Monday, October 31, 2011

The Kids' a keeper...

A few NHL teams have had some tough decisions to make over the last few days, as their youngest of talent reached the ten game mark, the point of return or no return where NHL teams decide to send back to junior or keep the young players on their active rosters.

A few had an early head start on their journey, having been told to pack their bags, the latest being Winnipegs' Mark Scheifele, who was returned to the Barrie Colts, a move the Jets no doubt will help season him for next year and a full time slot with the Jets.

Likewise, the Ottawa Senators decided that their young prospect, Mika Zlbanejad would best learn his craft for one more year back in Sweden, even though he was a most pleasant surprise in the Senators camp this early season.

Some of the young guns however made impressions and made the cut , having made it rather hard to hand out the return to junior tickets.

Among the tour to draftees that remain in the Big Leagues for the season are:

Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche, Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers and Adam Larsson of the New Jersey Devils.

However, leading the parade of the prospects in the quest to stay up in the Big League, was Ryan Nugent Hopkins of Edmonton, if ever a junior wants the blue print on how to stay up with the big team, Nugent-Hopkins has provided it.

In the short ten game trial period, none of the youngest of guns has captivated the hockey world more than the exploits or Nugent-Hopkins.

On two consecutive Hockey Night In Canada nightcaps, he was one of the top players on the ice,  he scored two goals in his HNIC debut and came close to recording a third, again a week ago, Nugent-Hopkins gained one of the Oilers goals in a 2-0 victory over the Rangers.

There are some NHL teams that probably wish they could find scoring at that pace by November, Edmonton had it before Halloween.

His pace seemingly made the choice rather easy for the Oilers who added him to the regular season roster full time last week, it may be a long, cold winter in Northern Alberta and there have been some long seasons steeped in disappointment in the last few years, but the future sure looks bright as the line of Nugent Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle offer up some reminders of the glory days of another Oiler team steeped in  youth.

One which if we remember correctly had a pretty good run of things over time.

Edmonton Journal-- Awesome to remain an Oiler: RNH
Edmonton Journal-- Coach has phenom playing to his strengths
Edmonton Journal-- Another stiff test for young guns
Edmonton Sun-- Nugent-Hopkins stays in the bigs
Edmonton Sun-- The Oilers took their Tweet time
Edmonton Sun-- "It would be Pretty Silly"
Edmonton Sun-- Ovechkin touts Oiiler young-guns' 'sick' moves
Edmonton Sun-- RNH a keeper for Oilers
Globe and Mail-- Nugent-Hopkins to remain with Oilers
National Post-- Nugent-Hopkins sticking with Oilers

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scapegoat, thy name be Perry!

The Montreal Canadiens became the first NHL team to push the panic button in the 2011-12 season, with the local squad mired in a horrendous start, 1-5-2, the Habs pushed Perry Pearn off the plank prior to their October 26th game with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Pearn, a close friend of Jacques Martin's was told 90 minutes prior to game time that his services would no longer be required behind the bench.  His duties supervising special teams and defensive play no longer required.

Granted, those were two areas of the game where the Canadiens were lacking these days, but they haven't exactly excelled in other categories either, from offence to defence and all points in between this edition of Les Habitants has been less than formidable!

The dismissal of Pearn so early into the season, reeks of scapegoat, an offering if you will to the Gods of Hockey in Montreal, all that was missing from Wednesday's announcement was a lava flow from the Bell Centre.

Montreal, off to its worst start since 1941 hasn't had much in the way of success since they appeared as the opening act for the Winnipeg Jets rebirth, that win was the Habs only victory of the year prior to the tossing of Pearn over the side, five other losses and two ties their claim to fame thus far in the NHL season.

Perhaps the decision to remove Pearn was a wake up call to the team that their performance was not acceptable and that other potential changes may be in the wind, regardless, for one game the message it seems hit home, the Habs took to the ice on Wednesday and administered a thorough thrashing of the visiting Flyers.

