How often have you heard that some people are simply not suited for their current job?
Living here in San Diego, I know first hand how former Chargers head coach Norv Turner, for all of his prior success, was a really good offensive coordinator.
Up the freeway, the Los Angeles Kings’ Rogie Vachon simply couldn’t make it as general manager despite all of his experience and knowledge in hockey. We love Rogie here in Southern California, but getting kicked upstairs to vice president of whatever was the first domino by ownership to convert the Kings into a Stanley Cup champion.
Another NHL team which needs to get rid of their GM despite an excellent resume is the Philadelphia Flyers, off to another sub-par start and have already replaced the head coach.
Paul Holmgren, a veteran of both NHL and WHA wars, only became a head coach because Mike Keenan was fired. Later, he only became the GM when Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke said he was burned out, so Holmgren was promoted from Director of Pro Scouting.
When Holmgren was DPS, Clarke pieced together several strong clubs which made deep runs into the playoffs. But as GM, his talented roster always seemed to find holes or other difficulties, most notably in goal.
So when Peter Laviolette was dismissed following three straight losses to start this season, eyes did not go to his replacement Craig “The Chief” Berube. Instead, they were directed at Holmgren and Clarke since the Flyers are currently situated at the bottom of the weak Metropolitan Division at 4-9-0 (2-6-0 at home).
Only rebuilding Buffalo (5) has fewer points – after Ray Emery’s 1-0 blanking of New Jersey just 24 hours following an embarrassing 7-0 butt-whipping by Washington on national television last weekend.
Only the Sabres score less often than the Flyers, a team which also ranks near the bottom in shots. How often did your youth say, “You can’t score if you don’t shoot.”
Perhaps it’s time to bring Clarke back behind the bench.
Added bonus: The Flyers take more penalty minutes than any other team, thus are more often short-handed – not good. Interestingly, next on the list is St. Louis, a team showing more toughness after beating Chicago twice so far this season.
West vs. East: Much has been made about the superiority of the Western Conference, but the numbers are quite amazing. Except for Edmonton (3-7-1) and Winnipeg (1-1-1), every other team in the West owns a winning ledger against the East.
Edmonton has three more this week vs. the East on the road, then play exclusively against the West (except for two games) the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay continues to confuse everyone, holding a 5-0-0 mark vs. the West (4-0-0 vs, Central Division teams), but going a mere 5-4-0 vs. the weaker East.
Montreal is 5-6-0 vs. the West, which means just three more against the West, then directing their attention to the East which means the Canadiens may be a team to watch as winter approaches.
Contact Nick at [email protected].