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The Canadian Press takes a look at five NHL coaches who could be on the hot seat

Vancouver Canucks' head coach Willie Desjardins, top right, speaks to his players as assistant coach Perry Pearn, top left, listens during a timeout during the third period of a pre-season NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday October 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
October 05, 2016 - 11:20 AM

Three NHL coaches were fired during the 2015-16 regular-season, with three more getting axed once their clubs were eliminated.

Add to that Patrick Roy's resignation from the Colorado Avalanche this summer and nearly 25 per cent of teams have different men behind the bench from this time last year.

The Canadian Press takes a look at five coaches who could be on the hot seat this season.

WILLIE DESJARDINS

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Desjardins led the Canucks to the playoffs in his first year, but Vancouver took a big step backwards in 2015-16, finishing with a paltry 75 points in the standings.

The Canucks' goal is to return to the post-season after trying to simultaneously develop young talent and stay competitive, and Desjardins knows he will be under the microscope.

"You can't control things that are out of your control, but you can control things that are within. My focus is on the team," he said at the start of training camp. "You're going to get looked at if things don't go the way you want. That's just the way the league is."

CLAUDE JULIEN

BOSTON BRUINS

Julien won the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011 before losing in the 2013 final.

The club went on to the Presidents' Trophy for the league's best regular-season record the following season, but has missed the playoffs the last two years.

Julien is the longest-tenured active coach in the NHL, having joined the Bruins in 2007, but another down season could mean the end of his time in Boston.

PAUL MAURICE

WINNIPEG JETS

Entering his third full season with the Winnipeg Jets, there's pressure on Maurice to win now.

The club made the playoffs two seasons ago before getting swept in the first round.

Winnipeg had expectations of going further last year, but wound up missing the post-season altogether.

The Jets have a stable of talented forwards, including No. 2 overall pick Patrik Laine, and should be in the mix for the playoffs, but another slip up could cost Maurice his job.

TODD MCLELLAN

EDMONTON OILERS

McLellan is heading into his second year with the Edmonton Oilers, but it's time for this team to take the next step after a decade of misery.

Led by phenom Connor McDavid and high-profile free agent Milan Lucic, the Oilers are moving into the shiny new Rogers Place.

The club is desperate to return to the playoffs after 10 forgettable seasons, and if they don't show improvement in 2016-17, McLellan could be the one who takes the fall.

MICHEL THERRIEN

MONTREAL CANADIENS

The Montreal Canadiens raced out of the gate last season and owned the best record in the NHL when star goalie Carey Price went down with a knee injury in November.

The club promptly fell off a cliff from that point forward on the way to missing the playoffs.

Many observers expected Therrien to be let go after the season, but Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin instead chose to shake things up by trading P.K. Subban to Nashville for fellow defenceman Shea Weber.

If Price stays healthy, the Canadiens should be fine. But it's unlikely Therrien could survive a repeat of last season's tumble down the standings.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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