An effort that perhaps might have been nice two or three games ago, the win came far too late for Mr. Pearn, but might have been enough to buy head coach Jacques Martin a bit of time, though one has to wonder if he's feeling secure in his job these days, considering the pressure cooker environment of Montreal and the quest for someone to carry the can when things go wrong.

We're not sure that canning the assistant coach is the magical elixir to turn around a terrible start, the simple fact is that the Canadiens at the moment more resemble the Hamilton Bull dogs as opposed to an NHL ready squad, injuries have taken their toll on the starting line up and some of their more recognizable names have certainly had their struggles in this early stage.

The dismissal of Pearn perhaps provides a valuable lesson for Mr. Martin, who may want to keep his back close to the glass behind that bench, just to be on the safe side.

National Post-- Pearn the scapegoat for Canadiens' dismal start
CBC-- Canadiens look to keep rolling in Boston
Toronto Sun-- Habs fire assistant coach
Sportsnet-- Should the Habs make major changes
TSN-- Canadiens fire assistant coach Pearn prior to home game
Montreal Gazette-- Work life with 21,273 bosses
NBC Sports-- Jacques Martin cares not for your wishes to fire him
Globe and Mail-- Reeling Habs fire assistant coach

Pearn while the first to feel the axe, surely won't be the last in the coaching ranks to find himself summoned to the GM's office, through the year, morbid as it may be, we track the departures and arrivals from this link on our blog...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Backlash from some of the Band of Brothers

Don Cherry's aural Jeremiad on the fate of hockey of early October hasn't registered as gospel with some of his once devout congregation.

When Cherry called out Chris Nilan, Stu Grimson and Jim Thomson, over their thoughts on fighting and physical play in hockey he perhaps made a tactical error, at least that's how things appear to have turned out, as taking on the three, all one time enforcers of the NHL seems to have put Cherry punching out of his weight class.

That much became clear pretty quickly as the three decided to push back, coming over the boards to address their issues with Cherry,  through the resources of stationary from a Nashville law firm where it seems Mr. Grimson works as a barrister and/or solicitor.

With a statement demanding an apology from Hockey Night in Canada's high priest of pugilism gaining attention prior to Cherry's traditional Saturday night audience, Cherry did what few have ever seen him do, deliver an apology, live on air, stating that he was 100 percent wrong.

No doubt good enough for the legal folks to put down their legal pads and cel phones for  a while, and maybe enough humble pie to perhaps reign in Cherry for the foreseeable future.

For good measure, Ron McLean, who apparently didn't want to be left out of the mea culpas this week, apologized to Cherry for not interjecting himself into the debate last week "falling" him as McLean put it. A part of the apparent job description at Hockey Night in Canada that Mr. MacLean neglected to fulfill to the standard expected.

It was one of those rare Coach's Corner moments, where the usually combative Cherry seemed a tad unsure of his place in the nation's television sets, an interesting study into how best to get yourself out of a mess of your own creation.

Though we wonder how Mr. Cherry feels about some of those charter members of his enforcer's club. Apology notwithstanding, in the past he has offered many thoughts on the less physical players (past precedence usually includes European style players for example) that could have gotten him in trouble,  possibly legal or corporate at the CBC.

Yet in the end, it was his comments about those "tough guys" that seems to have put him on the defensive and at perhaps the most peril career wise, in years.

Even more discombobulating for Mr. Cherry one suspects, is the idea that those "tough" guys, went the route of words and legal possibilities as their preferred method of redress.

As Mr. Cherry might say "a lesson for all you kids at home" perhaps, sometimes you don't have to settle your problems with a good old fashioned NHL throw down, a simple note from a lawyer's office is apparently just as good.

It's telling to note, that with fourteen games played on Saturday evening, the talking points for Sunday morning almost exclusively surround the Cherry apology and what impact it may portend for future Cherry audio/visual encyclicals to come.

Towards that we see that the CBC has sought to seek out which way the wind is blowing, post apology. Offering up this item on their website complete with poll as to whether viewers are satisfied with the progress of events thus far.

That interesting twist and some of the other commentary of the last ten days or so can be found below.

