Every coach in every professional sports league will say the same thing – you will be hired to be fired. It's only a matter of time.
But shortly after the NHL season halves, the coaching carousel turns fairly quickly. There were seven coaching changes that made up just over 20 percent of the league. Two coaches – John Hynes and Pete DeBoer – were fired and hired elsewhere. A coach – Gerard Gallant – had to be substituted for the all-star game next weekend in St. Louis because he was fired after his Golden Knights took first place in the Pacific Division when teams were announced.
Almighty Mike Babcock was released in Toronto after his twisted mental stupidity with Mitch Marner came to light. Bill Peters was fired in Calgary after it emerged that he had previously used racist disgrace and physically abused players. And Jim Montgomery was released in Dallas after it became known that he had an alcohol abuse problem.
There is a mess behind the NHL banks.
Is that what the league wants? Do you want to give the impression that coaches are a dozen and essentially interchangeable? Because on this day of parity, that's for sure what it looks like.
Hockey is such a fast and reactionary sport that it is difficult to know exactly what the coach is responsible for and what only the player has. There are always goals that are achieved with an excellent structure and the inability to lift a stick or tilt a pass at the right time. And sometimes great goalkeeping can mask a terrible structure. There are many gray areas in the assessment of a trainer and many nuances that even a well-trained observer will miss.
However, the main culprit lies with the coaches, regardless of whether this is justified or not. Look no further than the obsession of Rangers fans with assistant coach Lindy Ruff. Every time there is a clean sheet, it is his fault that he organizes the defenders. Maybe that's it, maybe not. But believing firing him would solve the problem is a stupid thing.
Probably the best thing that a coaching change can do is wake a team from the hustle and bustle. You've already seen how this affects Hynes, who was fired in New Jersey, and the Devils have returned to look at least like an NHL team again. (Well, what the general manager Ray Shero's dismissal did to them just over a month before the close on February 24, who knows).
Given the restrictive salary cap, which is expected to rise significantly in the next two years after the new television business, the player movement is relatively limited. So teams with high demands have to find a way to improve, and firing a coach is an easy solution.
Unless it's not a solution at all.
Great idea for the NHL to include women in the All Star weekend for the fourth time in a row, this time in a 3v3 match between the U.S. and Canada. A year ago, Kendall Coyne Schofield in San Jose was the first woman to take part in the NHL All-Star qualification competition, finishing seventh in the fastest skating competition. I look forward to seeing the 3v3.
Oh, and if the NHL is serious about expanding the game with women's interest, it should think about doing something more – like creating a real league.
Matthew Tkachuk of The Flames plays on the sidelines, just like his father Keith and just like his brother Brady. But he went a bit too far when he plastered on Oilers attacker Zack Kassian twice on Saturday night, causing Kassian to shower him with a rag and acquire a two-game ban.
"I would do everything again," said Kassian on Tuesday. "You play with fire, at some point you will burn yourself. He messed with the wrong guy. I don't think he'll notice that we're in the same league."
Then Leon Draisaitl said if he or Connor McDavid were on the ice playing Tkachuk in the all-star game, they would go to the bank. An escalation has occurred in which the NHL has warned both teams of their rematch on January 29. Nevertheless, a lot of television is watched.
Ah, that's a shame
Brad Marchand was the first player in the shootout era to miss the puck to start his attempt. Couldn't have happened to anyone better.
Stay tuned . , ,
, , , to Connor McDavid as he continues to score ridiculous goals. The speed and skill is just amazing. Really is.
Goalie goal. "Nuff said.