In the NFL, offensive and defensive coordinators can make $2 million a year. In baseball, bench coaches get paid to, uh, tell the manager what he should be doing. In the NBA, each team has almost as many coaches as players.
But in the NHL, two or three assistants work endless hours for their teams with little fanfare.
NHL FanHouse is taking a step to change that by presenting our Assistant Coach of the Year Award.
NHL FanHouse polled 24 NHL head coaches, pro scouts and color commentators over the last week. The head coaches, in particular, were happy to hear that assistants would finally get their due. NHL FanHouse staffers also placed their votes.
Readers are encouraged to vote in the poll and provide their supporting statement in the comments space. Here are the 10 coaches who received the strongest consideration from our panel.
Dean Evason, Washington Capitals: Considered a strong candidate for future NHL head coaching jobs, Evason has helped Bruce Boudreau mold an international all-star lineup into a Cup contender.
Mark Hardy, Los Angeles Kings: After assisting in the progression of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook in Chicago, the longtime King is back in Los Angeles, where has brought along future Norris winner Drew Doughty.
Mike Haviland, Chicago Blackhawks: Developed Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, Dave Bolland and four other current Blackhawks as their AHL head coach. Now bringing all that young talent along in his second season as assistant coach in Chicago.
Sylvain Lefebvre, Colorado Avalanche: Former Avs defenseman worked for two years with Joe Sacco in the AHL and was promoted with him to lead the surprise team of 2009-10.
Dave King, Phoenix Coyotes: When Dave Tippett was hired just before the season to take over the Coyotes, he asked King -- with 35 years of coaching experience at every level -- to join him. Phoenix is the story of the season.
Paul MacLean, Detroit Red Wings: Mike Babcock's right-hand man for seven seasons in Anaheim and Detroit, including three trips to the Stanley Cup Final and one championship.
Kevin McCarthy, Philadelphia Flyers: Reunited with Carolina Stanley Cup colleague Peter Laviolette and helped right the ship in Philadelphia. Well-regarded for his teaching.
Craig Ramsay, Boston Bruins: One of the most respected coaches in the game amongst his peers, Ramsey designs the Bruins' league-leading penalty kill.
Brent Peterson, Nashville Predators: Barry Trotz's top aide for the last 10 seasons, Peterson's work has the Predators in the hunt for their third straight postseason appearance.
Trent Yawney, San Jose Sharks: Runs the Sharks' fourth-ranked penalty kill and has had a major impact on the improvement of defensemen Douglas Murray and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Three finalists will be introduced during the first week of April. Thank you for your participation.