Globe and Mail-- Don Cherry issues a rare apology for "pukes" comment
Globe and Mail-- Don Cherry's grovelling fails to erase errors
Globe and Mail-- Jim Thomson on Don Cherry and fighting in the NHL
Globe and Mail-- The "Pukes" remain furious with Don Cherry
Globe and Mail-- Don Cherry: Just call him the enforcer of free speech
Globe and Mail-- Ron MacLean spills the puck in Don Cherry saga
Globe and Mail-- CBC rides shotgun on Don Cherry's stagecoach
Globe and Mail-- Don Cherry has no regrets about hockey violence rant
Globe and Mail-- Cherry makes up for lost time
National Post-- Don Cherry will be missed when he's gone
National Post-- Ex-enforcers accept Cherry's apology, won't sue
National Post-- Cherry apologizes for comments toward retired enforcers
National Post-- Don Cherry is wrong, and this isn't just about fighting
National Post-- Don Cherry is right, fighting is an essential part of hockey
Montreal Gazette-- Cherry apologizes to former hockey enforcers
Montreal Gazette-- Did CBC make Cherry apologize?
Montreal Gazette-- A locker room responds to Don Cherry Don Cherry's comments "verbal bullying" Don Cherry takes familiar path to controversy Grimson puts Cherry's fight videos in perspective
Toronto Sun-- Cherry apologizes to ex-enforcers
Toronto Sun-- Rose Cherry, voice of reason
Toronto Sun-- Cherry under attack for no good reason
Toronto Star-- Cherry apologizes to former NHL enforcers over Coach's Corner rant
Toronto Star-- MacLean unfazed by Cherry's 'pukes' and 'hypocrites' rant
Toronto Star-- Can everybody in the Don Cherry spat just grow up?
Toronto Star-- Trio called pukes, seek 'further recourse' from Don Cherry
Toronto Star-- The 'pukes' are right about fighting in hockey
Toronto Star-- Don Cherry stirs the pot once again
The Tennessean-- Stu Grimson gets his apology from Don Cherry
The Tennessean-- To ex-Predator Stu Grimson, Don Cherry's comments
The Tennessean-- Grimson reacts to Cherry
NBC Sports-- Don Cherry publicly apologizes on CBC's Coach's Corner
TSN-- Cherry apologizes to Grimson, Nilan and Thomson for rant
CBC-- Cherry: 'I was wrong'
Winnipeg Free Press-- Grapes sorry for trampling trio
Winnipeg Free Press-- CBC's MacLean stands by his man
Winnipeg Free Press-- 'Grim Reaper; wondering why Grapes squashed him
Vancouver Province-- Don Cherry comes 'from another era'
Vancouver Province-- Cherry must go
Vancouver Sun-- MacLean drops his gloves, on paper
Ottawa Citizen-- Sour Grapes: Money Saves Cherry
CTV-- Don Cherry apologizes or 'Coach's Corner' rant
National Post-- The problem with making Don Cherry the problem
St. Catharines Standard-- Don Cherry has jumped the shark - again and again
NESN-- Don Cherry apologizes to Ex-NHL enforcers...

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Owners Box

As we wander through our look at the 2011-12 NHL season, we'll stop in at the NHL realty offices, checking in on some of the bargains that may be out there for prospective NHL owners.

Whether a chance to pick up an NHL franchise as a stand alone property, or to share in the load of the current establishment, there seemingly may be a few deals to be made this season.

We'll update this page as events warrant, you can alway check in by checking our line on the right hand sidebar, we'll keep our records tidy in the GM's office.

December 9 -- Toronto Maple Leafs --- The NHL's most valuable franchise is departing from the Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund, destined to be the chattel of two of Canada's largest media and communications giants.  December 9th brought the announcement that Bell Canada Enterprises and Rogers Communications were joining forces to purchase the shares of the Teachers' Pension Fund, a 75 per cent share of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, needless to say it filled the nations media content provider portals details of all which can be found here.


