Coaching Records Since The Lockout – Let The Reader Use Discernment

Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009 08:10PM

Renney

With the news coming out today that the Oilers are going to interview Tom Renney (shown above, demonstrating his easy going manner and rapport with his players), I thought it might be of interest to take a look at the records of NHL coaches post-lockout.

What follows is such a list, featuring every bench boss with more than fifty games coached since the NHL lockout. The number in brackets on the right is a coach’s points percentage – what percent of available points his teams have taken. Coaches listed in bold are currently available for hire, and those listed in italics are NHL G.M.s who either stepped behind the bench temporarily or have since been elevated to the top hockey job.

Some caveats apply; obviously coaches with bad teams are going to be grouped near the bottom (hey look, it’s Scott Gordon!) regardless of their personal level of ability, and the reverse is true also (hello, Michel Therrien). Also, while I got all of my information from hockey-reference.com, it’s only as accurate as my math skills; so while I checked the numbers twice, if there’s a suspicious one please double-check.

Coaching Records, Post-Lockout

 

Todd McLellan – San Jose: 53-18-11 (.713) Mike Babcock – Detroit: 213-77-38 (.707) Lou Lamoriello – New Jersey: 34-14-5 (.689) Bruce Boudreau – Washington: 87-41-15 (.661) Daryl Sutter – Calgary: 46-25-11 (.628) Claude Julien – BOS/NJ/MTL: 160-88-36 (.627) Brent Sutter – New Jersey: 97-56-11 (.625) Randy Carlyle – Anaheim: 180-107-41 (.611) John Paddock – Ottawa: 36-22-6 (.609) Dave Tippett – Dallas: 184-113-31 (.608) Barry Trotz – Nashville: 181-114-33 (.602) Ron Wilson – SJ/TOR: 178-111-39 (.602) Peter Laviolette – Carolina: 157-100-24 (.601) Alain Vigneault – Vancouver: 133-86-27 (.596) Guy Carbonneau – Montreal: 124-83-23 (.589) Tom Renney – New York Rangers: 159-106-42 (.586) Mike Keenan – Calgary: 88-60-16 (.585) Jim Playfair – Calgary: 43-29-10 (.585) Lindy Ruff – Buffalo: 185-129-34 (.580) Bob Gainey – Montreal: 29-21-7 (.570) Jacques Lemaire – Minnesota: 170-125-35 (.568) Peter DeBoer – Florida: 41-30-11 (.567) Joel Quenneville – COL/CHI: 176-114-34 (.560) Michel Therrien – Pittsburgh: 135-105-32 (.555) Paul Maurice – TOR/CAR: 109-85-27 (.554) Bob Hartley – Atlanta: 84-67-19 (.550) Pat Quinn – Toronto: 41-33-8 (.549) Andy Murray – STL/LA: 138-113-37 (.543) Ken Hitchcock – CBJ/PHI: 149-128-39 (.533) John Tortorella – TB/NYR: 130-115-22 (.528) Jacques Martin – Florida: 110-100-36 (.520) John Stevens – Philadelphia: 107-98-33 (.519) Ted Nolan – New York Islanders: 74-68-21 (.518) Craig MacTavish – Edmonton: 152-141-35 (.517) Don Waddell – Atlanta: 34-34-8 (.500) Denis Savard – Chicago: 65-66-16 (.497) Terry Murray – Los Angeles: 34-37-11 (.482) Wayne Gretzky – Phoenix: 143-161-24 (.473) Marc Crawford – LA/VAN: 101-116-29 (.470) John Anderson – Atlanta: 35-41-6 (.463) Dave Lewis – Boston: 35-41-6 (.463) Mike Sullivan – Boston: 29-37-16 (.451) Gerard Gallant – Columbus: 40-52-5 (.438) Tony Granato – Colorado: 32-45-5 (.421) Glen Hanlon – Washington: 63-95-27 (.414) Rick Tocchet – Tampa Bay: 19-33-14 (.394) Trent Yawney – Chicago: 33-55-15 (.393) Scott Gordon – New York Islanders: 26-47-9 (.372) Mike Kitchen – St. Louis: 28-63-19 (.341)

