As the season winds to a close, here's a look at some of the coaches that are on the "hot seat," so to speak, and are at risk of possibly losing their job.
Scott Paluch, Bowling Green
Paluch looked like he had things heading in the right direction at Bowling Green. The team's record improved in his second and third season, including a .500 overall record in year three. But after the graduation of goalie Jordan Sigalet, the Falcons have struggled. This year, the Falcons finished the regular season at a dismal 7-27-2, which is the second worst record in college hockey.
The Falcons have struggled to find consistent goaltending since Sigalet left, and have been hurt by early departures. This year's team was without top forward Alex Foster, who scored 51 points last season, and Jonathan Sigalet, who would have been one of the team's top defenseman.
This is the last year of Paluch's contract, and the Falcons may choose to go in a different direction.
Troy Jutting, Minnesota State
This is very similar to the situation in Bowling Green, in that Minnesota State was a team that was victimized by an unusual amount of early departures, and didn't have the depth to recover. Jutting, like Paluch, is also in the final year of his contract.
On one hand, Jutting has done an excellent job this season, given the situation he was put in. The Mavericks were projected to finish 9th in the WCHA, and will finish between 6th and 8th, depending on the last weekend of the season. They finished just two points behind their league total from last season, despite losing 4 of their top 5 scorers.
On the other hand, Jutting has had just two winning seasons in 7 years with the Mavericks, which has led to discontent among some fans.
Jutting's saving grace may be his history with Minnesota State, where he was a player, then came up as a graduate assistant and assistant coach before getting the head coaching job. It's more likely that he'll get the benefit of the doubt from school administration.
Jim Culhane, Western Michigan
It seems like Culhane has been on the hot seat forever. It was almost a given that he would be let go after this season when Western was picked to finish in the basement of the CCHA again. But Western found a way to sneak all the way up to 6th place in the CCHA. A decent conference season, and winning a first round play-off series at home may be enough to buy Culhane a little more time at Western.
I couldn't find any specific mention, but I think this is also the final year of Culhane's contract.
Rick Comley, Michigan State
This would have sounded silly a couple weeks ago, but Michigan State's recent struggles mean they may need to win the CCHA tournament to get into the NCAA tournament.
I've heard some rumblings that athletic director Ron Mason is not happy with the hockey team's performance and a change could be made. There's also a possibility that Comley will leave after next year, with Ron Mason, when Mason's contract as athletic director expires.
Scott Sandelin, Minnesota-Duluth
This won't happen, but it probably deserves mention. After making the Frozen Four three years ago, Duluth has had three pretty bad seasons. They were able to sneak out of the WCHA cellar this season, but certainly expectations were much higher than that.
Sandelin's job should be pretty safe though, because he signed a three-year contract last summer, and Duluth probably couldn't afford to buy out the last two years of that contract.