It's quite ironic, really. To be honest, I was going to write up a piece about who are the candidates to be fired first as head coach in the NHL. In it, I was going to say that Bob Hartley was the most likely to be first, especially given the play of his team as of late. Lo and behold, what gets announced today?? The Thrashers fired Hartley and will replace him for the interim with GM Don Wadell.
The thing about this is that it almost seems like a long time coming. The Thrashers less than stellar appearance in their first playoffs, coupled with the loss of some key players this off-season and the atrocious start to the season they have had so far-- it's a perfect storm for who ever is in the eyepiece of the firing rifle.
However, the fact is that the Thrashers are the only team in the NHL without a single point, they have scored only nine goals in six games, they have given up 27 goals (three above LA for most goals against), and the only real signs of life they have had is against a Devils team who is a shell of its former self.
You can look at Wadell not making a bigger splash in the off-season as an excuse, but when it comes to team motivation and team play, the onus falls onto the coach. Hartley has had a track record of winning and that's why he was brought into the Atlanta dressing room. Hartley did bring a bigger mentality to the locker room and with their playoff appearance, albeit brief, the Thrashers looked like a contender for the future. Yet, they stumbled out of the gates (well, more like fell flat on their face) and haven't been getting the firepower needed out of their big guns. Because of that, Hartley takes the fall.
With the coach gone, the time is now for the Thrashers to take it as a wake up call and get into gear before it's too late. With Wadell behind the bench and doing the duel role for the foreseeable future, it could put a few players on notice who have been dragging ass.
That said, for a bigger picture on what to look for from the Thrashers and what this could all mean-- check out Fire Wagon Hockey for the most honest coverage of the Thrashers I've seen to date.