Dave Cameron believes his time has come.
On the eve of the Memorial Cup, the coach of the Mississauga-St. Michael’s Majors made it clear that he hopes to graduate from the junior ranks to the NHL once the tournament is completed.
“There’s a lot of excellent coaches out there and you always have to fight through the recycle thing of coaches coming back,” Cameron told reporters on Thursday in Mississauga, Ont. “But deep down, I think I’m ready.”
He’s far from the only one.
With five NHL teams currently searching for a head coach—Ottawa, Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota and Dallas—there are plenty of candidates for each to consider.
Here’s a look at 10 that could end up landing one of the available jobs:
Ken Hitchcock: The long-time hockey man seemed rejuvenated during a recent stretch as Canada’s coach at the IIHF World Hockey Championship—his first stint behind the bench in more than a year. Hitchcock is a proven winner and feels he’s better-suited to lead an experienced group of players at this point in his career.
Craig MacTavish: He’s successfully made the transition to television since being fired by the Edmonton Oilers in 2009, but would gladly give it up for another NHL job. Some reports have linked MacTavish to the job opening in Minnesota.
Pete DeBoer: Dispatched by the Florida Panthers at the end of the regular season, DeBoer is due another opportunity. He put together a sparkling resume in junior hockey prior to coming to the NHL, but was never given enough to work with during three years in South Florida.
Michel Therrien: After helping the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup final in 2008, he was fired midway through the 2009 season. Therrien hasn’t had a coaching gig since, but stayed connected to the game by working as a pro scout for the Wild last season.
Guy Carbonneau: Another former Montreal Canadiens coach, Carbonneau finished the year behind the bench of the QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Sagueneens. He was a runner-up for the Jack Adams Trophy during his time with the Habs and will likely find his way back to the NHL eventually.
Kirk Muller: After five seasons as an assistant with the Montreal Canadiens, many feel that he’s ready to assume more responsibility. Muller has ties to both the Devils and Stars from his playing days and will likely have a list of suitors that extends beyond those two.
Mike Haviland: Gained experience as a head coach in the ECHL and AHL prior to spending the past three seasons as an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks—where he lifted the Stanley Cup last spring. He’s been linked to the Panthers job because of his ties to GM Dale Tallon.
Kevin Dineen: Has five consecutive winning seasons under his belt with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, not to mention nearly 1,200 NHL games as a player. Rumours have surfaced in the past that he was ready to make the jump and this could be the summer it actually happens.
Brad McCrimmon: Mike Babcock’s former assistant parted ways with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday to pursue other opportunities. The former NHL defenceman has spent 12 years working in the league as an assistant coach and should be ready to assume the head coaching duties somewhere.
Dave Cameron: If he’s going to land anywhere in the NHL, Ottawa is the best bet. Cameron is in his second stint as coach of the Majors—who are owned by Senators boss Eugene Melnyk—and has also served as coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in the past.
Honourable mentions: Kurt Kleinendorst, Mike Yeo, Bob Boughner, Cory Clouston.