We all know there is a slight rumble behind the scenes between GM Garth Snow and coach Ted Nolan. The discrepancy of DP's status/sitting. Perhaps even the moving of Simon. Sure, an eyebrow or two got raised. But to construe any rumble as the beginnings of large discord seems to be premature. TSN did not help as last night, the braintrust of Bob MacKenzie (who I do love), and the rest of the gang . . . Larry, Moe and Curly all tried to ply their thoughts to the Isles "situation". They cited Nolan's love of vets, which has been obvious to most Isles fans as well. And Snow's desire for the youth movement. And somehow they came away thinking that something must come down, not that two men with opposing points-of-view will come together. And that hiccups mean much more, alluding that Ted might not last.
Now, sure, I'm just a blogger and Isles fan at that. But it all seems overwrought and silly to tumble it to such extremes.
In any business you will have opposing points-of-view. And they especially can get contentious when things are not going so well. But professionals bridge those gaps and work together towards a common vision. Nothing I have seen this season has gone over the line.
Do the Isles sit somewhere in this divide? Perhaps. We've all seen Nolan's love of vets, especially those who simply do not seem to have the ability to create much in terms of stats. That simply has not worked with a squalid goals-for and the slides below the playoff watermark. We've also seen many issues he has had with some youth. Nilsson seemed not to get much a shot before they launched him to EDM. Tambs was in the same boat, seemingly to get less than 10 minutes, and sent down every time he made a mistake. Rookies...make mistakes. Somewhere along the line, as much as you want them to adopt some of the basics, you also need to commit to them. As Nolan did the year before with Gervais and even Campoli. Snow might be making Nolan commit a bit early. But that's his job, thus Nolan's job to deal with it.
Somewhere along the line, perhaps there is/was a split between Snow and Nolan's view of where the future is/lies. Or simply Nolan's desire to have certain attributes and style to play for his team. Forcing those youth to adopt it or learn it with some tough love. Yet, the grinders have failed, and the youth is about the only thing making it worth watching these days. So, who is really right? And who is to blame with the current personnel that DID fail? We all recall the Isles reports of Nolan and Snow working together to get the current guys onboard back over the summer. So, how much could these two be apart? There clearly both to blame in part to what has gone on.
So, that shared boat certainly. And though that ship has taken water this season, this is not a sunk ship. Is TSN merely piling on to see if there is truly drama? Or just publicly displayed supposition? Sounds more the latter than based on fact. Most articles have only conjectured on schisms. Nothing has been reported with some journalistic uncovering to anything more than hearsay and supposition.
So it makes me doubt the extent in which TSN took their discussion.
Yes, Year 2 for Nolan has been, and still is a set-back. If he is stewing over Simon and other forced things down his coaching gullet, well suck it up, sport. The coach does not control everything, and nobody was shedding tears over Simon getting a new clean slate elsewhere. Moreover, more fans WANT the youth and abhor the constant grind. So, if there is umbrage, he's alone with it. And it is more likely, if somehow he did not see the writing on the wall with Simon or those at Bridgeport, he's over it.
Don't get me wrong, Nolan is a good coach. No, not a great coach. And certainly not a miracle worker. No, just a good one who now faces new challenges. And any coach in this new NHL has to have the ability to be flexible and learn/grow, as well as the team. To me, I think Nolan and Snow, despite mistakes will eventually come together and find that they have learned a few things. And will find the right combination of vets and youth, to make steps forward next season.
So, before everyone goes off the deep end with conjecture and as conspiracy theories run unabated as the Isles now stew again under .500, let there be a few words of wisdom . . .
Don't buy that bridge just yet
Every fan has a right to be unhappy. Hell, I watched the Tampa game and did a slow burn. But I watched last night with different eyes. We saw most of Bridgeport last night, and no, they weren't able to close it out, but I saw where the future lies. Hopefully Nolan does as well.
So lets look closer at last night, and step off the ledge . . .
Brendan Witt and Ruslan Fedotenko were out with knee injuries and Andy Hilbert has ankle issues. All three did not play, and we saw Matthew Spiller, Tim Jackman and Steve Regier instead. All three did not play badly. And makes me wish we made the moves I had been hoping at the trade deadline so that these players would be onboard the rest of the way. But alas, that is over and done with.
Spiller:19:57, paired with Martinek. And only had a -1. Not too shabby.
Tambellini had a whopping (for him) 15:14, 1 assist and 0 on the plus/minus. The only thing I had an issue with was he had only one shot on goal. Then again, the team only mustered 5 in the 3rd period, so he isn't alone.
Comeau, with a big 17:46 had a goal, but was -2. And had 4 shots on goal. Comeau is really progressing nicely, and Nolan clearly is happy with him.
With only nine games left, will we see Okposo onboard? Perhaps. The future must play, and woe to anyone who gets in it's way. Because the future is where our success lies.