Greg Cronin was named coach of the Anaheim Ducks on Monday.
The 60-year-old replaces Dallas Eakins and will take on an NHL head coaching job for the first time in his career. He was at the helm of the Colorado Avalanche in the American Hockey League for the past five seasons.
« I’m excited and honored to be named head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, » Cronin said. This team has a bright future and I am very grateful to the Samueli family (owner) and (general manager) Pat Verbeek for the confidence they place in me. »
Eakins was fired on April 14, the day after the Ducks’ last game of the season, who had just finished the schedule with a sad team record of 13 consecutive losses (0-11-2), in last place overall. (23-47-12). They had waited until November 23 before signing a first victory in regulation time – 3-2 against the New York Rangers at the Honda Center. Anaheim finished last in the NHL in goals against average per game (4.09) and 31st in goals scored per game (2.51), as well as in power play performance (15.7 percent) and outnumbered (72.1 percent).
The Ducks haven’t made the playoffs since 2017-18, when they were swept in the first round by the San Jose Sharks. They hold the second overall pick in the 2023 Upper Deck Draft which will take place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on June 28-29.
“Although we widened our search for the next coach as much as possible, it became clear to me that Greg was the ideal candidate for the job,” said Verbeek. Having a young team, I felt that our need was to have someone to teach the sharp aspects of the game and someone who worked closely with talented young players over time, helping them become good NHL players. Greg has done all of this and more, and we’re excited to have him head coach of the Anaheim Ducks. »
Cronin was an NHL assistant coach for 12 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders, in addition to being an associate coach for the Islanders in 2017-18. He coached the New York AHL farm in Bridgeport, Conn., between 2003 and 2005, and guided the Sound Tigers to the Calder Cup playoffs in his first season at the helm.
Cronin also coached Northeastern University for six seasons (2005-2011). He won the Bob Kullen title as Hockey East coach of the year in 2009 after leading the Huskies to their first appearance in 15 years in the NCAA Tournament.
Three NHL teams are still without a coach: the Calgary Flames, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Rangers. The Washington Capitals signed Spencer Carbery on May 30, and the Nashville Predators fired John Hynes the same day, before signing Andrew Brunette the next day.