November 21-- Dallas Stars-- Tom Gaglardi once tried to purchase the Vancouver Canucks, a bid that ended in acrimony and a lengthy court battle between himself and the eventual owners of the Canucks, the Aquilini's.  Still, despite that less than successful attempt at NHL ownership, Gaglardi came back to the well this time with a bid for the bankrupt and nearly forgotten Dallas Stars. Some of the press clippings from his successful purchase can be found below.

Dallas News-- Stars' New Canadian owner has Texas ties
Dallas News-- Another thing to like about Tom Gaglardi
Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram-- Tom Gaglardi takes over as Dallas Stars' owner
Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram-- Gaglardi vows Dallas Stars will return to elite NHL status
Globe and Mail-- The Canadian who saved the Dallas Stars
ESPN-- Tom Gaglardi accustomed to hard work
CBC-- Stars get new owner and new outlook
Sportsnet-- New Sheriff in town
TSN-- Bankruptcy court approves sale of Stars to Gaglardi


November 18-- Toronto Maple Leafs --- The prospect of Wayne Gretzky returning to the NHL in an ownership capacity with the Toronto Maple Leafs has made for a rather fascinating look at the bid of the Ontario Teachers Plan Fund to finally exit the world of professional sports ownership (details on the bid of an American fund group to buy the Leafs can be found here)


October 24-- Dallas Stars-- The deadline for bids from potential buyers of the Dallas Stars closed on Saturday, with Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi the only person to submit a proposal to purchase the team. Gaglardi started the process back in September, the NHL hopes to have the process of purchase finalized by the end of November (details on the latest development can be found here)

Dallas News -- No rivals emerge to contest Tom Gaflardi's bid to acquire Stars
Dallas Fort Worh Star Telegram-- Bidder for Dallas Stars down to one
Dallas Business Journal-- Gaglardi is sole bidder for Dallas Stars
TSN-- Sale of Stars to Gaglardi takes a step forward

                                                * * * * * * * * * * *

October 14-- Carolina Hurriances-- Peter Karmanos is taking on a partner within the ownership group of the Hurricanes, as Michael Kahn signs on as part of the Hurricanes organization. Kahn is the owner and Governor of the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League, the Checkers are the AHL affiliate for the Hurricanes (details on the arrangement). The deal with Kahn is just one of nine Carolina investors that have been offered equity stakes with the Hurricanes.

Charlotte Observer-- Karmanos: Canes to add other N. C. investors
News Observer-- Checkers owner invests in Canes
ABC 11-- Canes take on new owner

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Attendance Watch, aka as Mr. Bettman's Box Office!

While the usual suspects and a few newcomers will play to packed houses this season, other teams will have less than full stands and perolating rumours of potential trouble because of that.

So as the 2011-12 season begins we'll keep an eye on the attendance listings (all be it sometimes perhaps less than, oh shall we say, reflective of the actual numbers) from some of the teams that may make up our talking points later in the season.

For our faithful readers in Quebec City and other would be NHL host cities, the numbers may provide some hint as to who may one day be making moving plans in the future.

It's an arbitrary number on our part, but we will use the 13,000 mark as the cut off for our attendance review, so only those games which are listed as having 13,000 or less in attendance will be listed below. We also will include which team was in town that night to perhaps provide some explanation as to the recorded attendance.

We will be watching with interest to see if the numbers grow or if teams stabilize as the season moves forward, regardless as sure as a puck will find the net, somewhere along the way this year rumours will start to swirl as to possible troubles in some hockey paradise locations, the numbers below will probably help explain some of those percolating points.

The review can be accessed from our GM's office links on the right hand sidebar.

Attendance figures as of April 5, 2012.

Bottom Feeders (our three dim star selection)
Three teams with lowest attendance, most times below 13,000.

