Assessing Marc Crawford's 500 win career


Marc Crawford’s coaching career has been a lot like his hair: memorable (though not coated in grease). It seems like a reasonable time to take stock of the often-emotional coach’s career since he hit the 500 coaching wins mark last night thanks to the Stars’ astonishing 8-2 beating of the San Jose Sharks.

Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News lists the elite company that Crawford found himself in today.

1. Scotty Bowman, 1,244
2. Al Arbour, 782
3. Dick Irvin, Sr., 692
4. Mike Keenan, 672
5. Pat Quinn, 678 (Editor’s note: did Heika mean 658?)
6. Bryan Murray, 620
7. Jacques Lemaire, 581
8. Ron Wilson, 575
9. Jacques Martin, 552
10. Billy Reay, 542
11. Ken Hitchcock, 534
12. Joel Quenneville, 527
13. Pat Burns, 501
14. Toe Blake, 500
15. Marc Crawford, 500

That’s pretty impressive company, regardless of my feelings on “Iron” Mike Keenan.

Admittedly, I’ve been a bit critical of Crawford over the years, but his coaching record is quite substantial. In fact, let’s take a little timeline look at his coaching stops. I’ll include some noteworthy moments in each stop. Keep in mind with coaching records we’re going a crazy four columns here: wins, losses, ties and overtime losses. You so crazy, NHL Standings.

The Quebec/Colorado Era Years: 1994-98 Record: 165-88-41-0

  • Coached during Nordiques’ final season. Probably felt sad for a half minute until the Avalanche traded for Patrick Roy and they immediately won the Cup the first year of their existence. Ouch.
  • Entertained the hockey world with his bombastic arguments with opposing coaches.
  • Noteworthy for nerds like me: was a consultant of some sort for NHL ’98 (I loved that game). I know this only because it was on the back of the game box.
  • Coached Team Canada in ’98.
  • Jack Adams award winner in ’95.
Vancouver Era Years: 1998-2006; Record: 246-189-62-32
  • Helped the moribund Canucks build themselves into a contender (albeit an ultimately disappointing one) with the help of castoff talents Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi.
  • Also may have had a large part in running the organization through the mud by allegedly provoking the Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incident. Some think that he was actually laughing while Moore was injured on the ice.
  • Still, he was the longest tenured and won the most games as a Canucks coach in franchise history. Then again, this is the Canucks we’re talking about.
Los Angeles Era Years: 2006-08; Record: 59-84-0-21
  • His coaching tenure was – more or less – a disaster. On the bright side, snarky hockey bloggers had the chance to Photoshop beach balls behind Dan Cloutier in a brand new uniform.
Dallas Era Year: 2009-10; Record: 30-26-13
  • The Stars are almost certain to miss the playoffs this season and the franchise has plenty of questions. How long will Crawford last in Dallas?
Overall, Crawford is 500-387-103-66 in 1,056 career games coached. He’s won a Cup, a coach of the year award and lead two different franchises to the playoffs. Still, this could be his third straight year missing the playoffs. Looking over his career, I guess it’s true that I might be a little hard on the gel loving coach, but it’s fair to question his relevance these days.


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    Video: Shea Weber scores with blistering slap shot that destroyed Schenn’s stick

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    In case you didn’t know by now, here is more evidence that Shea Weber possesses a devastating slap shot.

    The Montreal Canadiens defenseman on Monday scored his second goal of the season, once again deploying his shot from the blue line. This time, he ripped a shot that busted the stick of Brayden Schenn, who was trying to get into the shooting lane, and still had enough behind it to beat Flyers’ goalie Steve Mason.

    That gave the Habs the lead.

    The Flyers responded later on in the second period on Jakub Voracek‘s third goal of the season.

    Christian Ehrhoff signs with Kolner Haie in Germany

    TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 27: Christian Ehrhoff #10 of Team Europe looks on against Team Canada during the second period during Game One of the World Cup of Hockey final series at Air Canada Centre on September 27, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    Christian Ehrhoff is finally under contract for this season, but not in the NHL.

