A school of thought says a whole generation of coaches outside the NHL is just waiting to be the next
From a GM's point of view, the price is right. After all, if a rookie coach can turn dying dogs into some semblance of a hockey team, then he'll get a second year at pay that's likely lower than the guy who was fired. If he saves the GM's job in the process, he'll be kept around at least until the next time the team makes the GM look like he should be managing a 4-Pad in southern Alberta rather than a multi-million dollar sports franchise.
If you follow the Boudreau route step-by-step, you can put in 26 years in the minors and not see the bigs until you are 52. But off Boudreau's stirring performance with the Washington Capitals, the follow-the-leader mentality has kicked in because the perception now is that the "farm boys" are having great success.
The Ottawa Senators have been doing well under
Another poster child for all this good feeling is Pittsburgh's interim coach
Compare the performances of the two NHL rookies with the successes of proven coaches like
I beg to differ.
History shows that good teams gone bad may have tuned out their coach, but a new guy, especially a new up-from-nowhere guy, isn't the true reason for dramatic change: It's guilt.
"When a coach gets fired, guys (players) usually say all the right things about how unfortunate it is and all that, but the truth is something else," said a high-profile player who asked not to be identified largely because he fears the wrath of his teammates for speaking the truth. "If the team was expected to make the playoffs and didn't look like it was going to get there, that falls on us (the players), so when that guy gets fired you'll see the players pick it up big time. They know they got that guy fired and now they have to show it was him, not them, who wasn't doing the job. They pick up their play big time."
Tampa Bay had a few good players on its roster, but the Lightning didn't have the goaltending, defense, management or even ownership to save Tortorella's job.
Carolina was thought to be a bubble team this season from the get-go. Whether
One has to think the Montreal Canadiens aren't going to be a whole lot better with
So does Gainey promote
Boudreau may have waited a hockey lifetime for his call to the Capitals, but it came with
I got a ton of mail after
Why is fighting a part of the game while
Pucks flying into the crowd have been a part of hockey as long as the game has been played indoors. Is being killed by them simply part of the risk assumed when a fan buys a ticket? The league put up the screens because the girl's death was preventable. By not correcting the problem, the NHL would be held legally liable despite what it says on the ticket.
I'm not so naive to think there will never be another fight if the league bans fighting outright. I do believe the NHL can go a whole lot farther to protect the players. It chose not to. And, by the way, the players asked the GMs to amend the rules regarding blows to the head because they are inherently dangerous. What was the GMs' response? They did nothing. Hard for a union to do more than ask, except perhaps to refuse to play because of unsafe working conditions -- which may very well be the next step in this battle.
It's true that