1. Phoenix (22)
2. NY Islanders (19)
3. Dallas (15)


February 8-- 12,675 (Carolina)
February 6-- 12,096 (Calgary)
February 1-- 12,701 (Dallas)
January 18-- 12,281 (Phoenix)
January 10-- 12,152 (Dallas)
October 21-- 12,919 (Dallas)


December 1-- 12,566 (New York Rangers)
October 25-- 12,083 (Ottawa)


March 28-- 12,432 (Detroit)
March 25-- 12,295 (Edmonton)
March 6-- 10,915 (Phoenix)
February 14-- 12,425 (St. Louis)
February 6-- 11,237 (Minnesota)
November 21-- 11,629 (Calgary)
November 16-- 10,833 (Minnesota)
October 18-- 9,158 (Dallas)
October 12-- 8,996 (Colorado)
October 10-- 9,187 (Vancouver)


November 28-- 12,015 (Dallas)
November 2-- 12,141 (Phoenix)
October 30-- 12,355 (Los Angeles)


February 19-- 11,865 (Nashville)
February 16-- 11,839 (Calgary)
February 12-- 12,191 (Los Angeles)
February 7-- 11,162 (Phoenix) 
January 24-- 12,141 (Anaheim)
December 1-- 10,490 (Ottawa)
November 23-- 11,779 (Los Angeles)
November 21-- 11,458 (Edmonton)
November 16-- 10,175 (Florida)
November 4-- 11,981 (Colorado)
October 29-- 11,740 (New Jersey)
October 27-- 8,443 Los Angeles
October 15-- 8,305 (Columbus)
October 13--  7,949 (St. Louis)
October 10-- 6,306 (Phoenix)


October 31-- 11,855 (Winnipeg)

New Jersey

October 13-- 12,256 (Los Angeles)
October 10-- 12,096 (Carolina)

New York Islanders

March 29-- 12,018 (Pittsburgh)
March 13-- 11,488 (Washington)
February 18-- 11,818 (Carolina)
February  9-- 12,132 (Montreal)
January 24-- 10,888 (Toronto)
January 16-- 10,755 (Nashville)
January 11-- 11,751 (Philadelphia)
January 10-- 12,864 (Detroit)
December 23-- 12,432 (Toronto)
December 14-- 9,288 (Dallas)
December 8-- 10,711 (Chicago)
December 6 -- 9,486 (Tampa Bay)
November 23-- 11,086 (Philadelphia)
November 17 -- 9,928 (Montreal)
November 3-- 10,157 (Winnipeg)
October 29-- 11,742 (San Jose)
October 25-- 10,681 (Pittsburgh)
October 13-- 9.759 (Tampa Bay)
October 10-- 11,278 (Minnesota)


March 25-- 12,585 (St. Louis)
March 12-- 11,518 (Nashville)
March 8-- 11,716 (Minnesotat)
March 1-- 10,989 (Calgary)
February 21-- 10,842 (Los Angeles)
February 9-- 10,048 (Calgary)
February 6-- 12,687 (Detroit)
February 4-- 12,979 (San Jose)
January 31-- 10,579 (Anaheim)
January 24-- 8,061 (Ottawa)
January 21-- 12,714 (Tampa Bay)
January 16-- 12,757 (Colorado)
December 23-- 12,650 (St. Louis)
December 17-- 12,172 (New York Rangers)
December 10-- 10,976 (Minnesota)
November 23-- 9,124 (Anaheim)
November 3-- 6,738 (Nashville)
October 29-- 10,379 (Los Angeles)
October 27-- 7,434 (New Jersey)
October 25-- 6,948 (Dallas)
October 20-- 7,128 (Los Angeles)
October 18-- 11,051 (Chicago)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It was a great day for Hockey!

While the final score probably wasn't to the home side's liking, the celebration was on regardless, as the NHL returned to Winnipeg after a far too long absence.

With the storied Montreal Canadiens as the opposition on opening day, the NHL was welcomed back to Manitoba and Canadians joined in on the celebration commemorating the reversal of a dark day in NHL history and the addition of the nation's seventh franchise to the NHL.

The atmosphere in the rink appeared electric as the CBC showed snippets of the pre game skate where the crowd welcomed their newest residents to the ice with rousing, thunderous applause. A theme that would carry through the opening ceremonies and on into the game.

The only break in the cacophony of noise, was when the Jets acknowledged the passing of Rick Rypien, a one time very popular member of the Winnipeg Moose who was to join the Jets this season, an event that never came to pass with the death of the player over the off season.

