It’s been a while since we’ve had any disagreements worth a Drop The Gloves post, but that changed with the recent coaching news including Claude Julien, Ken Hitchcock, and Mike Modano. So here goes.
Yesterday we had our fourth NHL coach relieved of their duty. Not many were surprised when Boston axed Claude Julien or when St Louis canned Ken Hitchcock last week. Boston and St. Louis fans don’t accept underachievers and both organizations were forced to act. The result is now the Golden Knights have two Stanley Cup winning coaches to examine. Ken wrote about Julien’s dismissal yesterday and it’s potential impact to Las Vegas. He noted the former Bruins coach fitting George McPhee’s qualifications.
Experienced, a guy the hockey community knows, fits the culture, and someone who they do not have to evaluate. Julien also brings one more aspect that no one would ever admit is necessary, legitimacy.” –Ken, SinBin.vegas (We’ve officially hit a new low quoting ourselves. Oh well.)
The one thing McPhee’s wishlist didn’t have was ‘Stanley Cup winning coach’ because they don’t grow on trees. Two are now available. But as established as Hitchcock and Julien are, neither are the right fit to coach on the Strip.
Trotz said Julien probably already has offers, which isn’t far-fetched for the previously longest-tenured coach in the league who has a Cup ring and one of the strongest resumes around. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights could have interest in Julien, Gallant, Hitchcock and Capuano since general manager George McPhee is believed to want experience behind the bench. –USA Today
Let’s start with Hitchcock. Anything but the perfect candidate. Hitch has coached since 1995, starting off in Dallas and leading them to a gift Stanley Cup in 1999. No Goal! In seven years with the Stars, Hitchcock led his team to five playoff appearances, three conference finals, and one Stanley Cup championship. From there Hitch had continuous success in the regular season but couldn’t get his teams deep. Only three times since 1999’s Cup victory, Hitchcock made the conference finals. Not a great track record in 16 seasons. Hitchcock’s .606 regular season winning percentage drops significantly to .512 in the postseason.