They are motivators, key strategists, tough bosses, and choreographers. They can be branded as heroes, ousted as scapegoats, quietly valued as friends, and everything in between. It’s all in the job description for an NHL head coach. In Behind the Bench, The Athletic’s Craig Custance sits down for film sessions and candid conversations with some of the game’s most notable modern luminaries—names like Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville, Dan Bylsma, Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock, and Claude Julien—all of whom share their singular views on topics ranging from leadership secrets to on-ice game plans. Dissect some of hockey’s greatest moments with the men who set the pieces in motion. Go straight to the source on what it’s like to manage a dressing room full of the league’s top stars or execute line changes with everything at stake. Signature games, including Stanley Cup finals, Olympic gold medal clashes, and World Championship contests—both wins and losses—are reflected upon and broken down in detail, making this essential reading for current and aspiring coaches, players, and hockey fans alike.