Tag: coaching hot seat

Tom Renney

Stop laughing: Tom Renney wants a new contract


Let me try to soften the edge on the widespread criticisms of the Edmonton Oilers front office by saying that the group has made some rather … curious decisions.

For a team that’s seemingly been buried in the cellar since Chris Pronger’s ugly divorce, you’d think that the franchise would be at the “about fed up” point. Instead, the general feeling is that potential will eventually produce results, which isn’t the wildest notion considering the dazzling skills of Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall.

The stranger course has been the team’s odd penchant for keeping seemingly nonessential pieces in the fold. It was tough not to furrow one’s brow upon word that so-so blueliner Andy Sutton was handed a contract extension. Ales Hemsky’s skills are undeniable, but his conga line of injuries is that much more glaring. Generally speaking, it seems like the franchise is content to “keep the band together” even if their efforts have landed them in the league’s bargain bin.

That context is just about the only thing that explains why current head coach Tom Renney might not be out of his mind when asking for a contract extension.

Even so, it’s pretty stunning to read this account of the situation from the Edmonton Journal, which implies that Renney has some kind of negotiating power in the situation.

I don’t see Renney taking anything less than two years if the Oilers want him back.  If Ales Hemsky is going to get a two-year contract to stay as part of this reconstruction, Renney probably wants at least the same, and why not?  Same with his coaching staff–Ralph Krueger, Steve Smith and Kelly Buchberger–whose contracts are also up, unless Krueger, who is widely admired and could get a very good head-coaching job back in Europe in a heartbeat, decides he wants to return there.

I’m sorry, but what exactly has Renney done to knock down the door for a new deal?

The Oilers went 25-45-12 for him last season and they’re currently 26-34-6, with a not-kidding goal of winning 30 games in 2011-12. It’s obviously not fair to lay that all on Renney – GM Steve Tambellini has made some baffling choices, to say the least – but the young team might need an honest-to-goodness difference-maker behind the bench.

Sure, the Oil have been embracing mediocrity with some of their medium-term plans, but even with that in mind it’s hard to fathom Renney making any demands.

Next up on the hot seat: Randy Carlyle in Anaheim

Toronto Maple Leafs v Anaheim Ducks

How do you think Anaheim’s Randy Carlyle is feeling today? After seeing two other head coaches with better records than he’s got this season (Bruce Boudreau and Paul Maurice) wind up getting fired today, you’d have to think that he’s not exactly feeling too cozy in southern California.

The Ducks have lost 16 of their last 18 as well as seven in a row now and are just one point ahead of Columbus for dead last in the Western Conference. A team with the reigning league MVP in Corey Perry as well as stars like Ryan Getzlaf, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, and Jonas Hiller is playing about as miserable as any in the league.

Teams that do that poorly don’t generally stick by the head coach but in Anaheim, things are a little different. The Ducks locked Carlyle up to a three-year extension during the summer meaning that if they were to part ways with him, it’d cost the Ducks a kick in the wallet.  Carlyle has won the franchise a Stanley Cup and while they’re struggling badly now, word from those on the inside is they’d rather not let Carlyle go.

If there’s something Anaheim needs badly it’s a stud defensive defenseman. Those are tough to come by though, but if there’s a deal willing to be made out there, Anaheim will explore the possibility. If there isn’t though, and the losses continue to mount, Ducks GM Bob Murray might not have any recourse other than to get a new coach in there to spark the team.

Is tonight Paul Maurice’s last stand in Carolina?

Paul Maurice

You’re going to find out a lot about the Carolina Hurricanes tonight. They’re at home against Buffalo and for all intents and purposes it could be Paul Maurice’s final game behind the bench for the Hurricanes.

The team is mired in a funk so bad that it’s got GM Jim Rutherford talking about shaking things up one way or another soon and with how lifeless the Hurricanes looked against Montreal the other night, signs are pointing toward Maurice as being the source of their problems. They’ve lost six of their last seven and are in last place in the Southeast Division just a year after falling just short of making the playoffs.

For Maurice, News & Observer columnist Luke DeCock says that things are different than the last time he was run out of town in Carolina for losing ways. This time around, fan apathy could be sending the message that things need to change now. As for other fans, they’re already taking the temperature to see who they might want to see take his spot. The choices aren’t overly flattering.

If the Hurricanes do want to rally behind Maurice, putting the boots to Buffalo tonight will help send that message. If they have checked out on the coach, however, seeing the Sabres roll on them in front of their home fans would be the final straw.

Jacques Martin cares not for your wishes to fire him

Jacques Martin

Jacques Martin is having a rough go of it in Montreal lately. With the Canadiens having just one win so far this year and one of the worst records in the NHL, the call to have Martin fired from fans in Montreal has been growing louder to the point you can’t ignore the voice of the populous. With a battered defensive unit and a team that can’t score goals, things are bad in Montreal.

Well, you can ignore it if you’re Jacques Martin as he’s got better things to do like trying to figure out how to help his team string together some wins. How noble of him.

“I don’t listen to the radio or watch TV or read the newspapers,” Martin said Tuesday. “After 26, 27 years at this level, I’ve been through this before.

“To me it’s just every day getting better and making sure the team’s ready for (the next) game.”

He’s certainly been through this before in previous coaching stints in Ottawa and Florida. They say you’re not really an NHL coach until you get fired so in that respect, Martin is very well renowned as a coach. Until the wins come, the chatter will continue to burn through Montreal like a… You know what, you already have the punchline to that joke ready to fly, so just run with it.

With a game against Philly up next tonight as well as a home-and-home set with the hated Bruins, if things don’t get fixed fast, Martin might not make it to November.

Is it time for Montreal to fire Jacques Martin?

Jacques Martin
1 Comment

The Montreal Canadiens can’t score goals, they can’t defend well enough, they can’t do anything right and they play games in one of the most heated hockey markets in the league. Failure is not an option in Montreal and coach Jacques Martin is serving up a lot of it. With so much hope heading into the season, the Canadiens can’t get out of their own way and Martin is on the hot seat.

The Sporting News’ Jesse Spector reports that sources are saying that Martin could have just a few games to get things turned around or else he’ll be out of a job. Is that the right move for Montreal to make if the struggles continue? Signs point to yes.

The Habs have plenty of scoring talent in Mike Cammalleri, Brian Gionta, Andrei Kostitsyn, and Erik Cole. Cole has been kept off the team’s power play units and Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec are the guys leading their offense. While the Habs’ defense is banged up with a host of injuries, including a lingering knee ailment to Andrei Markov, they’ve done nothing to help out Carey Price.

Martin’s notoriously dry defense-oriented system has frustrated Canadiens fans over the last few seasons, and now that the team has fallen on hard times early, including not yet winning a game at home, the torches and pitchforks are out in force and for good reason.

The Habs have the talent to be a playoff team and to do well in the postseason, but if they’ve tuned out Martin and want to let loose, the Montreal organization may rue the days they let coaches Guy Boucher and Kirk Muller get away from them for greener pastures.