The Hockey News’s Jared Clinton lists Grand Rapids Griffins coach Todd Nelson as a possible candidate to succeed Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters, but Clinton does a good job of explaining why Nelson might not get the chance to audition for the job:
Current: Coach, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Past NHL Experience: Interim coach, Edmonton Oilers; assistant coach, Atlanta Thrashers
Nelson gives the Hurricanes another potential option out of the AHL, but the difference here is that he has experience behind an NHL bench. It’s not much, mind you, but it’s something. For two seasons, from 2008 to 2010, Nelson was an assistant with the Thrashers, and after some excellent work with the Oilers’ farm team, he earned a chance to coach Edmonton on an interim basis. It was only 46 games, but that’s 46 games more than Keefe or Brind’Amour. Nelson has really turned some heads in recent years, too, coaching the Griffins to the 2016-17 Calder Cup. Here’s the catch, though: will Detroit let Nelson interview for the gig? The past two seasons have been dreadful under coach Jeff Blashill, and if the coming campaign isn’t much better, Nelson might be next in line for the Detroit job.
I’m assuming that Rod Brind’Amour will get the Canes’ gig, and I’m sure that Nelson will be in the running for other coaching positions, but his lack of NHL experience–and the Wings’ possible desire to keep him in the fold for one more year–yield a probable return behind the Griffins’ bench.