Three links, for your hockey awareness edification:
1. Ron Wilson has been offered the head coach position in Toronto. Sensible man that he is, Ron says he needs some time to think it over.
2. Tampa Bay head offices reveal they've sacked John Tortorella.
3. Rumors about the return of Barry Melrose swirl.
And now for Our Take On It All:
On the Wilson front, getting spurned for the Toronto Maple Leafs would be a slap in the face. I realize that the Thrashers organization is woefully dysfunctional, but if that's a reason to stay away from a team then Ron should avoid Toronto like the plague. They're the only organization in the NHL that manages to be more dysfunctional than the Thrashers. Besides, the Leafs are not going to give Ron Wilson his long-desired Stanley Cup. The Leafs will continue to do what they've done best for these last few seasons: hover in the middle of the rankings, not good enough to get into the playoffs and not bad enough to rebuild their team through the draft. Who could get Ron the Stanley Cup? Of the teams that are available, the Av's and the Senators seem like the mostly likely options. But Ron doesn't like cold weather or the Canadian press. So that leaves him the option of coming to the Southeast Division, to either the Thrashers, the Panthers, or the Lightning.
Obviously, the Chronicle's official editorial position is that we badly, badly want Ron Wilson to be the Thrashers' head coach next year. So we're not disinterested observers, but I think I can honestly say that I think Atlanta offers more to work with than Florida. If I were Ron I'd choose either Atlanta or Tampa Bay. They're two teams that have had a lousy time but offer plenty to work with and develop. Between those two I know which one I want Ron to choose.
Something that seems to work in Atlanta's favor, though, is that John Tortorella has been fired and it looks like his old position will almost certainly be filled by Barry Melrose. It's not official yet, but it appears that Melrose is eager to coach the young Stamkos and his esteemed comrades Messieurs Lecavlier and St. Louis. This is especially strange, as Big Shooter once offered Melrose the Thrashers head coach job in person and the Mulleted One declined. Why Tampa and not us? After Wilson, Melrose is probably Dream Option #2. But probably less likely than Wilson.
If Wilson takes the Maple Leafs job that leaves us with...John Tortorella, possibly. I have to admit to a downright loathing of Mr. Tort, so if he became the Thrashers' coach I'd probably hang myself in effigy. I'd sooner take some minor league nobody than Tortorella. I say "minor league nobody," but I don't mean it to be pejorative: the Thrashers could land someone of Bruce Boudrou-esque caliber to lead us out of the wilderness.
Other suggestions for head coach if we can't get Ron Wilson?
1. Scott Mellanby- Played with us and stuff. Nice guy, knows his hockey very well, already has chemistry with Kovalchuk (our Captain/Czar). Also, he once got into a bar fight and nearly lost his arm. Which means he'll teach our Thrashers to be tough as nails; we'll become a physical, bar-brawling, arm-detaching team overnight.
2. Pavel Bure- I know he's not from the Greatest Continent on God's Green Planet Ever in World History, but he was Kovalchuk's childhood idol and his GM on the Russian Olympic team. A Kovy/Bure partnership could work well for a few reasons: for one, Bure's presence would inspire Kovy to raise himself to some unprecedented level of awesomeness to impress his hero; secondly, Bure once played for the Vancouver Canucks and thus knows how to deal with orca whales.
This possibility could turn out to be a complete disaster though. Bure's presence could put Kovy into some weird state of mind and wreck his game, and his orca whale-fighting prowess could raise questions from animal rights groups.
3. Dale Hunter- Do I even need to explain?
4. The chick who played goalie for the Atlanta Knights- Can you imagine the notoriety?