Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 05/09/12 at 05:09 PM ET
The CBC’s Elliotte Friedman offers a “30 Thoughts” column jam-packed with scuttlebutt regarding the Flyers’ ouster, the Predators’ free agents, Montreal’s coaching search and at least ten other topics, but his main focus involves why he believes the Chicago Blackhawks allowed Joel Quenneville to fire Mike Haviland—and Friedman believes that it comes down to a fractionation within the Blackhawks’ coaching and managerial staff after the team had to shed a third of its roster after its 2010 Stanley Cup win, and lost to Vancouver in 2011:
More was demanded. And, when it didn’t happen, the pressure increased and different factions emerged. There were accusations of “spying.”
Disagreements, too. Apparently, one involved where Patrick Kane should play - wing or centre. Another involved John Scott. (Scott was traded to the Rangers at the deadline, after internal debate about his spot on the team.) Power-play philosophy clearly was an issue. And there was something else.
Don’t know what happened between Quenneville, his good friend/assistant Mike Kitchen and Haviland. Don’t know who is right or who is wrong or who stood where on what issues. But, the decision to remove Haviland - a coaching finalist in Winnipeg last season - and the explanation for it is proof that people did not trust each other.
Players notice stuff like this. It affects your team.
Quenneville had a lot of leverage. If he walked or was fired, he’d be unemployed for as long as it takes Don Draper to charm a bored housewife. And, there was no guarantee they’d find a better replacement.
He wanted to pick his own assistants and got his wish. Haviland becomes a scapegoat, because there couldn’t be just one person disagreeing with everybody else. But next season is a huge one for the Hawks. If they don’t push farther into the playoffs, bigger changes are coming.
Continued, and as usual, it’s worth your time.
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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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