The stories making the rounds of the NHL today, have Marc Crawford about to end his short lived time on the (well compensated) unemployment lines. The former Canuck coach is apparently bound for Hollywood, having been given the nickel tour of the Staples Centre yesterday and a sit down with Kings Management to discuss salary and philosophy.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi, himself relatively new to the Kings executive offices is scheduled to introduce the newest motivational guru in Los Angeles at a press conference on Monday. It’s at that time that Crawford is expected to sign up and prepare to lead the Kings back into the NHL west playoff battles for 2006-07.
Earlier this week it was reported that Crawford was negotiating with the Boston Bruins, who like many NHL teams are in the hunt for a new coach and GM to run their faltering program. But there’s a world of problems in the Boston operation at the moment and it would take a lot of incentive for someone to willingly want to take on that operation and its myriad of challenges.
The better fit for Crawford is Los Angeles, he knows the division and conference quite well, will offer a natural rivalry with Brian Burke’s Anaheim Ducks and of course will now be able to haunt his old team the Canucks, much like Burke will be able to do for the next number of years. It has all the elements needed to guarantee that Ducks, Kings and Canuck games will now receive more than a passing glance at the recaps on a nightly basis.
While Dave Nonis seemed genuinely upset about his duty when he announced the firing of his close friend Crawford from Vancouver, he comes out ahead with Crawford finding gainful employment so quickly. The Canucks were on the hook for Crawford’s salary for the next year if he didn’t find work or chose to take a lengthy sabbatical from the hockey wars. Should he jump up in that saddle again so quickly, the Canucks will be much for the better on the profit and loss statement.
For Crawford it was only a matter of time before he was back in charge of an NHL program, he’s still a very good coach and will now be able to start anew, with a clean slate and a roster of anxious young players looking to learn and to win.
He’s the perfect fit for Hollywood, his style and attitude will fit in quite nicely with the California casual crowd. He’ll bring some emotion to a team that ended the season on a losing note and let down And Murray causing him to lose his job. You sense that the Lombardi and Crawford connection will be quick to change any attitudinal problems very fast.
A new coach, means a new start and new way of doing things, Crawford will recharge his batteries and then return to the battle lines ahead for 2006-07.