Tony G, Eddie O but not Teddie No,

Ok, here’s three strange things….

1)The bible has been translated into Australian. The word Amen has been replaced by “Krikey” and Jesus spends most ofhis time turing waterinto Fosters.

2)Why do Women freak out if you see them in their bra and panties in the GAP changeroom(allegedly….wink !) but could careless if you see them in a bikini. It’s the same thing !!!

3)Ed Olczyk and Tony Granato are now official head coaches of NHL teams while Ted Nolan warms up yet another bowl of sour grapes.

First. I don’t hate Eddie “O”. I have the CenterIce package and I enjoy his coverage of the Penguins games. He’s a lot more objective then most of the

local play by play guys.

However, a good color guy does not a head coach (Gary Greene is a shining example…)

make. To me this plays out like one of those crapass movies where the good guy

schlub through a deus ex machinistic display of luck becomes president of the company he used to be the janitor for, add a fieldgoal kicking mule and you’re all set. Oyitch !!

For some reason in the very back of my mind I get the feeling that Olczyk and Granato won’t be there long but they are the cheapest option for either team. Either that or they have guaranteed themselves a pointy seat in hell next to Hitler, David Hasselhoff and the rest of the guys who signed their deals with Satan.

My vitriolic cup runneth over simply because Pittsburgh has not made the playoffs in 5 years and I think that for all intents and purposes Craig

Patrick has officially thrown his cards on the table, taken his ball and gone home (insert your own “I surrender” cliché here) and said to the fans

here’s a good guy that you all know and love, he’s now our coach, our team will continue to suck but you like him so please don’t get mad at me. Is there a little influence of the big “M” here? He loves Eddie.

So why, why, why would Craig or LaCroix not go out and hire themselves a guy like Ted

Nolan. He’s a Jack Adams winner, He took his team to the semi finals in ’96

and from all reports during his tenure was a solid motivator who the players loved and wanted to play for.

I’m not one to throw out conspiracies like a pocket on a shirt but has Ted Nolan been blackballed by the NHL intelligentsia? Was his refusal to resign

a one year contract extension with the Sabres a slap in the face to the ol’boys network in the NHL?

Here’s some kind of interesting points….

1)Nolan coached two years in the NHL and compiled a below .500 season average winning percentage.

2)He won the Jack Adams award.

3)He came up through the ranks of Junior Hockey (SSM Greyhounds) and paid his dues just like most of the current NHL coaches in the league right now.

4)Considered a one year extension on his contract a “slap in the face” from the Sabres.

5)Is a polished motivational speaker and well respected in the coaching community, the players who he coached and the media that covers the NHL.

6)Granato and Olczyk have never coached a game but are now NHL head coaches.

7)John Muckler was the Sabres President at that point and is considered one of the NHL power brokers.

8)The NHL coaching graveyard (so packed, they’re now stacking bodies on top of each other) is full of guys who only lasted a few seasons or less. Don

Hey, Insert your favorite Sutter here, Hartley, Melrose, all guys that have had good seasons only to be let go soon after the next letdown. Is there any difference between Nolan and these guys ? Is it like Monty Python says: Is

it all random?

Ok, and here is the really big one that I’m sure we’re all thinking but I really don’t think should play any part in the argument. (well, I guess it

could but let’s hope not) Nolan is Native Indian and he is extremely proud of his heritage. He has spent his non coaching life speaking for free on reservations all over Canada and the

US as well as lending his name to several aboriginal organizations. I think

the NHL is multi national enough not to let race become an issue. Hell, Esa Tikkanen made it in and I’m still trying to decipher his post game comments

from 1994 after Game 6 of the Van/NY series. I’m just not Zapruderian enough

to buy into the race argument.

So, there it is. A good (although not great) coach with a promising future who pissed off the establishment (Rigeur and Muckler) is still not working while guys (both Americans to boot) with no experience are put ahead of him.

The NHL recycles it coaches as much or moreso then any of the other professional leagues so why does a Jack Adams winner, a decent big league record and allegedly “well respected coach” not work his way into the rotation.? So, is

it a conspiracy or just a case of Eddie and Tony being the right guys at the right time at the right price.

There’s enough teams out there in need of

a coach so why not Nolan? Somewhere there’s either a simple and obvious Scooby Doo ending like answer or there’s the possibility that Muckler was indeed the “deep throat” that may have alerted other GM’s to not hiring Nolan.


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