What 10 Current NHL Players Would Make The Best Coaches?

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Which NHL players would make the best coaches?

Mark Messier
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

We have already heard a great deal this summer about former players returning to take over behind the bench for the team they made their mark with. Patrick Roy took over as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, which prompted new speculation on the other side of the country regarding the New York Rangers job. Could Mark Messier or Wayne Gretzky have interest?

Of course, that speculation has come and gone with the hiring of Alain Vigneault, though there are still whispers that Messier could be interested in an assistant coaching job. Nonetheless, it prompted some speculation for us as to which current players we’d like to see behind the bench of an NHL team, or which current players might find success as a bench boss in the future.

Obviously, a Hall of Fame playing career doesn’t always lead to success as a head coach. We saw Wayne Gretzky toil behind the bench in Phoenix for a few rough years. It’ll be interesting to see how Roy transitions to his new position with the Avalanche, though he does have some previous experience coaching at the junior level.

The following are ten current players who we’d like to see behind the bench of an NHL franchise. For the most part, these are players who are already considered fantastic leaders and have the respect of their teammates and peers around the league. One or two others are players who would simply be a blast to see back there, for one reason or another.

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Daniel Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Alfredsson is one of the more respected players in the league. He's worn the C for the Ottawa Senators since the 1999-2000 season. He's considered a top notch example of leadership, while also providing excellent two-way play. Everything about his career indicates that he'd be a coach that would have the respect of his players, and his ability to play in all situations means that he certainly has the knowledge to do it.

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Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

This one's kind of an easy one to explain. We're in the process of seeing the second best goaltender of all time take over as an NHL coach, so why not the best netminder ever? One would have to imagine that, like Roy, his coaching career would at least start at the junior level.

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Ryan Callahan

Ryan Callahan
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After hearing about Messier and Gretzky potentially taking over behind the bench, Callahan could be the next former Ranger we hear about grabbing a head coaching gig. He's been a leader since Day 1 in the league, and it's hard to imagine that that'll change when his playing days are over.

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Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

We don't know if Sharp has any intention of coaching after he hangs up the skates. But there are a couple of different reasons he's on the list. He's a leader, made obvious by the fact that he wears an 'A' for the Hawks, and has always been an extremely well spoken individual. Plus, who doesn't want to see this guy in a suit and tie on a nightly basis (and that includes the gentlemen)?

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Andrew Ladd

Andrew Ladd
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Kind of a darkhorse candidate on this list, Ladd is a guy that has the respect of many players throughout the league. Always a classy player, he was almost immediately named a captain of the Atlanta/Winnipeg organization after playing there for such a short time.

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Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo
Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

This one is on the more comical side of things. Picture the firestorm that is Roberto Luongo the goaltender. Now imagine that firestorm increasing exponentially as Luongo takes his place behind the bench. Though his presence on Twitter might have to take a bit of a hit, it'd be interesting to see the embattled goaltender become the embattled head coach. It would be an absolute blast for all involved.

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Martin St. Louis

Martin St. Louis
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

We don't know if St. Louis has the presence to be a head coach, but this is the type of guy who has the respect of everyone in the room. He's always in the mix for whatever citizenship awards the league hands out at the end of the year, and is one of the more universally liked athletes on the planet. An NHL club would probably love the opportunity to play under him if the opportunity presented itself.

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Shane Doan

Shane Doan
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Say what you want about his questionable play (at times) on the ice. There are few guys who represent the very definition of class in the way that Doan does. A well respected veteran, Doan might be more in line for a front office position some day down the line, but it'd be interesting to see him behind the bench.

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Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby
Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Throughout his career, in his bid as the "Next One" we've seen Crosby do just about everything he can to warrant those Gretzky comparisons. Perhaps a trip behind the bench to see if he can top The Great One will come when his playing days are over? We know he doesn't have a problem letting a ref hear it when he disagrees.

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Jonathan Toews

Jonathan Toews
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

This was a given. Toews is constantly looked at as one of the shining examples of leadership throughout the entire league. He's never had a problem saying what needs to be said and will get right in an official's ear if he has to. Plus, imagine some of those Captain Serious death stares from behind the bench.

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