Thursday, November 23, 2006

Around the Rink 11.23.06

The Columbus Blue Jackets did the inevitable and named Ken Hitchcock their new head coach. Hitchcock signed a three year deal with the Jackets to make the deal official. The hope for many is that Hitchcock will actually be able to make the team play a complete game, rather than thinking offense and hope the defense will come later.

Granted, this isn't the upgrade Hitchcock may have wanted, but it's coaching in the NHL; so he'll take it. The task for Hitchcock now is the actually get the room to listen to him. What this move also does is allow Doug MacLean to keep his job, though many Jackets' fans want him out of there. We'll see if this changes the team or blows up in their faces.

The "lame duck" GM in Toronto has a reprise. John Ferguson Jr. found out that Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Leafs, will pick up Ferguson's option for another year. It's not the extension that many believe he would get; but it at least means he'll be there next season as well.

There's many around the GTA that think Ferguson should have been fired, with all the bad contract decisions he has made. Of course, with the Leafs off to a decent start; those sentiments have changed. Yet, one thing that is certain in Toronto-- you win, they love you; you lose-- you're out of town.

There was an interesting article about how Georges Laraque is worried about the role of enforcers in the new NHL. Laraque states that within two years, the enforcer role will be extinct. Laraque notes that more and more teams are ditching the fighters because the league isn't geared towards fighters.

It's a good article to read and big Georges is right. A lot of the younger guys are going to have to adapt or else be left behind. In the junior leagues, every team has a designated fighter pretty much, but they'll have to craft a good balance between the rough stuff and being a good stick-handler/scorer as an aside.

Laraque has found that touch this year, Chris Neil found it last year into this year, while others still need some work before they can think their job is safe.

A couple entries back, I talked about how idiotic the fan balloting is for All-Star Games. Before the ballot came out, I mentioned on the show to write-in myself and Marc. However, since it's online, you can't actually WRITE in your vote. In absence of that, some fans have thought of something better. is an online movement to get Vancouver Canuck defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick on the All-Star team as a write-in candidate. So, I implore you to go check out the site and Vote for Rory.

That's it for now, there's more stuff in the works, so keep checking the blog, the FOHS site, the FOHS Podcast and FOHS Message Board.

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