The Last Word
Authority. A yoke that fits some, and others not so well. When Ted Nolan and John Muckler clashed in Buffalo, stories littered the landscape in their wake. Hasek vs. Nolan and other more seedier tales that seemed terribly unfair. But perhaps not more unfair as the many years it took for Nolan to return.
When Snow and Nolan crossed swords, there are some tales left under the surface. Small vibrations. Sure, there was a tempest on-show for some of the savvier press and blogdom to follow. But no sordid singular tale remains. Just perhaps the bitter disappointment of some who thought the coach brought respectability and would lift the Isles out of the muck.
There is truth to those who aim blame at Snow. The GM who gained Wang's trust so that the GM and coach leveled to one philosophy over another. One vision vs. another. The problem was it was GM's job to procure and employ that vision. And the coach, even if the role was muddied by the committee pedestal, was still just a coach.
Those who preferred the Vets in place of kids would be assuaged if things fell out differently. For Nolan would have done as in Moncton. Using the elders and trading off those he didn't feel were his type of players. It is why when Nolan left Moncton, they were left with dregs instead of vibrant new blood. And fans would have continued to complain when Bergie scored goals, but was sitting on a 4th line with less than 8 minutes the next night. Or why Tambs would play only 4 minutes a night.
Amazing how those who railed on this changed their tune or despaired when Nolan was jettisoned. Can't have it both ways ladies and gents.
There is an argument to be made that most of the Isles kids coming up are just sub par. But therein that lies an issue. The coach must deal with the tools given. Nolan had no authority to get his own, even before Snow.
So, how did all this turn? What must be the underlying theme? Could be that when Wang chased Nolan, Nolan was looking for more autonomy. He wanted some measure more than just coach. The committee allowed his voice to be heard. But when his voice and attitude changed, he began to get tuned out? He lost some players, included a few who used to be in his camp due to the battling and antics. A coach who lost some players plus the management. Yet, did little to nothing in attempting to bridge those gaps in the off-season.
At the same time, internally, Garth was gaining respect. Some have hearkened his style to Larry Pleau. A measured thinker. And he managed to get those around, not just Wang, to buy into his vision. Except Nolan. This is not just oily politicking. For they were almost all on board this vision except a coach who started to act out his displeasure. Who was clashing with his goalie. Albeit a goalie who indeed needed some cutting down in ego and playing time.
In the end, both a GM and coach are professions in business. And that who can work with the scenario, resources, bosses, and organization will thrive. And those who can't or won't, they make the situation come to a conclusion usually not to their liking.
The Nolan era concludes because Nolan helped make a situation where he became detrimental to process and progress management chose. And those apologists who see the Isles solely at fault either choose to ignore the obvious or simply are not aware of the vibrations that were sending warning signals for months.
Those who experienced those vibrations feel that perhaps Nolan's personal issues were glossed over with time. That their were kernels of truth at heart to what went on originally in Buffalo. That Nolan is not someone who can not agree to disagree. He needed more. But actions isolated him and broke down communications. And he would not budge.
For those who think Snow is still not up to the task, you should know that many other GMs have changed their mind on him. This draft, on the same eve Isles fans were groaning at the draft party, those on the floor were complimenting and effusive on his moves. Snow was sticking to plans, not dissuaded by hype or armchair GM opines from peanut galleries galore. He was trusting scouting and his own opinion on long term plans. And Day 2 only cemented this new regard.
Sure, things in Isles Country are unsettled once again. An all too familiar feeling to be sure.
Snow goes through looking for coaches. Someone who will do exactly what is needed on the rebuild plans. And it will be why they will look for a nurturer and communicator over a taskmaster. This means those errant wishes of grabbing a guy who "won a cup" is less important currently. So, unless Torts has suddenly been recast as a wallflower, I don't see the former Tampa coach a good fit. Paul Maurice and Joel Quenneville far more reflects the needs here.
A guy to get them to the promised land is far less important than one to maximize NHL potential and draw oil from varied pieces of property. If the Isles are lucky, one or two will develop each year as at least double do not make it.
