Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Waiting for the Bigger Axe to Fall

Despite all my hemming and hawing over Mathieu Schneider not being nearly enough for Jordan Staal, it sounds like the poor guy's not exactly in favor among Pittsburgh fans at the moment.

From the Pensblog's brilliant (and sad, if you're a Pens fan) recap of last night's Pens-rout:

The Rangers could have pulled Lundqvist during the Pens 5-on-3.
Wouldn't have mattered.
Jordan Staal, who is exuding the confidence of a fat 13-year-old girl, eventually took an interference penalty


The second period started with the Pens on a power play or something.
Staal broke his stick and kicks the boards on the bench in anger.
We'll get news on Tuesday that Staal is out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.
Pens commence a 25-game winning streak. wooo


You didn't even really have to watch the third period.
You could have just went to your uncle's house, went into his laundry room, and killed yourself.

Sentiments familiar to your Chronicle vis-a-vis the Thrashers. Anyway, Puck Daddy is writing about which coaches may or may not be on the verge of losing their jobs. He figures that if John Anderson goes, it'll be after the season.

Myself, I don't think the Thrashers' woes have much to do with Anderson. In fact, I think he's one of the few things this team has going for it. The problem is a) the players (which JA made clear in his last post-game press conference) and b) the front office that put these players together.

Anderson might be a fine coach, but something Don Waddell said about JA gives me pause about how D-Wadd goes about hiring other high-ups in the Thrashers organization. At one of the pre-season events for season ticket holders (can't remember which; I think it was that one where you stand in line for hours to get Kovalchuk's signature tattooed on your ass), Waddell mentioned that he'd interviewed quite a few people for the job of Thrashers head coach, but that in the end he "kept going back to the guy [he] knew best, John Anderson."

No doubt DW does know Anderson the best, and like I said, I really do think Anderson is a highly skilled coach. What makes my teeth hurt are other people that Waddell has known best, people that seem to have gotten jobs near the top of the Thrashers Totem Pole for no other reason than they knew Waddell.

Prime example: our Assistant GM (the guy who, out of courtesy, gets interviewed first in the event of Waddell's departure/dismissal) is some guy named Larry Simmons. He didn't have any experience in the NHL--as a player, scout, coach, locker room janitor, anything--previous to joining the Thrashers. His prime qualification, it appears, was that he and Waddell were good friends while working in the Orlando Solar Bears organization.

And he has a degree in business from GA State University. Which is in Atlanta. Where the Thrashers are.

Sometimes I'm tempted to think consequences might follow a game the Thrashers drop 4-1 to the Lightning. A game that came complete with hilarious bloopers like letting Vincent Lecavalier waltz right past defense and behind the net to make an unchallenged pass to Martin St. Louis, which Marty promptly fired into the back of the net. And that was only his first goal of the night.

I'm tempted to think it's amazing that no one is held responsible and fired after the team's head coach calls his team a "joke" and admits they don't care at all about their performance. I'm tempted to think that 10, 000 people or so in attendance on a Sunday afternoon would send some kind of message to an ownership you'd think are interested in promoting their brand, and to a management you'd think craves some kind of self-respect and professional achievement.

Then I remember who's in charge of everything: DW and his friend Larry Simmons, who made friends with Don (who couldn't? He's a very genial fellow) in Orlando and once went to GA State. Which is in Atlanta. Where the Thrashers are. Which makes him qualified to be assistant GM.

More so than Les Jackson.


Big Shooter said...

Feel better?

By the way, when are you gonna fix that right hand side? You are making the rest of us look bad!!

The Falconer said...

I was rooting for us to get the Todd McClellan (SJS) or DeBoer but I'm fairly happy with Anderson. I think he's been surprisingly patient with guys. Hartley would have already gone through 1,000 different line combinations by now. Anderson gives players a chance to jell before altering things.

The next GM of the Thrashers absolutely must come from an winning organization with considerable NHL experience. Minor league experience has only produced a minor league results so far.

Mortimer Peacock said...


Very true about Anderson's patience. He does give line combinations time to jell (gel? gell?), far more so than Hartley. I remember him juggling lines like ten times in the course of a single game.

McLellan is a great coach, and DeBoer seems to getting good results in Miami, and either one of them (as well as Ron Wilson, perhaps) might have been a better fit than JA, but I think if Anderson had a better selection of players he would see better results. Good coach, he.

aaron said...

eh, two months ago, pensblog staff was all about some Staal action when he singlehandedly stole that game from Detroit. If there were to be a Schnieder trade, they'd be Photoshopping him with walkers and Geritol until he pots his first clutch GWG.

Anonymous said...

How about bringing PAT QUINN to be GM or COACH how about that

Anonymous said...