April 27 2010 07:27AM
The Summer of Steve is two weeks old and if the release and re-assignment of the head trainer and equipment managers can garner this much attention, then the rest of the summer will be monumental.
I found it interesting to read people ripping Tambellini for his dismissal of the equipment guys when, in fact; many don’t know exactly what the equipment guys actually do. Unlike critiquing a player or a coach, most of the criticism came without seeing or knowing what these men do.
Suggesting all they do is fill up water bottles, fold towels, sharpen skates and do the laundry is gross underestimation of their roles. Sure that is a part of it, but like in most dressing rooms they can set the tempo of a room.
They welcome new players in constantly, and have to make sure they help them feel at home. They have to be someone the players can trust and most importantly they need to know how to deal with 23 different personalities. It’s not an easy job.
Tambellini said he needed to change the culture of the room, and clearly there were some issues within the room that weren’t just between players. But if you expect to find out exactly what those were you’ll be disappointed.
You won’t get Lowe, Stafford or Sparky to say anything bad about the organization that gave them some of the best years of their lives. And players won’t and shouldn’t bad mouth the trainers.
I can tell you it wasn’t change for the sake of change, and that there were some issues from both sides, but after speaking with those involved on both sides the timing was right to make a change.
Quinn moving on?
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a coaching change. I wonder if Quinn is the right guy to lead the troops into next season.
If Quinn stays Tambellini will have to acquire a few more players who play with fire and grit. Quinn demands a lot from his players, and wants them to be hard to play against, but that’s not the forte of this group right now.
Quinn can get hot under the collar, but when your team is losing and many of your players don’t possess that fire, I wonder if those polar dynamics can work in unison?
It was clear during the season that Quinn was frustrated, and the players were at times equally frustrated with their coach.
Ethan Moreau was ripped when he said the coaches tweaked their system and put guys in more defined roles after the all-star break. He was ripped more because he was playing bad at the time, instead of what he said. And when you look at what he said, you wonder if there was a communication breakdown between the players and their head coach?
It won’t be an easy decision, but if Tambellini decides to change his head coach, he won’t be considered indecisive Steve anymore.
Shooter or shot-stopper
The New Jersey Devils made another first round exit and now Lou Lamoriello will have some decisions to make. He’ll needs to find another head coach, with Jacques Lemaire retiring yesterday, he has to find a goalie that can play at least 20 games, if not more, so Marty Brodeur can stay rested and he’ll have to decide if he wants to pay Ilya Kovalchuk seven million dollars per season.
Lamouriello admitted during Prime Time Sports on the TEAM 1260 yesterday that Brodeur’s workload has to decrease and he’ll be looking for a goalie that can play at least 20 games. Would Lamoriello be interested in Jeff Deslauriers or Devan Dubnyk? (For the record I think the Oilers will keep Dubnyk).
Jeff Frazee, their 2nd rounder selection in 2005 is their best prospect in Lowell, but he hasn’t played one NHL game. I doubt Lamoriello goes into next season planning on reducing Brodeur’s workload by handing 20+ games to an NHL rookie.
It’s clear that reducing Brodeur’s minutes, and the amount of shots he takes in practice will keep him fresh, but it’s not like he was horrible this year. He won 45 games and is a Vezina finalist voted on by the league’s 30 GMs. In the four playoff games the Devils lost they scored a grand total of four goals. It’s hard to blame your goalie when he’d need to post a shutout in order to win.
Of course Brodeur will be back in New Jersey, but will Kovalchuk be his teammate?
Kovalchuk has yet to win a playoff series, and has only ever won one playoff game. He is an exciting player and one of the league’s best goal scorers, but he has yet to prove his worth in the playoffs.
Those who suggest his six points in five games proved his worth might want to look a bit closer. Three of his points came in one game, and he didn’t score an EV strength goal that wasn’t into an empty net the entire series.
I think he is a great talent, but he hasn’t proven he can be a difference maker in the playoffs and that’s what he has to do if he wants to get paid like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Alex Ovechkin.
If any GM pays him more than $6 million dollars, I’d be stunned if that team ever wins, unless he goes to a team like Pittsburgh, Detroit or Washington, or to a team with a dominant centre that he can play with.
High-scoring wingers, who aren’t great defensively or great play makers rarely are the leaders on championship teams. If any team pays Kovalchuk more than Marian Hossa they are making a huge mistake.
If there was any debate before, it is obvious now that if the Montreal Canadiens are going to move a goalie it will be Carey Price. Price needs to mature and then he’ll be fine, but his immaturity is partially the Canadiens fault. Allowing him to avoid the media scrums after sub-par performances just encourages him to be act like a spoiled brat. His on-ice tantrums are growing old, and change of scenery will help him.
Knowing Lamoriello he might go after Price and let him learn under Brodeur. Once Price matures he’ll be a decent goalie, and learning from Brodeur might be the perfect tonic.
They say anything can happen in game seven, but can Jaroslav Halak play that well again? I can’t see it happening, but back-to-back game sevens will make TSN, not NBC Must See TV.
I’d keep Dubnyk over Deslauriers because his positioning is better andhe is two years younger (Dubnyk turn 24 on May 4th, Deslauriers turns 26 on May 15th). I like how Deslauriers battles, and I don’t mind that he shows some fire on the ice, but he gets caught scrambling too much, and at this point his game isn’t two years more mature than Dubnyk’s. I’d expect Tambellini to move Deslauriers this summer, rather than bring both guys to camp and risk losing one for nothing on the waiver wire.