(No, the first decade of the 21st century doesn't technically end until 2011. Save your bellyaching. But we've had nine NHL seasons and one stolen from us since 1999-2000, and Yahoo! Sports has decided it's time to rank the best and worst of the last "decade." Enjoy, and snark freely in the comments.)
Sports are big business and results are necessary. With markets that struggle to survive, good coaching is needed in order to display a good product on the ice to get fans in the building. No one knows that better than NHL coaches who have seen the revolving door in constant motion throughout this decade.
In the last decade, there have been 100 coaches in the NHL (including Cap Raeder and Al Arbour who both coached a single game). Only Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz have been with their teams since the Baha Men "Let the Dogs Out."
While there has been plenty of turnover behind NHL benches this decade, there have a number of coaches that were able to keep their jobs for an extended period of time, whether through inept upper management or the fact that they followed Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis' orders and just won, baby.
Now here's our list of the 10 best NHL coaches of the past decade ...
It wasn't until his third NHL coaching gig that Julien was finally given the chance to lay out his plan for the team for whom he had been given the reins. In Montreal, Julien had just one full season in three years there leading the Canadiens to the second round of the 2003-04 Stanley Cup playoffs. Moving on to New Jersey for the 2006-07 campaign, Julien guided the Devils to an Atlantic Division title, the second spot in the Eastern Conference and a 107-point season, third highest in franchise history ... before general manager Lou Lamoriello abruptly fired him with three games believing the team wasn't ready to challenge for the Stanley Cup.
Being one of the few coaches to have constant employment, Julien had settled in for this third season with the Boston Bruins and quickly brought them back to the playoffs after a two-year drought.
Julien has been behind an NHL bench for 226 victories this decade and been to the playoff three times (four if you count the aborted season in New Jersey). His turn-around in Boston earned him the 2008 Jack Adams Trophy and a multi-year contract extension in September that will finally allow him to settle into the role as coach and not keep looking over his shoulder.
Making a splash in first season as an NHL coach, Tippett led the Stars to a 111-point season, second-best in franchise history at the time, and a Pacific Division title. In the first two seasons after the lockout, Dallas posted back-to-back 50-win campaigns and finally got past the second-round of the playoffs in 2008.
Injuries derailed the Stars last season and a regime change ended Tippett's time in Dallas where he finished six wins behind Ken Hitchcock on the franchise wins list (271) and with his five playoff appearances, tied for second games coached in the postseason with 47. He also had the most popular mustache in Stars history.
After a busy summer that saw Wayne Gretzky step aside as coach, Tippett took over in Phoenix and currently has the Coyotes in the mix for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After a Stanley Cup appearance in his first season with the Washington Capitals, Wilson was never able to recapture the magic he had in 1998. His final season in Washington coincided with Jaromir Jagr's(notes) arrival in D.C. After back-to-back Southeast Division titles, the Caps missed the playoffs in 2001-02 and Wilson was given his pink slip. Rebounding with San Jose the following season, Wilson took the Sharks to the playoffs four years in a row, including a trip to the Western Conference finals in 2004, and won the Pacific Division twice. Wilson is the winningest coach in Sharks history with 206 victories and has the third most wins among NHL coaches this decade with 367.
Now in Toronto, Wilson has been given the task of reversing the fortunes of the Maple Leaf franchise and has continued his love affair with the media: