Category Archives: GM Coach
The NHL trade deadline may have been the final act for some general managers.
With only three weeks left in the season, all 30 teams tried to tweak at Wednesday’s cutoff to make trades, but a chosen few were more desperate than others because their jobs are on the line if they don’t make a playoff push.
Figure top two early candidates for new coach is Lindy Ruff and Jon Cooper, with Ruff probably at the top of the list
— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) March 24, 2013
With his days as an official front-office NHL executive on hold, it’s been quiet times for former Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke.
The fiery Irishman has had little to say since being fired just prior to the season, but you can’t keep a good quote down forever and Burke was in vintage form Friday morning in Boston.
Speaking on a panel at the MIT Sloan Analytics Conference, Burke was at his bombastic best, addressing several issues from his ill-fated tenure at the helm of the Leafs.
Lindy Ruff, fired as coach of the Buffalo Sabres last week, and Phil Housley played together in Buffalo for eight seasons. Both were extremely popular there. It wouldn’t be surprising if Housley, the former South St. Paul High School star who this winter coached the U.S. junior national men’s hockey team to a gold medal in the world championships in Russia, gets interest from the Sabres, if not to succeed Ruff, then as an assistant next season.
So, Lindy Ruff is on the market.
That should cause a few neck problems in the coaching fraternity around the NHL.
Ruff had been the longest-serving coach in the NHL when the inevitable tap on the shoulder came from Buffalo Sabres general manager Darcy Regier Wednesday.
Could the Brian Burke era in Toronto be close to an actual end?
Fired as Maple Leafs general manager in January, Burke became an adviser with the organization.
TSN reported on Tuesday night that at least one team has asked the Leafs for permission to talk to Burke for a non-GM role, believed to be as a consultant or a scout. During his final news conference in Toronto, Burke said he wanted to be a GM in the NHL again as soon as possible.
In hockey, when you’ve tried everything but firing the coach and your team doesn’t respond, you tend to fire the coach. Maybe owner Craig Leipold won’t force that move immediately, but he has no reason to be patient after making an immense investment in front-line talent and watching his team fall apart.
Whether Mike Yeo is responsible for his team’s slump is irrelevant.
If it was only about his win-loss record, as he tried to sell, then someone other than Dave Nonis would be the new general manager of the Leafs. Sure, the record was part of the evaluation of Burke. How couldn’t it be? But his record alone would have had him back for a shortened new season instead of turning the keys over to Nonis and the rest of his lieutenants. Nobody would look at the record and like it.
But that wasn’t why he was fired. He knows that. And he’s not confortable going public with the information — and neither is the new ownership — because it’s hard to explain why someone didn’t like you. It wasn’t just that he swore. It wasn’t just that he enjoyed the occasional beverage. It wasn’t just that public complaints about him have been more and more apparent in recent months. It wasn’t any one of those things: It was all of them. And more.