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Ranking all 16 Eastern Conference coaching staffs in tiers

By looking at the experience and prior success of entire coaching staffs, we put each team into one of four tiers, and sort out who's likely to contend and who will disappoint. It all starts with Mike Sullivan & Co. in Pittsburgh. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Coaching can have a huge impact on a team's fortunes, as demonstrated by the Pittsburgh Penguins when they chose Mike Sullivan as a replacement midway through the 2015-16 season. Since then, they have dominated during the regular season and won the Stanley Cup in back-to-back seasons. Is there a way to anticipate which teams might get a boost from their coaching staff in 2017-18?

Using a methodology introduced for the 2009-10 season, and explained in more detail in our 2015-16 edition, it is possible to objectively measure the experience and past success of each team's coaching staff at a high level.

How do things shape up for the 2017-18 season in the Eastern Conference? We'll examine those 16 teams here and place each staff into a specific tier:

  • Tier 1: Accomplished

  • Tier 2: Experienced

  • Tier 3: Balanced

  • Tier 4: Inexperienced or underachieving