Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/19/13 at 08:47 AM ET
from Tom Gulitti of The Record,
So far, the players and Lamoriello have given every indication that they still believe in head coach Pete DeBoer. But, if a team keeps losing like this one has been dating back to last season – 4-12-7 in its last 23 games overall – eventually the head coach pays for it no matter how much the players want to play for him or how much of the fault is his.
After that, the focus could fall on Lamoriello. One of the first decisions new owners Joshua Harris and David Blitzer made after taking over the team in August was to keep Lamoriello, who will turn 71 on Monday, in charge of hockey operations.
Still, if this season goes this bad, Harris and Blitzer could be the owners of a hockey team playing in a half-empty building by spring. And there will be no lottery draft pick reward for missing the playoffs with the team having to surrender its first-rounder as punishment for being found guilty of salary cap circumvention with Ilya Kovalchuk's rejected 17-year, $102 million contract in 2010.
That Lamoriello passed on a chance to give up the penalty pick in 2012 when the team picked 29th overall (Stefan Matteau) after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals is also a mark against him. (That Kovalchuk headed back to Russia this summer doesn't help, either.)
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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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