Canucks and Beyond

Curse of Europe

02/23/2009 at 7:03pm EST

From the Hockey Drunk, an observation about the fate of all coaches that led their teams in Europe a few months ago:

This came up in a discussion and I found it interesting enough to blog about. Of the 4 Teams that played in Europe before the 2008-2009 season officially started this year:

Ottawa: “Unable to turn around a team that reached the Stanley Cup finals in 2007, Hartsburg was fired as coach Monday just 48 games into a season in which the Senators have the NHL’s third worst record.”
Tampa Bay: “The Tampa Bay Lightning fired Barry Melrose after just 16 games in his return behind the bench, and associate coach Rick Tocchet will take over as interim head coach.”
Pittsburgh: “Michel Therrien, his team fading in the Eastern Conference playoff race less than a year after making the Stanley Cup finals, was fired as the Pittsburgh Penguins’ coach on Sunday night and replaced by minor league coach Dan Bylsma.”

And now today, of course, ends the tenure of Tom Renney with the New York Rangers. That’s 4-for-4 fired.

Hmmm… and who’s going to Europe to open next season? That would be Chicago, Florida, St. Louis and Detroit. And their fate?

Well, maybe it’s not a stretch that the coaches for the Blackhawks, Panthers and Blues may all be fired by next February as simply a matter of course. It seems predictable, somehow, or at least something to be expected… like the sun rising and setting… like dogs always barking at cats… like Gary Bettman continuing to twitch on camera… etc. That’s life.

But Mike Babcock of the Red Wings being fired? Now that would indeed be a shock. But still, statistics don’t lie, so Mike really should get out while he can.

My proposal is that Vancouver and Detroit just do an off-season swap. That way no one is getting fired next February that everyone wouldn’t fully expect to be. :)

Update 5:10pm PT: I see the National Post enjoyed the Mike-Babcock-You’re-Gonna-Be-Fired-Soon theory today, too. (h/t to Puck Daddy).

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