Losing in the playoffs can come with consequences. Gary Agnew, an assistant coach with the St. Louis Blues for two years, found out all about that.
The Blues were defeated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The club gave head coach Ken Hitchcock a one-year contract extension, but parted ways from Agnew and goalie coach Corey Hirsch. The decision to let Agnew walk was one that Hitchcock, it appears, could not offer influence on.
“There was no sign of extensions for anybody,” Agnew told Syracuse.com. “Nothing was happening. Something was amiss. When we lost to the first round to Chicago, it fueled the fire.
“Hitch and I are thick as thieves. He couldn’t do anything about it.”
But where one door closes, another is surely to open in the National Hockey League for Agnew, who spent six previous seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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