Some fun points from this list:

  • Mike Keenan and Jim Playfair have posted identical points percentages with the Calgary Flames. I wonder what that means, exactly.
  • I was shocked to see that of available ex-NHL coaches, John Paddock has the best record, post-lockout.
  • I wonder what the problem is with Claude Julien; he sees nothing but success and he’s been fired twice since the lockout.
  • Bob Gainey’s record as an interim coach looked good at first, but then I realized that it was significantly further down the list than the two men he replaced.
  • I remain a strong supporter of Craig MacTavish’s ability to coach at the NHL level, but it is somewhat interesting that he’s just behind Ted Nolan in terms of winning percentage. Nolan may be all kinds of difficult, but it seems to me that the man can coach.
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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 08:34PM
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John Paddock – Ottawa: 36-22-6 (.609)

Ummm, how? Didn't he coach a season and a half? Numbers don't add up. Am I mistaken?

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#2 Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009, 08:41PM
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@ RossCreek:

He was an assistant coach in Ottawa for a couple of years before getting the big job, but he didn't last a full season in Ottawa.

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#3 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 08:47PM
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@ Jonathan Willis: Wow. I totally "mis-rembered" that. Sorry Willis, thanks for the clarification. It's just that when I saw that record, I figured "holy shi, there must be a mistake!"

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#4 Archaeologuy
April 28 2009, 08:59PM
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The name that stands out to me like WTF is Bob Hartley. Not disputing the numbers, just didnt expect to see his name that high.

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#5 Hockey Gods
April 28 2009, 09:04PM
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So who wants to bet how ast the rumour mills gets going on Sutter coming here now that the Devils are out?

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#6 Robin Brownlee
April 28 2009, 09:05PM
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"Some" caveats apply? The rosters and strengths, or weaknesses, a coach inherits are everything when you're looking at a relatively short time frame, four seasons, like this.

You could plug Sleepy, Goofy, Dopey or George Burnett behind the bench in San Jose and Detroit and likely have close to the same winning percentages.

How many of the 28 coaches on your list with better winning percentages than Ken Hitchcock are more capable coaches than him? I count one guy I'd hire before Hitch -- Mike Babcock.

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#7 Magicmeatbag
April 28 2009, 09:10PM
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Nice that you mention how Nolan can coach because as i recall he didn't exactly have a great team to coach with in new york.

Not that I'm hoping he becomes our coach or anything though =x.

What about the records for the other potential coaches outside the NHL? Or is that relevant?

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#8 Travis Dakin
April 28 2009, 09:26PM
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Please Please Please get Sutter.

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#9 Harlie
April 28 2009, 09:38PM
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Crawford was .596 in Colorado

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#10 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 09:55PM
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@ Hockey Gods: @ Travis Dakin: 1. If Sutter couldn't get out of the 1st round, what makes him so great? 2. Don't you think Sutter may head to Calgary instead?

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#11 West Coast Oil, $Version=1
April 28 2009, 10:17PM
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I would be interested in a further breakdown of Crawfords numbers between LA and Vancouver. He had quite a bit of success in Vancouver or so it seemed but the numbers would confirm that

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#12 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 10:25PM
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Nice spot Spec did on Sportsnet tonight. Said things aren't that bad in Calgary compared to Edmonton & Ottawa. I knew I always liked Spec!

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#13 Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009, 10:28PM
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RossCreek wrote:

1. If Sutter couldn’t get out of the 1st round, what makes him so great?

I sincerely hope that wasn't a serious question. Like Scotty Bowman said, in a playoff series "breaks are going to play a big part and you have to be lucky to win."

Bowman should know - after all, in his first three seasons as Montreal Canadiens head coach he won one Stanley Cup and fell in the first round two times.

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#14 jeanshorts
April 28 2009, 10:29PM
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@ RossCreek:

1. Did you watch any of those games?????? It was like two identical teams playing each other. They barely, barely lost.

2. Sadly I'll agree with you. Though I don't think they'd give Keenan the ol heave ho after one mediocre season, but if Sutter wanted to come back to Alberta I'm sure they'd make the tough choice. I'm still going to go to bed everynight wishing for either him or Quinn next season though.