The passing of Rypien was commemorated prior to the game, the Jets inviting his mother Shelley Crawford to conduct the ceremonial first face off of the Jets return, a gesture that brought home the reality of life in the midst of the excitement of hockey's return.

That moment offered up a mixture of emotions that hopefully reminds us all that there are still more important things in life than a hockey game, one where family, friends and the need to be aware of events beyond the rink are important.

The anthems were next, concluding with a fly past of Royal Canadian Air Force jets, clearly for the benefit of the thousands assembled at outside viewing areas beyond the arena. A quite successful effort on behalf of Winnipeg, which considering the mayhem of Vancouver after the Stanley Cup, shows that there may still be hope for Canadians to gather in large numbers outdoors to celebrate sport and not trash their city in the aftermath

As for the game itself, the Jets showed a few nerves early on but settled in by the middle of the first, however the Canadiens made the best of their opportunities and found the net frequently behind the Jets starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who like many of his Jets teammates had a rather sloppy day of it.

The Jets had their chances in the Montreal end of the rink, however they tended to pass the puck one time too many on far too many occasions and that combined with some stellar goaltending from Carey Price provided the the story of the game for the Jets.

For the record the first Jet to score in the team's return to the NHL was Nic Antropov, who scored the historic marker early on in the third period, the only goal for the Jets on their return, and the answer to future trivia contests and trivial pursuit competitions.

Still, despite the 5-1 final the fans were on their feet for the final few minutes, saluting their team and celebrating the return of the game to a city where it belongs.  Over the course of the next few years we imagine that the fans will become more "fan" like should the Jets stumble on the ice, but for now it's a feeling of "they can do no wrong" and so it should, just having the game back in a market where hockey still has some currency (and we do mean currency) is a welcome thing.

Sunday was so much fun that we look forward when we get to do it all again, oh lets say in a year or so from now when we welcome team number eight back onto Canadian territory, Bonjour Quebec, a la prochaine. had a few items of note posted to their site to celebrate the return of hockey to Manitoba.

Jets' Ladd: 'We were just sloppy"
Mistakes prove costly for Jets
Despite loss, it was a memorable night in Winnipeg
Fans celebrate return of their Jets
Winnipeg Face Off party starts memorable weekend

Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail has been embedded with the squadron so to speak in Winnipeg for the last few weeks, providing fascinating glimpses of hockey's return to Winnipeg and the atmosphere it has brought to the Manitoba capital.

The fork in the road for Jets' boss Cheveldayoff
Harper unveils commemorative coin to mark return of Winnipeg Jets
Gary Bettman receives hero's welcome in Winnipeg
10 Jets to keep an early eye on
Jets look to Kyle Wellwood for leadership
Winnipeg Jets go from darkness to spotlight's glare
What will we do if the Winnipeg Jets win the Stanley Cup?
Reborn Jets trade in sticks for oars in search of team's identity
Hockey is in Manitoba's blood
The explosive world of the hockey goaltender
Profligate Jets squeeze by Canes
No crystal ball for Winnipeg Jets
Troy Bodie yearns to fly with Winnipeg Jets, but...
Jets' preseason a blast for Winnipeg
Coyotes were just '10 minutes' away from becoming Jets
Jets' owners patiently plotted hockey's return to Winnipeg
Start the NHL season already
Watching the Jets take flight
Keep the fourth line on the bench
Winnipeg Jets achieve liftoff
Jets face early chemistry test
Winnipeg Jets first practice 'awesome'
Hockey fever comes early in Winnipeg
Jets players can kiss anonymity goodbye
Winnipeg Jets: the hottest ticket in town
Jets have a new logo, new address, but the goal the same
"Winnipeg Destiny" comes full circle with Jets' return

As well, some of the remembrances of the historic day from the Winnipeg and national media can bet found below.

