Ranking the Eastern Conference coaching staffs into tiers

Dan Bylsma leads an experienced, successful staff behind the Sabres bench. Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching can have a huge impact on a team's fortunes, as demonstrated by two teams specifically last season: the Penguins, when they chose Mike Sullivan as a midseason replacement and went on to win the Stanley Cup, and the Sabres, who vaulted 27 points up the standings in their first season under Dan Bylsma. Is there a way to anticipate which teams might get a boost in 2016-17?

Using a methodology introduced for the 2009-10 season and explained in more detail last season, 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 2016-17 season in the Eastern Conference? We'll examine those 16 teams here and place each staff into a specific tier:

  • Tier 1: Best of the best

  • Tier 2: Proven success

  • Tier 3: Balanced

  • Tier 4: Inexperienced or underachieving