Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/07/14 at 09:33 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Laviolette is now with his fourth NHL team since 2001, and in that span, has experienced the dizzying highs and crazy lows of an oh-so-fickle profession. Laviolette was the genius who coached the Carolina Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup final, and then was deemed the impediment to Philadelphia’s success, getting fired three games into this season after it was determined the Flyers couldn’t possibly make the playoffs if he stayed on.
This is the essential conundrum in the NHL when it comes to coaches and their increasingly fragile shelf life. Earlier this week, when Kirk Muller became the fifth coach this off-season to get fired, he had been on the job in Carolina less than three years. But even with that limited window, Muller ranked ninth in tenure among all NHL coaches. Ninth!
Sure, coaches are hired to be fired, but the latest string of coaching casualties is bordering on the absurd – especially since the craft of coaching has actually never been more refined. Hockey was once a game of improvisation. Now it is far more choreographed, and players who are out of position, sometimes only be a few feet, pay for their transgressions with ice time.
Gradually, it is becoming clear that managing players might be today’s most important coaching skill, since proficiency with tactics and X’s and O’s is ubiquitous.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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