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#15 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 10:37PM
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@ jeanshorts: Keanan's been there 2 years.

@ Jonathan Willis: I like Brent Sutter. It was a question aimed at all who bash the Flames for losing out in the 1st round.

But I see that yoe already know that "in a playoff series breaks are going to play a big part and you have to be lucky to win.”

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#16 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 10:38PM
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*you* what the heck is yoe?

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#17 RossCreek
April 28 2009, 10:40PM
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Wow! And Keenan, not Keanan. That was a rough post. I guess my head just wasn't in it.

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#18 Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009, 10:44PM
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RossCreek wrote:

I like Brent Sutter. It was a question aimed at all who bash the Flames for losing out in the 1st round.

Well, in fairness, I generally bash the Flames for losing out in the first round four years running ;)

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#19 yo
April 28 2009, 10:46PM
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Jonathan - Again with the stats!!! I'm sure a coach's record over his career is a valid area of appraising his effectiveness but every group of players and every team are going to vary in their level of success. Based on the Oilers record of late and all the variables of performance I think a new coach will likely see a drop in his winning percentage (if he has been an established success) until he has time to organize his assistants and various systems of play. Not the least of which is getting the dad-gummed players playing. In the Oilers organization that will be no mean feat. Stats have their place but I think the man's character, ability to handle various players and media and fan pressure are just as important for the long term success of the coach and the team.

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#20 Thunder
April 28 2009, 10:53PM
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I just hope we they don't hire Crawford. To me he just seems so arragant. I almost fall assleep when I listen to him on TV, how can he be the communicator and motivator the team needs? He makes absolutly no sense when he opens his mouth.

Tambos decision better have less to do with past personal history and more about a coach that has the ability to coach the system that we are building the team for.

I am not a big fan of Quinn, but the positive thing is he will get respect, he is good with young guys (World Juniors) and he will likely be done after 3 years. I would then look at keeping Daum in Springfield for 2 years and then bring him up as assistant with the possibility to become head coach.

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#21 Hockey Gods
April 28 2009, 11:04PM
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@ RossCreek: I definately was not implying he was on his way for an interview, there are too many obsticles to overcome, mainly his full time coaching position he currently holds; all I was really saying was watch the rumour mill kick into overtime now that the devils are out. The media and public alike have been kicking around the same old senarios for a week now, now they have a new direction to take it.

However, people (myself included) have been frothing at the rumours Brent wanted to come back to Alberta, and speculated Edmonton would be the perfect fit.

All this has been said without asking Sutter's opinion; my thoughts are if he does resign to come back to Alberta closer to his Red Deer Rebels, and his farm, why would take on another full time NHL coaching gig with a tougher travel schedule than New Jersy?

My honest opinion is there there is a very minute chance he takes, or is even availible to coach the Oil. But a man can dream can't he, because I think he is the ideal type of coach this team needs, IMO.

Dare to dream... dare to dream.

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#22 Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009, 11:11PM
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yo wrote:

I’m sure a coach’s record over his career is a valid area of appraising his effectiveness but every group of players and every team are going to vary in their level of success.

I agree; hence the Revelation-inspired "let the reader use discernment" in the title of this piece and the lengthy list of caveats before the list is even presented.

This is mostly a place for discussion; it omits a bunch of minor-league candidates, but it does show us how most of the likely retreads have fared over their past few seasons coaching. Much more would be required to actually form an opinion of the nearly 50 men listed here.

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#23 Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009, 11:12PM
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yo wrote:

Jonathan - Again with the stats!!!

And as a side point, if you don't like statisitcs I'd strongly suggest skipping over a good portion of my work ;) because I think they add value.