Meanwhile, if there is anything good to come out of all of this, is that the pressure has been taken off Josh Bailey and other prospects in the camp which started Monday. Bailey has been spending time gelling with Kyle Okposo, and now on the ice, they are making things happen. Many have cited his excellent passing, especially within traffic on the ice. Others highly regard his grounded disposition.
"Guys I have higher expectations for like Bailey and Okposo are right where they should be. They're making the right impression, doing some thing well, but at the same time know they can do better because it's the middle of July and not in-season. Josh has made a good first impression. He had an open canvas at camp and has painted a solid picture for us."
- Bryan Trottier
As many have mentioned from Kyle Woodlief to Red Line Report to even Greg Logan in Newsday, Bailey will likely continue his role as leader for the Windsor Spitfires this year in junior. But if you were curious to what kind of camp he is having, most are impressed and expectations are met.
The players will take part in the Shakey Cup scrimmage this morning at 10:15 am. It is the last chances for fans to see the players on the final day of Prospect Camp.
Yesterday, Team Morrow has a 5-3 win, coming back from a deficit.
Jesse Joensuu, Sean Bentivoglio, and Rob Hennigar had tallies for Team Trots.
Doug Rogers, Andrew MacDonald, and Simon Lacroix got Team Morrow back in it for a tie at regulation. Kyle Okposo and Trevor Smith notched shootout goals for the win.
34 Jase Weslovsky (NYI 2006 Round 4)
60 Kevin Poulin (NYI 2008 Round 5)
4 Jyri Niemi (NYI 2008 Round 3)
28 Brad Nunn (Camp Invitee)
54 Shane Sims (NYI 2006 Round 5)
56 Dustin Kohn (NYI 2005 Round 2)
61 Tyrell Mason (NYI 2005 Round 6)
62 Jamie Fraser (Signed as Free Agent)
69 Jared Spurgeron (NYI Round 158)
12 David Ullstrom (NYI 2008 Round 4)
17 Joel Rooney (Camp Invitee)
36 Corey Trivino (NYI 2008 Round 2)
37 Joe Pereira (Camp Invitee)
45 Matt Martin (NYI 2008 Round 5)
53 Max Gratchev (NYI 2007 Round 4)
52 Tyler Haskins (DET 2004 Round 5)
57 Blake Comeau (NYI 2004 Round 2)
58 Jesse Joensuu (NYI 2006 Round 2)
59 Mike Haley (Signed as Free Agent)
63 Vladimir Nikiforov (Camp Invitee)
67 Sean Bentivoglio (2007 Free Agent)
68 Rob Hennigar (Signed as Free Agent)
81 Justin DiBenedetto (2008 NYI Round 6)
1 Peter Mannino (2008 Free Agent)
33 Andrew Engelage (Camp Invitee)
2 Brett Skinner (Signed as Free Agent)
6 Matt Donovan (NYI 2008 Round 4)
3 Travis Hamonic (NYI 2008 Round 2)
38 Jack Hillen (Signed as Free Agent)
47 Blake Kessel (NYI 2007 Round 6)
70 Simon Lacroix (NYI 2007 Round 7)
43 Andrew MacDonald (NYI 2006 Round 6)
71 Mark Katic (NYI 2007 Round 3)
21 Kyle Okposo (NYI 2006 Round 1)
26 Brian Gibbons (Camp Invitee)
27 Josh Bailey (NYI 2008 Round 1)
40 Joel Rechlicz (Signed as Free Agent)
42 Jason Pitton (NYI 2004 Round 8)
46 Brian Day (NYI 2006 Round 6)
48 Jason Gregoire (NYI 2007 Round 3)
49 Shea Guthrie (NYI 2005 Round 3)
50 Tomas Marcinko (NYI 2006 Round 4)
51 Anthony Perdicaro (Camp Invitee)
64 Doug Rogers (NYI 2006 Round 4)
65 Matt Christie (Camp Invitee)
77 Trevor Smith (Signed as Free Agent)