Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Will Garth's new main man be a Maine man?

OK, so Ted Nolan is out at the Mausoleum, and the Islanders need a new coach.

Let's deal with the first half of the statement: Supposedly, the issue was that Garth Snow thought the Isles were underachieving, and Ted didn't think he had enough talent to work with. Much as I'm no fan of Ted Nolan, I think it's pretty obvious who wins that argument.

Now, as for who gets the job. Write this down: John Tortorella.

Unlike Ted Nolan, who has shenanigans on his résumé involving the University of Maine (remember the Simon Danis-Pepin affair when Ted was at Moncton?), John actually went to the University of Maine, like Garth Snow. It also helps that Torts has a Stanley Cup on his résumé. I also think it's kind of funny that Ted didn't get pushed out the door on the Island until Torts was fired by Tampa.

It's a fairly obvious move for the Isles, but is it the right move? Torts isn't known for his patience with his players, and with a young lineup, whoever takes the reins on the Island will need a lot of patience. Bob Hartley, late of the Thrashers, may be a more natural choice, having both a Calder Cup and a Stanley Cup to his name with the Hershey Bears and the Avalanche, respectively.

Still, I think the Old (Orono) Boys Network is going to make it happen on the Island.

And since I brought up Simon Danis-Pepin, let's finish up with talk about who is changing where he plays his amateur hockey: Patrick Wiercioch, who changed his commitment from Wisconsin to Denver. I really don't have much of a problem with this. For him to be able to play at Wisconsin would involve putting off his college hockey, and probably, by extension, his pro career. Given the potential for injury in the sport, there's a limit to the amount of waiting that a young prospect should do at the junior level, where you're not getting your college education and you're not getting paid. If Wiercioch is ready now to play college hockey, he should be playing, and Mike Eaves should understand that. And if he's going to go someplace else, I'm glad that it's Denver, where they had a tough situation with David Carle.

And by the way, speaking of Carle, I love the new Lightning owner Oren Koules...good guy for drafting David Carle, and I think it was cool that the Lightning traded for Matt. And of course, I'm happy to see Barry Melrose back behind the bench.

Finally, a fond farewell to Ryan Hollweg, traded to the Maple Leafs, where he could resume his fine chemistry with Dominic Moore (recall the OHM line with Jed Ortmeyer in 2005-06), in exchange for a fifth-round pick. With the additions of Dan Fritsche, Pat Rissmiller, and Aaron Voros, not to mention the potential return of Brendan Shanahan (who's best suited to a third/fourth line role at this point in his career, plus special teams time), something had to give, and Hollweg, with his tendency for taking bad penalties, was the obvious choice. That said, I'll miss "Hollywood," with his personality and style (check out his pics from the Rangers' Casino Night), and I'll always remember that when the Canucks came to the Garden in December '05, he was the one who stepped up and fought that worthless scumbag Todd Bertuzzi. His brother, Bryce, is moving on after completing his career at Army, and Ryan is now moving on, too. So long, Hollywood, and thanks for the memories.


Goon said...

I heard that Torts was abrasive and we will see more of the brooksy go blank yourself interviews. I also think it is a bad choice.


abrasive? abrasive? what? you mean like Garth himself? :)

Hey Ols! Good to see you're still at it - just added the link.