A potential name to watch if a coaching change is made: Barry Trotz.
He was the Caps minor league head coach before Poile took him to Nashville, and runs a solid defensive system. Not as stringent as Hunter, but one of the better defensive schemes in the league. Leans on having 2 offensive defensmen paired with defense first guys (Green, Carlson), Alzner...and uh...MAYBE Erskine (but he's better as a 3rd pairing guy).
His system doesn't discourage offense, it's just that they've never really had any GOOD offensive guys there. Arnott and Erat might be the best guys they've ever had, and we saw how sub par they were here. This is the problem with hockey, where not as many people REALLY follow it, so mediocre players that just happen to be the best on their team get overrated as good players. In MLB or NFL people would be able to break down the individual contributions, but in hockey general input just says oh, look these guys are these kinda players, although they will perform differently on different teams. IE Ovi is an elite power forward, but if you put him in a system where he's accountable to play a ton of defense, you are wasting his talent. (Players have dealt with this through the years, look at down years for guys like Hull, Tkachuck, Guerin). No one was going to put Brett Hull in a system where he had to play defense on every shift, you just put him out there with a guy that can give him the puck and hope that the C, other winger, and defensement can compensate for his poor defense.
Anyways, back to my point...Trotz runs a good middle of the pack scheme that could be a good fit for the players we have here. It'd probably take some tinkering in the bottom 6 forwards, and bottom 3 defensemen, but goaltending would improve dramatically, and you'd still see a good bit of top line offense. Laich being healthy would be HUGELY important in this scheme though, since he's our best defensive forward, and two way player. It also would hinge on finding a balance with a true checking line, a 2nd line center that can play both ways.
Not that I count this really highly yet, I feel like Ted won't be willing to give up on Oates just yet, even though so much of the problem is CLEARLY him. That should be the move, and if GMGM can't make the proper alterations to the team to make the new coach work, then his head should go on the block too, but right now, calling to trade Ovi, or fire GMGM are just reactionary moves when someone can't think of a clearer way to fix things.
Trotz is an intriguing option. I wonder what he could do with our forwards. Obviously he's a defensive mastermind, but the Predators never had a strong offense.