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2. Paul Maurice, Carolina Hurricanes: Already? Well, he returns to Raleigh with no long-term contract and a legend (new associate coach Ron Francis) peering over his shoulder. Management and fans will want a quick turnaround. That sounds like a hot seat to us.
3. Dave Tippett, Dallas Stars: There are few more solid guys on the circuit that Tippett, and he has done a very good job since taking over in 2002. Still, the Stars are another team that came into the season with very high expectations. They didn't figure they'd be in the Western Conference basement on Dec. 4. In Dallas, club management usually proceeds with caution. That's a plus for Tippett; and he might get an extra pass because of the Sean Avery fiasco. At some point real soon, though, he has to get the team turned around.
4. Andy Murray, St. Louis Blues: There were rumblings he was losing the club in the second half of last season. Murray is an excellent coach, but he does have a tendency to wear on his players. Sometimes, coaches have to find ways to change. In the NFL, Giants coach Tom Coughlin was able to do it. If Murray can't evolve, he'll be toast.
5. Rick Tocchet, Tampa Bay Lightning: Aren't the Bolts due for another coaching change? The new ownership group has convinced itself it has pieced together a good team. Apparently, the group's definition of a good team doesn't include a strong group of defensemen. When ownership is so delusional and meddlesome, the coach is always on the hot seat.