A few months ago on that site, back in February 11th, 2014, I wrote a extended post there speculating if the Canucks could learn from the recent Superbowl Championship, Seattle Seahawks.
In light of the recent changing landscape that has occurred in Canucksville several months, I think there is still some relevance today.
I believe I was one of the few users online at that time, months earlier that was speculating that both Coach Torts and Michael D. Gillis' position as GM and head of hockey operations was in question.
For those who missed it, here is it again, in an edited form (specific reference to that previous site removed) for your consideration:
Originally posted online February 11th, 2014:
Anyway, while doing a forensic investigation to search for the infamous screen cap that was on the frontpage of espn.com following the Seahawks Superbowl Championship victory post game speech which featured none other than local sports media superstar, Bob (The Moj) Marjanovich ... I discovered this youtube video:
Just an amazing video! So many layers. We can play the "Where's Wally?" game with The Moj as a side quest while being mesmerized with the exuberance of a True Leader of Men, and #WINNER, Coach Pete Carroll!!!
Now, we've all heard the common refrain for the past several years (to the point of ad nauseam) under the GMMG era here that they fancy themselves to follow the "Detroit Model" when it comes to building their organization.
Well, that got me to thinking, could the Canucks (or another NHL team) follow the Seattle Seahawks model and become champions like them?
Here are a few interesting points on how team owner, Paul G. Allen structured their Football operations when he did a complete organizational change.
- 1st priority was Hiring of Pete Carroll as a Coach and who had final say on player personnel and had a hand in hiring the current GM, John Schneider
As per the wiki link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Carroll
On the morning of January 9, 2010, Carroll reportedly came to agreement with the Seahawks on a 5-year contract that would appoint him as head coach. He was officially hired as the Seahawks head coach on January 11. He was also named executive vice president of football operations, effectively making him the Seahawks' general manager as well. While the Seahawks have a general manager in John Schneider, he serves mainly in an advisory role to Carroll, who has the final say in football matters. In fact, Schneider was actually hired by Carroll—a rare case of the head coach hiring the general manager. He is one of four current NFL coaches who also have the title or powers of general manager, along with the Patriots' Bill Belichick, Philadelphia Eagles' Chip Kelly and the Kansas City Chiefs' Andy Reid.
IMO, I think the wiki author in the quoted passage underplays the role of GM John Schneider when it stated "mainly in an advisory role." Right now, it would be like his role is more akin to current AGM Laurence Gilman but with more influence.
- Coaching style - In some ways Coach Carroll is similar to Coach Torts but in personality types, completely different i.e. "known for his high-energy and often pleasant demeanor when coaching."
We all know that Coach Torts his high-energy but pleasant, yeah, on a good day, maybe.
Anyway, here's the direct wiki link that summarizes up how he coaches:
Seattle Seahawks' Pete Carroll - "Practice Is Everything"
With Coach Torts ... well, we know how this story goes. I mean, remember when Coach Torts was bemoaning the fact that even if the Canucks' practice Shoot Outs, they can't replicate the "in-game" pressure in reality.
Well, look at what Carroll does:
He has a special day each week he calls:
"Turnover Thursday" ... where they specifically have drills to try to turnover the ball.
So, you tell me, in a big game, the big stage, i.e. the key NFC Championship game play or the Superbowl for that matter, how many turnovers did the Seahawks vaunted defense manage?
Oh, another thing. Not afraid to "turnover" the roster. Which uh, you can't really say the same with the Canucks, eh?
The dream team of Carroll and Schneider produced the following:
Schneider orchestrated a complete overhaul of Seattle's roster. In 2010, Schneider completed 284 roster transactions. Schneider's philosophy focuses on improving his team through every possible avenue. Examples follow: On February 2, 2014, the Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII.
In the wiki link it revealed that the Seahawks were very effective in their drafting, extracting utility from both their early and later round picks. Highlights include their undisputed team leader, RW3, selected in the 3rd round in 2012, two time All-Pro Stanford Graduate, Richard (The Best corner in the game) Sherman selected in the 5th round in 2011, and Super Bowl MVP (XLVIII) Malcolm Smith selected in the 7th round in 2011.
Okay, I acknowledge that their are significant differences between how the NFL draft works and the NHL. i.e. with the NFL, you are drafting players that are young men in their early 20s with three to four years of experience prior to being drafted vs. 18/19 year old kids we see with the NHL.
Ergo, NFL picks are expected to have impact pretty much immediately versus what we see with NHL picks.
Trades aren't that "big" in the NFL versus what we see in the NHL when it comes to building or re-building a team. It's largely focused on the draft (that's why draft coverage and the their combines gets tons of coverage and attention) and with key free agent signings with contracts not being guaranteed and therefore it's a lot easier to remove a player in the NFL on your roster versus the NHL.
But, to bring it back to the Seattle Model, they did make a bold move when they made the trade and paid a high price for the player that was often injured but became the x-factor in the game that mattered most, Percy Harvin.
I'm still trying to figure out when the last real "bold" move GMMG made when he made his infamous pronouncement about doing that.
I think most here would acknowledge the single most important position in football is at quarterback which in hockey terms would be like, uh, goaltending?
Two years ago, they signed (at the time) high profile free agent, Matt Flynn to a three-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks worth $20.5 million, with $9 million guaranteed. He was pegged to be the starter ... well before a rookie, and low third round pick named Russell Wilson showed that he was the better player.
The Seahawks, as an organization let Wilson lead the team -- despite the contract disparities and the following year, traded Flynn.
In other words, the better player plays and stays with the franchise no matter what the contract situation is.
While, with the Canucks, uh, we saw their better goalie, The Cory get traded away. WTF?
Anyway, my question to you, fellow users here, is there anyone that comes to mind in the game of hockey right now that fits the profile of a Pete Carroll type of personality that you feel that could/would perform a similar role and similar success at the highest level of professional hockey?
What say you?
IMO, the closest comparable in the NHL we have in terms of a Coach with GM (type input) hybrid would be the Avs' Patrick Roy. Finally, during the 2014 trade deadline, we saw the Canucks' other starting caliber goalie get dealt as well for a project goalie and a bottom sixer while still having to retain 15% AAV.