I'm off tomorrow on my avoid the playoffs trip. So I had a chat with a friend about anything he may have heard.
A little too early to get anything good but he did tell me that MG did indeed have a deal worked out in the summer for Luongo that he liked. The deal was worked out just before the lockout. Once the CBA expired the other team put it on hold wanting to wait until the new CBA was done. Luongo was advised but not officially asked to waive as the deal was put on hold. MG and Luongo both thought as soon as the new CBA was done the deal would be consummated. But the other team balked. They lowered their offer and seemed less interested than they were before the lockout. At this point I don't know who the team was.
The other interesting thing I have heard is that the scuttle butt is that if the NYR lose in round one Torts will be history and he is number one on MG's list to replace AV, should AV not be kept around. I find this hard to believe because of the personality issues involved but its what I hear.
I'd say with the not so great goaltending down the stretch including the playoffs for a lot of the teams, some teams will buyout or let go of their "#1 goalie" and the market will luckily open up more than anyone, even the "hockey experts", perceived.
We will get a new coach asap! MG is just going to give it a bit of time to respect AV.
Torts is a good coach. Maybe MG feels this team needs some fire in their belly. I will say that Torts doesn't land himself in hot water saying stupid things like AV would. But ya, can't really see Torts as a fit given the way Gillis likes his team to act in public.
Tortorella? Hmmm. Don't know about that. He's a colourful prsonality but I don't know much about him with regard to his relationship with players. Any idea what he's like with younger players? Will he develop them? Wonder how the veterans will mesh with him.
Of course, NYR will go through and he'll be unavailable. What's plan B?
This is from 2010 anonymous players poll. Personally I'd go with a players coach, not a dink. I think you get more out of players who want to play for you rather than guys who play because of the cattle prod.
Who's the smartest coach? Players like Caps coach Bruce Boudreau and Pens Dan Bylsma (each received 16 percent). But they love the Wings' Mike Babcock (22 percent). When asked about the last coach they'd want to play for, Rangers coach John Tortorella took the dubious title (18 percent). "He's always yelling and calling out guys in the media," says one Western Conference wing.
I hear the name "Torts" and can't help but see a situation like what happened when Keenan came to town. His act is wearing thin on players the league over and I can only imagine what he might do to the psyches of some players in the room.
One name I saw in The Province's story on the subject of replacement coaches is Willie Desjardins. A bit off the map, but that testimonial by one of his former players from the Tigers and some of the other things I've read about him would be enough to recommend him for consideration.
It's been well documented that AV has taken a hands off approach to leading this current group. I can't help but wonder if a different approach is needed, and a more hands on coach who will take players to task is needed. It's clear this group has coasted on their laurels far too often, and was not able to get up for far too many games. A big part of that blame falls on the coaching staff.
Tortorella's obviously a good and successful coach, but I do think his schtick does get old pretty quick though.