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#24 Hockey Gods
April 28 2009, 11:15PM
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Thunder wrote:

I just hope we they don’t hire Crawford. To me he just seems so arragant. I almost fall assleep when I listen to him on TV, how can he be the communicator and motivator the team needs? He makes absolutly no sense when he opens his mouth

Thinder I was totally on the same page all year, I thought Crawford was an idiot and couldn't even pronounce names. But I listened to him last night and got past all of the annoying stuff, along with the crybaby 6 year old voice. You know what I found? I liked the style of game he was preaching. He kept pointing if he were coaching the Sharks he would stress a more aggressive forecheck, initiate more physical play, more down ice pressure and that would want the d pinching more late in the game to create some momentum.

That is the aggrissive style hockey we were all begging for all year, and the type of hockey I like to watch. And he oppisite of what were heard from MacT all year.

I am by no means flying his flag or saying Crawford should be the guy. I guess all I am saying is there is more to the guy than idiot behind a mike that keeps saying Alex Hemsky. But that s type of coach I think the Oil should focus on.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
April 28 2009, 11:38PM
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I'm not on the Crawford bandwagon because I've got unpleasant suspicions about his character, but he's a far better coach than he is a colour commentator.

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#26 DonDon
April 28 2009, 11:56PM
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@ Hockey Gods: We should keep our eyes on the future of Brent Sutter. If he leaves NJ and becomes available elsewhere, I can't imagine him going to Calgary and working for his big brother, Darryl, the big ego. The Oilers could do a lot worse than Brent. The reason the Devils lost to Carolina was the play of Brodeur. Although Brodeur will be a future hockey HOFer, he couldn't stop a beach ball in the series vs Carolina. Two goals against in the final minutes in the 7th playoff game at home!

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#27 Ender
April 29 2009, 12:21AM
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Don't forget Renney is from Cranbrook. What are we at, 1 year in the last 10 that the cup winner didn't have a player from Cranny? 1 in the last 15?

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#28 Antony Ta
April 29 2009, 01:37AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I’m not on the Crawford bandwagon because I’ve got unpleasant suspicions about his character, but he’s a far better coach than he is a colour commentator.

I wonder about the whole Bertuzzi/Moore thing sometimes.

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#29 bosman
April 29 2009, 08:47AM
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If we don't think one season of coaching indicates how good a coach is, why do 8 games at WJHC mean anything? What else has Quinn done that says he is any good at developing kids?

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#30 Kent
April 29 2009, 08:49AM
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Mike Keenan and Jim Playfair have posted identical points percentages with the Calgary Flames. I wonder what that means, exactly.

Meh. Playfair had the benefit of a relatively effective Kiprusoff. Keenan hasn't. That's significant if you think Keenan is to blame for Kipper's fall from grace, but I don't really buy that personally.

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#31 RossCreek
April 29 2009, 09:22AM
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I don't get the whole " why would Brent want to go work for his big bro" argument. These people that say this must have some pretty shittttty brothers. Why would't you want to make it a family affair/family business; have some damn pride in your family. Don't you think that makes more sense where the Sutter's are concerned?

The only thing I'll say is after Darryl, Playfair & Keenan, perhaps the Flames need a different type of message sender. The Flames seem to be in the opposite situation of the Oil. The Oilers need a hard asss & the Flames may need a tactician (not that Brent isn't, he just may be too similar in hard-asss-ness).

If Mike Keenan is out, and Brent Sutter is not the next coach in Calgary, and Darryl himself doesn't step back down, the name I'd like to see the Flames take a look at is Tom Renney. IMO he's not a good fit in eTown, but mite be a gr8 fit in Calgary. I hope neither team hires Crawford because I don't want to have to listen to him on a daily basis. I still think Brent will be in Calgary though.

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#32 cm
April 29 2009, 09:38AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

I’m not on the Crawford bandwagon because I’ve got unpleasant suspicions about his character, but he’s a far better coach than he is a colour commentator.

I'm not on the Crawford bandwagon because I've hated him has a divisonal rival for 10 years and as a commentator on the CBC for the last few...

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#33 Archaeologuy
April 29 2009, 09:38AM
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RossCreek wrote:

I don’t get the whole ” why would Brent want to go work for his big bro” argument. These people that say this must have some pretty shittttty brothers. Why would’t you want to make it a family affair/family business; have some damn pride in your family. Don’t you think that makes more sense where the Sutter’s are concerned?

