The Nashville Predators named Andrew Brunette as the fourth head coach in franchise history on Wednesday.
Brunette, 49, takes the place of John Hynes, who officially was relieved of his duties on Tuesday.
Brunette, who scored the first goal in Predators’ franchise history, spent this season as an associate coach with the New Jersey Devils. He was an interim coach with the Florida Panthers in 2021-22 and finished as the runner-up for the Jack Adams Award, presented to the NHL’s top coach.
“When I look at our roster and those in our system, we have a lot of fast, skilled players and we will likely select more of those types of players in this year’s draft,” Predators incoming general manager Barry Trotz said.
“We want to become more of an offensive team and Andrew specializes on that side of the ice — he lived it as a player, and he coaches it as a coach. He is as good of an offensive teacher and power-play coach as there is in the game today. He will be great with our young players, and I know, because of his background as a player, he will connect well with our top, skilled players. At the end of the day, he is a good person who looks forward to working in partnership with our players to make them, and our team, better. I can’t wait to get in the foxhole with him.”
Brunette shared Trotz’s enthusiasm about the team’s prospects for success.
“I am super-excited to be back in Nashville and a part of the Predators organization,” Brunette said. “I feel like this is coming full circle for my career — from pulling on the jersey for the first time 25 years ago to returning now to take care of some unfinished business. It has been awesome to see how this city and its fanbase have grown since I played here and I look forward to continuing the legacy and the culture behind the bench that Barry cultivated that inaugural season.”
Outgoing Predators president of hockey operations/general manager David Poile approved of the way Trotz went about the head coaching process.
“I want to applaud and congratulate Barry for his methodical approach to evaluating our head coaching position and his ultimate decision to name Andrew as the next head coach of the Nashville Predators,” Poile said. “As we transition the general manager’s position from my hands to Barry’s, it was important for me and our organization to let Barry decide what is best for the franchise moving forward. I like and agree with the selection of Andrew Brunette, but perhaps most importantly, I think Barry’s process and diligence in making that hire was excellent — one more reason I know he is right to be our next general manager.”
Hynes, 48, spent four seasons as coach in Nashville, totaling a 134-96-18 record. The Predators missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season after finishing with a 42-32-8 mark in 2022-23.
He also spent five seasons as head coach of the New Jersey Devils, posting a 150-159-45 record.
–Field Level Media