    Ehrhoff, 34, signed with Kolner Haie in Germany, the team announced via Twitter on Monday.

    Most recently, Ehrhoff was with the Boston Bruins on a professional tryout (PTO) prior to the beginning of the season, but he opted not to sign with that club, instead deciding to return home to Germany.

    Ehrhoff also suited up for Team Europe at this fall’s World Cup of Hockey.

    In 789 NHL games, the puck-moving defenseman scored 74 goals and 339 points. His most productive seasons came with the Vancouver Canucks, as he helped that team to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.

    As expected, Avalanche recall highly touted prospect Rantanen

    DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 21:  Mikko Rantanen #96 of the Colorado Avalanche warms up prior to facing the Carolina Hurricanes at Pepsi Center on October 21, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Hurricanes defeated the Avalanche 1-0 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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    Last week, it was reported that Colorado Avalanche forward prospect Mikko Rantanen would re-join the team at some point this week.

    On Monday, the Avalanche made good on that plan, recalling Rantanen, the 2015 first-round pick, from San Antonio in the American Hockey League.

    The move comes after Toronto claimed Colorado forward Ben Smith off waivers, opening a spot up front for Colorado.

    Rantanen’s season got off to an unfortunate start. He suffered a sprained ankle in a rookie tournament, and was eventually sent down to the minors to get some playing time after coming back from the injury.

    It’s expected that Rantanen, who had an impressive rookie campaign in the minors with the Rampage despite still being a teenager, will be put into a top-six role right away for the Avalanche, which is averaging 3.2 goals a game early on.

    He scored 24 goals and 60 points in 52 games in the AHL last season, and had a small taste of the NHL. He began the season with the Avalanche, and was later recalled from the minors in the middle of March when Nathan MacKinnon went out with a knee injury.

    Rantanen, who later this week will turn 20 years old, didn’t register a point in nine games with the Avalanche last season. But he still did get that experience, as well as most of an AHL season under his belt, which could serve him well this time around.

    Given he is a 10th overall selection, and his numbers in Europe before the draft and in the minors as an NHL prospect, there are high expectations for what Rantanen could potentially do at the big-league level for an Avalanche team that already boasts highly skilled playmakers like MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Barrie.

    The Avalanche are in the midst of a break in their schedule, with five days between games.

    They don’t play again until Friday, when they host the Winnipeg Jets, so Rantanen’s season debut in Colorado will have to wait at least until then.

    Canucks recall training camp standout Stecher

    Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Edler, of Sweden; Joseph Labate; Alexis D'Aoust; James Sheppard; and Troy Stecher, from left, celebrate Labate's goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period of an NHL hockey preseason game Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
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    Didn’t take Troy Stecher long to get back up to the NHL.

    Stecher, the undrafted free agent out of North Dakota that starred for Vancouver in the preseason, has been recalled from AHL Utica along with forward Jayson Megna.

    The Canucks needed some fresh bodies from the farm following injuries to Alex Burrows, Derek Dorsett and, most distressingly, defenseman Chris Tanev. Tanev took a bad spill into the boards during Sunday’s loss to Anaheim, and appeared to be in serious discomfort.

    If he’s out for any length of time, it could be a problem.

    The 26-year-old is one of Vancouver’s top blueliners and a valued defensive defenseman. He’s averaging over 20 minutes per night this year, and is coming off a campaign in which he scored 18 points in 69 games, while averaging a career-best 21:45 TOI per night.

    Stecher, 22, could draw into the lineup for Tuesday’s home date against Ottawa as Tanev’s replacement, or the Canucks could give towering Russian rearguard Nikita Tryamkin his season debut.

    Tryamkin, who appeared in 13 games for Vancouver last year, has yet to dress but also refused assignment to Utica (he has an out clause allowing him to return to the KHL rather than report to the minors.)

    Update: General manager Jim Benning confirmed to Ben Kuzma of The Province that Burrows and Dorsett have been placed on injured reserve, and will be out a minimum of seven days.