Monday, March 27, 2006

Sharpening the Ax

With the recent dismisal of Andy Murray from LA, and previous with Steve Stirling (NYI) and Ed Olczyk (PGH), it's time to think about who will be staying and who will be going from the coaching ranks coming up in the summer time. There could be a lot of action, there could be very little action-- that's where the whole speculation thing comes into play.

-Mike Sullivan: With the exiting of Mike O'Connell as GM for the Bruins, there could be a decent chance that Sullivan is on his way out. After coming off a dismal playoff performance in '03-'04, coupled with the play this year of his team, some can only imagine that Sullivan could be axed by season's end. Of course, the firing of O'Connell didn't help his cause to stay on with the B's after this forgettable season is done.

-Mike Kitchen: With the arrival of new ownership, one can only assume that they will blow up the team and start fresh. Kitchen didn't have the best team out there, infact, he's had one of the worst. To his credit, Kitchen has gotten some motivated efforts from his squad, but not consistantly enough to warrant a streak. However, Dave Checketts and company could keep him around to see what Kitchen could do with a good team....but we'll have to see what comes from the new look Blues.

-Marc Crawford: Call me crazy, but I don't think many Canucks fans are fond of the Crow. There's a good team out there on the ice, but there are many believe that he has lost the room. Now, if the Canucks miss the playoffs or have an early round exit, then that could be the smoking gun to get him fired. Yet, if the Canucks can actually pull off a good run, the team would be hard-pressed to get rid of Crawford.

-Gerard Gallant: This decision was suspect at the start, but with the downfall that the organization has taken, there's a chance for a major shake-up. Gallant could be a fall guy for saving Doug MacLean's job, but MacLean probably won't be out of the woods if he can't get the team going. Granted, injuries and goaltending have taken it's toll, but if they can't get a sturdy farm-squad to do the job, then something needs to give.

-Pat Quinn: If the Leafs want to actually get somewhere, they need to get Quinn off the bench. He's a loyal guy, but sometimes you have to check the loyalty at the door. Should the Leafs not make the playoffs, then there needs to be new blood behind the bench at the ACC. It seems the Leafs are starting on a tailspin, to correct it, they'll need to turn out of it as fast as possible.

Now, that's just a little top-5 for me. There's plenty of coaches out there are on the hot seat, but it's not as prevalent. All of these guys could be gone or it could be none of them. No one really knows but the guys who are really in charge of the clubs. It should be an interesting off-season, but we have playoffs to deal with first before anything else.

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