I dont know if you've ever mixed money and family, but it doesnt turn out well most of the time. Someone is always going to get burned. And this isnt a hardware store or a restaurant, its a Hockey club. Coaches and GMs get fired frequently. Someone is asking to get their feelings hurt. And dont say these are big boys who understand the business. It doesnt matter. I'm sure part of Brent Sutter thinks its a good idea, but another wonders if his relationship with Darryl could implode under the right circumstances. Maybe given the 2 choices (Edmonton v Calgary) Brent would sooner avoid possible problems and take Edmonton. Not that I think Brent Sutter is coming to Edmonton.

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#34 RossCreek
April 29 2009, 09:54AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I dont know if you’ve ever mixed money and family, but it doesnt turn out well most of the time.

I think this is different. It's not as though Darryl owns the team and its his money. The way I see it, Darryl's in a position that he has to have the trust in the new guy so much so that he'd put his own job on the line. I've said it time and time again, this could be his last hire (if he has 2 more hires, that would suggest the 1st one wasn't a good hire, which would suggest his own job could/should be up for grabs). I guess it's a wait & see for us, but I just don't buy the "why would he work for his bro" angle.

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#35 Archaeologuy
April 29 2009, 10:01AM
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@ RossCreek: I see your point, but if it was my decision to make I wouldnt work for family unless it was my only opportunity.

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#36 RossCreek
April 29 2009, 10:05AM
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@ Archaeologuy: And I see your point... if I was working for my uncle for 19 bux an hour as a carpenter while he told me what to do all day and I showed up hungover on occasion wanting to tell him to go Fffff his hat.

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#37 Archaeologuy
April 29 2009, 10:08AM
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@ RossCreek: I would like to see that convo between Darryl and Brent.

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#38 kingsblade
April 29 2009, 10:08AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

RossCreek wrote: I don’t get the whole ” why would Brent want to go work for his big bro” argument. These people that say this must have some pretty shittttty brothers. Why would’t you want to make it a family affair/family business; have some damn pride in your family. Don’t you think that makes more sense where the Sutter’s are concerned? I dont know if you’ve ever mixed money and family, but it doesnt turn out well most of the time. Someone is always going to get burned. And this isnt a hardware store or a restaurant, its a Hockey club. Coaches and GMs get fired frequently. Someone is asking to get their feelings hurt. And dont say these are big boys who understand the business. It doesnt matter. I’m sure part of Brent Sutter thinks its a good idea, but another wonders if his relationship with Darryl could implode under the right circumstances. Maybe given the 2 choices (Edmonton v Calgary) Brent would sooner avoid possible problems and take Edmonton. Not that I think Brent Sutter is coming to Edmonton.

There is even more to it than that. Brent is a bit of a dark sheep in that family. I don't mean that to have the usual connotations, I just mean that he is different.

Everybody's opinion on the matter are based on what they would do, but none of us have any idea what he will do. Some people think that he didn't go to Calgary before because they hatched a secret plan to have him go elsewhere first, regardless of the public support for him being hired last time. This is essentially the opinion of Flames fans who want Brent in Calgary and wish he came last time.

There are other who believe that the 2 brothers probably talked about it and decided to go a different route. This is what I believe mostly because of things that are commonly known about the dynamics between them and because this is what I have been told by some people who know the Sutters. This still does not mean he won't end up in Calgary because they could just as easily decide that this time they want to go through with it.

I cannot decide what I think will happen with him. I would like him in Edmonton but there is a fair chance he ends up in Calgary or out of the NHL altogether. I do know that a guy like Brent is definitely not a lock to coach somewhere because his brothers work there, in fact that could just as easily be the reason he chooses not to coach in Calgary.

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#39 MattL
April 29 2009, 10:16AM
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Harlie wrote:

Crawford was .596 in Colorado

And he was way less than .596 elsewhere, which is exactly why coaching records don't mean all that much compared to player personnel. Although after listening to him do colour for CBC, I'm suspicious that he may have developed brain damage somewhere between Colorado and LA.

