Last week Booje asked me this…

"Struds – you need to give us an insider perspective. What role does ‘attitude’ play in the decisions made by coaches? Are there many attitude problems in the NHL or are they rare?"

It depends where you are in the food chain. If you are a top end player you can get away with a less then stellar attitude. Most coaches (but not all) will overlook it so long as you keep playing at a high level. I think in the long run, letting this type of player roll with a bad attitude will come back to bite you. He will drag down the team. Every player doesn’t have to love the coach but he must respect him and the rest of the team.

If you are a bottom feeder in the food chain a bad attitude will kill you. When playing eight minutes a night a coach doesn’t want to see you moping or complaining. A bottom feeder is just too easy to replace and can be in a hurry.

There are some bad attitudes in the league. Sometimes peer pressure helps these guys change. The locker room can do that, it brings guys down a few notches when required. If they don’t change they often drift from team to team.

Shane Doan…

The Vancouver Canucks should be putting together a package for this player. He is the captain of the Phoenix Coyotes, a big body who can score and a fierce competitor. He has a no movement clause and the Coyotes are sitting in a playoff spot; two pretty big hurdles, but I think he could put the Canucks over the top if they get him.

Doan has played his entire career in Phoenix. He has been very loyal but now is the time for him to go after a Stanley Cup. He is unrestricted after this season. He played his junior hockey in Kamloops so he would be very familiar with the city. The Bruins, Rangers and Flyers are all strong possibilities to advance to the final. They are big, strong teams. A player like Doan would help the Canucks match up better. (assuming the Canucks make it to the final). A second line of Booth, Kesler and Doan would be a handful.

There is a window that contending teams have to take a run at a cup. This should be the year the Canucks go for it.

  • Paul C

    Hey, this is my first post 🙂

    I’m sure the Orcas would love to get Doan to suit up with them. I’d wager if they had him last year, they would have won the cup. From a complete fan perspective, without any inside knowledge, Doan’s a class-act guy, right up there with our home-grown Iginal.

  • The Farmer

    That would be a scary second line. What kind of package would it take though to get a face of the franchise player out of a place like Phoenix that doesn’t have many inroads to the community, or recognizable faces, and he is definitely that for Phoenix. It would probably be an easier decision for all sides I’m sure if it was clear where the coyotes are going to be going forward.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Hey Jason thanks for the articles, they are very interesting coming from a player perspective.

    You mentioned Booth, Kesler and Doan would be a handful – in your opinion as a defenesmen, how does size play into the equation? Is it harder to contain “hockey IQ”, speed, size (with hands)? Does size become more of factor in the playoffs?

    Of course a player with them all would be the hardest, but there aren’t many of them. Thanks.

  • Time Travelling Sean

    Schneider, Schroeder, and a 2012 2nd for Doan, and Ottawa’s 2nd pick and some plug like Aucoin with some C prospect.

    Maybe add some overpaid depth player they don’t need for cap reasons.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Pretty sure a less than desireable attitude has been linked to an early symptom of depression.

    Nonetheless, we should continue to celebrate excellence in all walks of life and push the rest aside.

    Chin up Oiler supporters.

  • lj

    The canucks could pick up Crosby, Malkin, *and* Doan, and STILL never win the Stanley.

    The owners, management, team, and fans continually do stuff that the Hockey Gods could never overlook. If they did, the universe would explode into itself.

  • So how often have you seen a “better” player get passed over in favour of someone who might not have been as effective but had a better attitude? Have situations like that ever divided a locker-room that you’ve been a part of?

  • Gitagrip

    Struds, although you suited up for the Canucks, Hawks and Rangers you chose to favor the Canucks as the team that gives Doan the best chance at a Cup. Hmmm, did you have a bad attitude whilst with the Rain Jars? I can think of a few teams he could put over the top, more worthy than the Canucks. That town is full of bad attitude as displayed by last year’s…….barbeque.

  • book¡e

    Thanks for answering, now, just a few minor clarifications (don’t think – just answer)

    1. Did you read Oilers Nation when you were playing here?

    2. Was the Oilers dressing room divided? Was Moreau a jerk who made rookies brush their teeth with his used socks? Was Horcoff part of the vetran squad who made rookies wait for the next elevator? Was the old kid line (as opposed to the new and better kid line) too carefree for MacTavish? Did MacTavish favour the Moreau group over the kid group (remember when he kick Cogs out of the Circle)? Was Quinn as 1929 as he seemed? Was MacT really ‘not going anywhere’? Was Steve Tambellini really just a puppet, and then just a puppet again, and then really in charge? Is Hemsky kind of whiny or is he just tired of not getting the chance to make the most out of his talents on the Oilers? Does Penner really like Hot Dogs and beer more than hockey? Did MacT really wreck Schremp?

    If you could just clear those things up for us, it would held a lot.

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    I am so stoked they resigned Sutton !!!I just love everything about him!!! White lighting for another year Whahhooooo!!!!!!

    This is one of the players whose name I would love to have on a jersey! Yes I like him that much! Kind of a lunch pail hockey player!!!

  • vetinari

    Even in the business world, people are willing to overlook some of the things that would land others into “hot water” if those persons produce results.

    Although hockey is a “performance based” career, no person is an island. However, and more importantly, it is a team sport. One or two bad apples can affect the performances of 18 other players and the question then becomes, is it better to add by subtraction?

    In particular, I remember the gong show that was Sean Avery in Dallas, and he made comments about Phaneuf’s girlfriend that had his teammates shaking their heads at his stupidity… or the time when Avery was with the Rangers and in the playoffs kept trying to distract Brodeur by waving his stick in front of his face and his teammates thought that was going too far… or the time Avery ticked off Tortorella… wait a minute, why are there so many Avery examples at the top of this list???? Where’s he playing again right now?

  • ubermiguel

    Its got to be like any work-place, if you’re a top performer you get cut some slack attitude-wise.

    Looking forward to those healthy scratch bag stories.