Marc Crawford’s season as coach of the number one ranked ZSC Lions came to a close earlier than anticipated in the Swiss NLA. The Lions were expected to make short work of SC Bern in the first round of the postseason, but were instead swept.
Crawford coached in Zurich for the last four years, but his time there is over. Following the first round upset, Crawford and the Lions announced that they would not be renewing his contract. It’s not clear if renewing was on the table if Crawford wanted to stay, but he made it clear earlier in the season that he was unlikely to stick around.
TSN’s Gary Lawless reported back in December that Crawford has his eye on a return to North American benches.
On Friday, Crawford was on TSN 1040 and said, “I want to give myself every opportunity to try and get back into the NHL.
“I know that that’s where I want to be. It might mean that I have to do a lot of different things. Maybe I have to come back and coach in the (AHL), maybe I have to be an assistant coach. I do want to be a coach in the NHL again because it’s the best thing in the world.”
Crawford’s track record in the NHL is mixed. He won the Jack Adams in 1995 and won the Stanley Cup as the coach of the Colorado Avalanche the year after.
But the end of his NHL tenure is marred by misses. In the 13 years on NHL benches after his Cup win, Crawford-coached teams missed the postseason seven times. He last coached in the NHL during the 2010-11 season, in his second year as the coach of the Dallas Stars.
Crawford, however, believes he’s grown as a coach. “To tell you the truth, as an NHL coach, you have to delegate a lot of responsibilities because there’s not enough time in a day…Over here, I got back to the roots of coaching, watching the video and knowing intently what my team was about,” he told TSN.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.