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#40 Archaeologuy
April 29 2009, 10:18AM
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MattL wrote:

Harlie wrote: Crawford was .596 in Colorado And he was way less than .596 elsewhere, which is exactly why coaching records don’t mean all that much compared to player personnel. Although after listening to him do colour for CBC, I’m suspicious that he may have developed brain damage somewhere between Colorado and LA.

I seem to recall that Colorado had a pretty good netminder too...

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#41 RossCreek
April 29 2009, 10:22AM
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Flames fans, Oil fans, lets all join together to ensure that Crawford doesn't end up in Alberta. I couldn't take listening to him on a daily basis. After that, we can go back to our respective sides and carry on.

Marc, WE DON'T WANT YOU IN OUR PROVINCE...EEEEEEEEVER!

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#42 Quinn
April 29 2009, 10:24AM
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Mike Keenan and Jim Playfair have posted identical points percentages with the Calgary Flames. I wonder what that means, exactly.

This means that the rot in Calgary goes deeper than just the coaching. And if I'm Brent Sutter I stay away from this star-crossed team.

I remember Playfair's tenure very clearly and he was roasted for problems that were present under Darryl Sutter and are present with Keenan too. And I suspect that as Calgary's excellent ownership approaches the off-season and does their organisation review, we might be surprised by the moves they make.

I personally think the bloom is off the Darryl Sutter rose, since he is the architect of this perennial one and done team, especially this year with the arm-twisting to get Jokinen (boy did that work out!). I don't necessarily think he will be gone after this season, but I think next year is his last chance. But I do think there needs to be a change in the way the Flames are made-up.

Anyways, to summarise, I think Playfair got a bum rap for being a decent coach of a heartless team, Brent Sutter will not choose to go there and that the Flames will continue their pattern of regular season up and down with another first round exit next year.

And, as an Oil fan, I can only hope for that level of success next year. *Grits teeth in resigned frustration*

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#43 dragon
April 29 2009, 11:31AM
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any votes for Laviolette? isn't the Canes team that eliminated the Devils his work? any info on the guy?

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#44 Colin
April 29 2009, 12:58PM
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@ dragon:

I think he'd want an eastern job, his family still lives out there I think.

I wouldn't be opposed to him being the guy though.

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#45 jenga66
April 29 2009, 01:03PM
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With regards to the possibility of Brent Sutter coaching in Edmonton, it may be meaningless but there hase never been Sutter employed by the Edmonton Oilers at any level. This puts Edmonton in a very small number of teams that have never had a Sutter in their system.

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#46 Ref
April 29 2009, 01:19PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

"And as a side point, if you don’t like statisitcs I’d strongly suggest skipping over a good portion of my work because I think they add value."

But remember that Scotty Bowman was quoted as saying "Statistics are for losers"

And mark Twain quipped: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics"

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#47 Cory Dakin
April 29 2009, 02:05PM
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I just read Willis' blog on yahoo! sports, the eulogy to the flames.. Solid gold. The picture of Dion Phaneuf shows what it truly takes to become an NHL star. The difference between the Flames and a training bra? A training bra has two cups... NICE!

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#48 kingsblade
April 29 2009, 02:46PM
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Ref wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: “And as a side point, if you don’t like statisitcs I’d strongly suggest skipping over a good portion of my work because I think they add value.” But remember that Scotty Bowman was quoted as saying “Statistics are for losers” And mark Twain quipped: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”

What is your point? Didn't he just say to skip it if you don't like it?

I once quipped: If you cannot come up with an original thought, and instead express yourself entirely with quotations, then maybe you shouldn't bother speaking at all.

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#49 RossCreek
April 29 2009, 02:53PM
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@ Cory Dakin: How many Oilers smoke the wacky-tabacky again?

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#50 Big Deal
April 29 2009, 03:37PM
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So let me understand this Mact's record is 152 win 141 losses and 35 overtimes losses. That means he coached 328 games and won 152 times for a winning percentage of 463. Just be ause the losses occurred in overtime does not mean they don't exist! A loss is a loss regardless of whether it occurred in three periods or three periods and a five minutes!!!!

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