Monday, April 02, 2007

The Devil You Don't Know

A bombshell was dropped today in the NHL as the New Jersey Devils fired head coach Claude Julien. No reason was immediately given, but Lou Lamoriello will take over as the bench boss for the Devils for the rest of the season.

To say this caught some off-guard is an understatement. The Devils are the tops in the Atlantic, they have 47 wins, they are battling the Penguins for positioning, and now they shake-up their bench. It does remind many of when Robbie Ftorek was fired late in the 2000 season when the Devils won their second Cup, but even now it's a tad late to be screwing with things.

There's a couple of scenarios that could have led to this. First, players voiced the displeasure of Julien, which is highly unlikely as they have been winning without their top players. Second, Julien had a personal problem that needed to be dealt with, but then wouldn't he just resign?? Finally, and most likely of all, is that Julien and Lamoriello had a falling out, which lead to this.

Now, truth be told, Lamoriello did a decent job of coaching the Devils last season with Larry Robinson stepped down; but that was early enough in the season to fix some things and for the players to adjust. Now is probably not the best time to spring this on a team, especially when you have a Cup contending team like the Devils.

There's only two ways that this ordeal works out well for the Devils. One, if something is revealed about Julien and someone in the organization not getting along, or two, the Devils win the Stanley Cup because of this move and it didn't matter what happened or who was behind the bench. We'll see what happens, but I'm sure more to this story will come out sooner rather than later.

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