Winnipeg Sun-- Fans will decide 'real' Jets story
Winnipeg Sun-- Scheifele underperforms in 'average' Jets debut: Noel
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets get litigious over trademarks
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets just want to focus on hockey now
Winnipeg Sun-- Local refs work with heavy hearts
Winnipeg Sun-- Many Jets firsts, except win
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets return a reason to roar
Winnipeg Sun-- Habs pleased to 'spoil' party
Winnipeg Sun-- Open letter to Shelley Crawford, mother of fallen Jet Rick Rypien
Winnipeg Sun-- Emotion not what tripped up Jets
Winnipeg Sun-- Fans know there'll be better nights
Winnipeg Sun-- Canadiens top Jets
Winnipeg Sun-- Cheering is Chipman's reward
Winnipeg Sun-- Game Day
Winnipeg Sun-- Bettman doesn't 'personalize' criticism
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets return is once-in-a-lifetime
Winnipeg Sun-- Scheifele sleepless in Winnipeg
Winnipeg Sun-- Memories of first game still fresh for Jets' Slater
Winnipeg Sun-- 5 questions the rebooted Jets will look to answer
Winnipeg Sun-- Opener ranks high for Jets
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets feeling the love
Winnipeg Sun-- The time is now for Jets
Winnipeg Sun-- Countdown to takeoff
Winnipeg Free Press-- You ain't seen nothing Jet
Winnipeg Free Press-- Plenty cheers, couple of jeers
Winnipeg Free Press-- Rypien tribute strikes a chord
Winnipeg Free Press-- Out of town scribes chip in
Winnipeg Free Press-- On ice product not so hot
Winnipeg Free Press-- Go, Winnipeg, Go!
Winnipeg Free Press-- 'Antropov' answer to trivia question
Winnipeg Free Press-- Habs not spooked by some loud noises
Winnipeg Free Press-- Former villain gets hero's welcome
Winnipeg Free Press-- Jets lose, Winnipeg wins
Winnipeg Free Press-- A day like none other for Chipman, Manitoba
Winnipeg Free Press-- A big homecoming kiss
Winnipeg Free Press-- Highlight Reel: Canadiens 5/Jets 1
Winnipeg Free Press-- Winnipeg Jets -- as Canadian as the maple leaf
Winnipeg Free Press-- Prime Minister joins ecstatic fans Sunday in welcoming Winnipeg Jets...
Winnipeg Free Press-- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman welcomed by hockey fans...
Winnipeg Free Press-- Winnipeg Jets return to NHL but get blow out 5-1...
Winnipeg Free Press-- It's not about winning or losing, at least not yet
Winnipeg Free Press-- Glory days have arrived, have your say
Winnipeg Free Press-- 'Movers' in NHL are 'shakers'
Winnipeg Free Press-- Happy Jets-giving
Winnipeg Free Press-- Thousands gather for Forks family bash
Winnipeg Free Press-- Fight to save Jets spawned fighters
Winnipeg Free Press-- You need to have a cake to ice it
Winnipeg Free Press-- That's mint: Harper introduces Jets coins
Winnipeg Free Press-- Jets gear made here
Winnipeg Free Press-- What they're saying
Winnipeg Free Press-- Proud of our town, our team
Winnipeg Free Press-- Go Winnipeg Go!
Winnipeg Free Press-- Co-pilots ready for takeoff
Winnipeg Free Press-- The Jets and a big league stadium, too
Winnipeg Free Press-- Big day for Winnipeg and the Jets

Winnipeg Free Press-- Claude Noel after Jets opener
Winnipeg Free Press-- Chipman talks before the big game

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Hired to Be Fired 2011-12

As sure as there are wins and losses (usually associated with the latter), there also will be change somewhere along the way in this 2011-12 season

The day eventually comes for many NHL coaches, where they receive the phone call, or tap on the shoulder to go see the GM or owner.

A summons where the usual things are said, "you gave it a good shot, but we're going in a different direction", or variations of the theme.

Of the thirty members of the NHL coaching and managerial fraternity, sometime this year, maybe early, maybe late, the word will come that their services are no longer required.

We will provide the compilation of the summoned from this spot, listing those unlucky members of the club that find themselves outsourced in this 2011-12 season. The archive of our list can be quickly referenced on our right hand side bar, in the GM's Office section.

