Monday, February 16, 2009

Firing a coach brings the clowns out of the woodwork

About 2 hours after the firing of Michel Therrien was announced, the Globe and Mail put up a column by David Shoalts with the headline "Lemieux behind Therrien's dismissal".

You read the headline, and you think that maybe Mr. Shoalts has some kind of relevant insight into the Therrien firing. You'd be horribly wrong.

This may be one of the dumbest things I've ever read. It's right up there with Tyrone Carter's brother skipping his date to report to jail to party it up with Tyrone at the Super Bowl (in Detroit), only to have a 6 month sentence turn into 5 years.

Let's take a look at what passes for professional journalism. Feel free to read the article alongside this post. I'll post the relevant sections:
Therrien paid the price because the Penguins went into a swoon this season after two seasons as the NHL's franchise on the rise [...]
Yep - I'm with you there, Mr. Shoalts. He certainly was the scapegoat in this situation.
However, it was not Therrien's fault that the Penguins failed to re-sign Marian Hossa last summer [...] It was also not Therrien's fault that defenceman Sergei Gonchar [...] missed almost all of this season with a shoulder injury, returning just in time to see the coach get fired.
Agree again. Therrien didn't have much to do with Hossa wanting to play elsewhere and Gonchar (and Whitney) getting hurt for large amounts of time.

He goes on to absolve Shero of blame for those two items he cited:
[...] Shero can also plead circumstances beyond his control.
Still hard to disagree here, but wait until you see where he goes next!
That is why the finger of blame can swing toward Lemieux, the minority owner who has a huge say in running the team thanks to his status in Pittsburgh as a minor deity.
What? How exactly is Lemieux responsible for Hossa choosing to sign elsewhere and Gonchar getting hurt? I'm smelling a personal agenda. It doesn't take much sniffing to detect, when you use terms like "minor deity".

Mr. Shoalts goes on to try to explain. It's too long to quote, but he basically says that Lemieux ordered the Hossa trade, and that somehow makes him the person to point the finger at for Therrien getting fired.

The "logic" is all summed up nicely for us near the end of the article:
Any way you cut it, it is a fine business when a couple of good hockey men are pressured into moves and then one of them gets clipped because they don't work out. All Therrien can say today is he has lots of company.
So, it looks like the guy just doesn't like Lemieux. He also doesn't like making any sense.

As it says in the Dilbert cartoon, "Hey! He's getting paid for that!"

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