Sunday, December 18, 2011


Seems like a lot more coaches than usual are getting canned, especially in a season where parity is as even as it's ever been in the NHL.  Maybe it is the increased competition for a playoff spot that is triggering this many coaching changes this early in the season?  Can that many owners really be laying down the law on the GMs?  It's generally accepted that coaches are being sacrificed to save the General Manager's job, but when you step back and look at it from 10,000 feet does that really make sense?

Think about it.  Only one of the teams to have made a change this season have been better for it, so the evidence is plain as day: it wasn't the coach, it's the team the GM assembled.  And does anybody really think that the GM doesn't know how this will reflect on them?

I agree, a team can get a positive jolt from a coaching change and to date this year it has worked one in six times...not very good odds.  If I'm an NHL GM my train of thought is not to gass the only guy that could eventually be considered a scape goat, it's to hold on to him and hope for the best.  And how does throwing a close working companion under the bus represent you as a GM.  Trying to save your job by making a hockey-martyr of the coach - who's going to hire you now even if you do hold on to your job another couple years.

Aside from this revelation two things are apparent to me: 1 - The teams that have had the gutts to try for consistency have been better off for it, so why is no one else tuning in to this? (See Buffalo...Nashville...Detroit, and until recently Anaheim), 2 - There are so many factors that lead to success or failure in hockey that need to be addressed before the coaches philosophy and ability to get the most out of his team.

I'm not blaming the GMs that fired their coaches this season for assembling bad teams, although some of them are, these guys all have to play the hand they're dealt, and a lot of the markets that have made coaching changes this season aren't known for having the budget to acquire top talent anyway.

If you do have to make a switch to spark your team odds are it's not the guys behind the bench, but the ones on it that need changing.  Take a look at your personnel who are the ones out there trying to win games; if they're not doing that then what is the logical solution?

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