January 9-- Columbus Blue Jackets -- New Year's resolutions don't last long it seems, as the Columbus Blue Jackets management showed little patience with the stumbling performance of their team. The Blue Jackets announced the dismissal of Scott Arniel on Monday morning, making him the seventh NHL head coach to be fired so far in the 2011-12 season. (details) . Todd Richards has been tapped to take over the Blue Jackets on an interim basis, Richards the former head coach of the Minnesota Wild is expected to hold the post at least until the end of the season, when the larger issues of the Blue Jackets will no doubt be reviewed. We review the dismissal and offer up the snarly mood from the Columbus media with our post to the portal here.

December 17-- Montreal Canadiens-- Perry Pearn got a head start on the packing back in October, but Jacques Martin wasn't too far behind in Montreal, as Les Canadiens called out the guillotine for another public execution, sending Martin to the unemployment lines one week before Christmas.  Scrooge it seems goes by a new name, and that name is Pierre (details). Martin couldn't coax wins out of a struggling Canadiens squad, so GM Pierre Gauthier has turned the reins over to Randy Cunneyworth, a unilingual coach in a city that demands their press clips in both languages, one gets the feeling it may be a long season for the temporary coach in more than just hockey ways. Our HockeyNation review of Martin's dismissal can be found here.

December 12-- Los Angeles Kings-- Terry Murray makes it two out of three for California franchises (Todd McLellan may soon be looking over his shoulder), as the LA Kings decide that the less than successful run on the ice means that the coach must go (details).  That despite the fact that GM Dean Lombardi says that Murray's departure is because of their efforts, however, as always it seems its easier to get rid of a coach than the non performing players. Our HockeyNation review of the dismissal can be found here.

November 30-- Anaheim Ducks --  Randy Carlyle didn't get much time to savour his victory over the Montreal Canadiens, by 10:21 Wednesday night Carlyle had been informed that his time with the Ducks had come to an end, Anaheim having decided to snap up Bruce Boudreau (recently dismissed by Washington) before anyone else.  Boudreau joins an Anaheim team that would seem to have some of the same problems as the one he left behind, yet its believed that Anaheim feels that a new voice might better resonate among the troops as they struggle to salvage their season. (details)  Our Grim Reaper review (OT claims by the Reaper would seem likely considering this weeks developments) can be found here.

November 28-- Carolina Hurricanes -- Jim Rutherford added to the Black Monday mood around the NHL as the Hurricanes President and GM dismissed Paul Maurice for the second time in his NHL coaching career.  The announcement which came on the heels of the Bruce Boudreau dismissal in Washington had a similar theme to it, a non performing team that it seems had tuned out their coach. Rutherford is hoping that Kirk Muller can provide the right tone for the Canes', Muller an oft mentioned name when it comes to potential new NHL coaches gets his opportunity to make his mark in the league with his arrival behind the Carolina bench (details). We review the dismissal of Paul Maurice with this post to our HockeyNation portal.

November 28-- Washington Capitals-- George McPhee wields the axe in Washington, bringing to an end the reign of Bruce Boudreau behind the Capitals bench, the atrocious start and lack of passion of the Capitals players seemingly playing the main role in the Boudreau dismissal. Former Capital Dale Hunter, takes over behind the Capitals bench, the hope it would seem that he can transfer the kind of passion that he played with during his playing days to some of the Caps under performing players. (details)  You can read our review of the Capitals decision with this link to our HockeyNation post on the story.

November 6-- St. Louis Blues-- John Davidson and the rest of the executive team with the Blues brought an end to the reign of the league's youngest coach on Sunday. The Blues announced that Davis Payne would be let go as head coach of the struggling Blues, with Ken Hitchcock returning to the NHL as his replacement. (details). You can read our overview on the firing from this link to the HockeyNation post.

October 26-- Montreal Canadiens -- The Habs management bid adieu to Perry Pearn, dismissing the assistant coach and close friend of head coach Jacques Martin.  Pearn was relieved of his duties prior to the Canadiens October 26th game with the Philadelphia Flyers. (details). You can read our view on the firing from this link to the HockeyNation post.