Career regular season record: 89-46-16 (.642 points percentage)
Career playoff record: 3-4 (.429 winning percentage)
Stanley Cup Final appearances: 0
Stanley Cup championships: N/A

Reirden was an assistant under Trotz when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018. He took over as coach last season and has twice coached Washington to first-place finishes in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals are third in the NHL in wins (89), points (194) and points percentage (.642) in two seasons under Reirden. 

 

16. Travis Green, Vancouver Canucks

Total points: 27

Career regular season record: 102-103-28 (.498 points percentage)
Career playoff record: N/A
Stanley Cup Final appearances: N/A
Stanley Cup championships: N/A

Green had his first winning season as an NHL coach, with the Canucks finishing 36-27-6, a .565 points percentage that was seventh in the West. They will play the No. 10 Minnesota Wild in the Qualifiers. 

 

Others receiving points: Rick Bowness, Dallas Stars, 13; Rick Tocchet, Arizona Coyotes, 11; Geoff Ward, Calgary Flames, 7; David Quinn, New York Rangers, 7; Sheldon Keefe, Toronto Maple Leafs, 2; John Hynes, Nashville Predators, 1

 

HERE'S HOW WE RANKED 'EM 

AMALIE BENJAMIN 

1. Joel Quenneville; 2. Barry Trotz; 3. Mike Sullivan; 4. John Tortorella; 5. Bruce Cassidy; 6. Alain Vigneault; 7. Jon Cooper; 8. Claude Julien; 9. Craig Berube; 10. Paul Maurice; 11. Jared Bednar; 12. Peter DeBoer; 13. Rod Brind'Amour; 14. Rick Bowness; 15. Dave Tippett; 16. Todd Reirden

TIM CAMPBELL

1. Dave Tippett; 2. Paul Maurice; 3. Peter DeBoer; 4. Alain Vigneault; 5. Travis Green; 6. Craig Berube; 7. Mike Sullivan; 8. Jared Bednar; 9. Rick Bowness; 10. Geoff Ward; 11. Joel Quenneville; 12. Rick Tocchet; 13. Bruce Cassidy; 14. Jon Cooper; 15. Barry Trotz; 16. Rod Brind'Amour

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Joel Quenneville; 2. Barry Trotz; 3. John Tortorella; 4. Mike Sullivan; 5. Craig Berube; 6. Bruce Cassidy; 7. Alain Vigneault; 8. Jon Cooper; 9. Dave Tippett; 10. Rod Brind'Amour; 11. Peter DeBoer; 12. Claude Julien; 13. Jared Bednar; 14. Todd Reirden; 15. Paul Maurice; 16. Travis Green

TOM GULITTI 

1. Joel Quenneville; 2. Barry Trotz; 3. John Tortorella; 4. Mike Sullivan; 5. Claude Julien; 6. Craig Berube; 7. Alain Vigneault; 8. Bruce Cassidy; 9. Rod Brind'Amour; 10. Jon Cooper; 11. Peter DeBoer; 12. Dave Tippett; 13. Paul Maurice; 14. Jared Bednar; 15. Todd Reirden; 16. David Quinn

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Mike Sullivan; 2. Alain Vigneault; 3. Craig Berube; 4. John Tortorella; 5. Bruce Cassidy; 6. Rod Brind'Amour; 7. Joel Quenneville; 8. Barry Trotz; 9. Jon Cooper; 10. Peter DeBoer; 11. Dave Tippett; 12. Paul Maurice; 13. Jared Bednar; 14. Travis Green; 15. Rick Bowness; 16. David Quinn

ROBERT LAFLAMME 

1. Bruce Cassidy; 2. Craig Berube; 3. Barry Trotz; 4. Todd Reirden; 5. Jon Cooper; 6. Mike Sullivan; 7. Joel Quenneville; 8. Alain Vigneault; 9. Rod Brind'Amour; 10. Dave Tippett; 11. John Tortorella; 12. Jared Bednar; 13. Peter DeBoer; 14. Paul Maurice; 15. Claude Julien; 16. Travis Green 

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Mike Sullivan; 2. Joel Quenneville; 3. Bruce Cassidy; 4. Barry Trotz; 5. Paul Maurice; 6. Alain Vigneault; 7. Jon Cooper; 8. John Tortorella; 9. Claude Julien; 10. Dave Tippett; 11. Craig Berube; 12. Peter DeBoer; 13. Rod Brind'Amour; 14. Jared Bednar; 15. David Quinn; 16. John Hynes

TRACEY MYERS 

1. Joel Quenneville; 2. Bruce Cassidy; 3. Mike Sullivan; 4. Dave Tippett; 5. Jon Cooper; 6. Barry Trotz; 7. Alain Vigneault; 8. Craig Berube; 9. Jared Bednar; 10. Paul Maurice; 11. Peter DeBoer; 12. John Tortorella; 13. Todd Reirden; 14. Rod Brind'Amour; 15. Rick Tocchet; 16. Sheldon Keefe

SHAWN P. ROARKE 

1. Joel Quenneville; 2. Barry Trotz; 3. Mike Sullivan; 4. John Tortorella; 5. Paul Maurice; 6. Dave Tippett; 7. Jon Cooper; 8. Craig Berube; 9. Bruce Cassidy; 10. Claude Julien; 11. Alain Vigneault; 12. Peter DeBoer; 13. Rod Brind'Amour; 14. Jared Bednar; 15. Travis Green; 16. David Quinn

DAN ROSEN 

1. Mike Sullivan; 2. Barry Trotz; 3. John Tortorella; 4. Alain Vigneault; 5. Dave Tippett; 6. Joel Quenneville; 7. Bruce Cassidy; 8. Jon Cooper; 9. Craig Berube; 10. Peter DeBoer; 11. Jared Bednar; 12. Rod Brind'Amour; 13. Travis Green; 14. Paul Maurice; 15. David Quinn; 16. Claude Julien

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Joel Quenneville; 2. Jon Cooper; 3. Barry Trotz; 4. Mike Sullivan; 5. Alain Vigneault; 6. John Tortorella; 7. Peter DeBoer; 8. Bruce Cassidy; 9. Rod Brind'Amour; 10. Craig Berube; 11. Paul Maurice; 12. Dave Tippett; 13. Claude Julien; 14. Todd Reirden; 15. Travis Green; 16. Rick Tocchet

MIKE ZEISBERGER  1. Mike Sullivan; 2. Jon Cooper; 3. Barry Trotz; 4. Bruce Cassidy; 5. Joel Quenneville; 6. Peter DeBoer; 7. John Tortorella; 8. Craig Berube; 9. Claude Julien; 10. Alain Vigneault; 11. Paul Maurice; 12. Todd Reirden; 13. Jared Bednar; 14. Rick Tocchet; 15. Travis Green; 16. Sheldon Keefe

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