Missed the mark

November 14, 2006

Okay, let’s try this daydreaming thing again…

I’ve been thinking that Doug MacLean should get fired.  DOUG MACLEAN!

I mentioned yesterday morning that my mind wanderings had taken me to a world where both MacLean and Gerard Gallant were fired.  I’d like to apologize to ex-coach Gallant for not hitting the bullseye in my alternate universe, which has resulted in some collateral damage for Gerard who was fired last night.

In all seriousness, I’m quite disappointed in the decision.  Though I won’t say that Gallant wasn’t likely on his way out one way or another, the point of highlighting my firing thoughts yesterday was that if Gallant were to go then so should MacLean.  Coaching changes alone in professional sports rarely do much to turn a team around beyond the very short term.  It’s painfully obvious to a growing number of people that the problem here in Columbus does not rest solely with the coaching staff.  The organizational management has deflected a lot of heat in the last six years, most of it directly on the coaching position.

Dave King did an okay job with the players he was provided, and when his players ceased to outperform expectations and return to earth, he was fired.  Doug MacLean couldn’t do any better with the same set of talent, and he stepped back (physically, if not mentally) from the bench.  Gerard Gallant had stretches where the team played acceptably, notably the second half of last year, but was still held in check from above and had to constantly be looking over his shoulder.  In the end, he too has been given the pink slip.

Three coaches, and three eerily similar results.  I ask you, Blue Jackets fans, “When does it become time to consider that it is not solely (or even largely) the fault of the head coach?”  Is it the coach’s fault that the team is not making money, as noted in the link Truth Serum provided to the Forbes study?  Is it the coach’s fault that we’ve signed/drafted/traded for any of Marchant/Marshall/Lachance/Richardson/Foote/Berard/Fedorov/Boguenicki(sp?)/Conklin/Carter/etc.?

It’s like a nightmare amusement park.  The name on the coaching carousel may change, but with all apologies to Led Zeppelin the song remains the same.

Doug may have dodged the bullet again this time, but it’s up to us as fans to help Mr. McConnell point the gun in the right direction.



  1. What the hell are they thinking? They fired the wrong guy. Maclean should be the one that was fired!
    The players are all bent out of shape (no pun intended), but who is sleeping with who here!
    What ever!!! 😦

  2. Unfortunately, it seems as though the “they” we all reference really boils down to owner John McConnell. And all he’s shown me is that he is unable/unwilling to move Doug MacLean out.

    At some point he’ll have to realize that paying out more than you take in can be fixed one of two ways. First, we can live with a tiny payroll and continue to be a crappy team. Second, we can get management in place who will get fans in the seats by putting a good product out on the ice.

    I’d prefer option #2, but that can’t happen until MacLean gets the boot.

  3. I think we have a pretty solid team already. If we could get Berard back from IR, we’d be in good shape in most positions. These players just need to get motivated and start performing at their caliber.

    Think about it- we’ve got Nash, who led in goal scoring two years ago, Fedorov, who is a hall of fame center, plus Foote, Berard, Zherdev, Vyborny…

    We might not necesarily win the cup with this roster, but by god we should be able to win a few more games than this, period.

  4. Tyler,

    I think the core of this team is good, but young/inexperienced. I thought we should have been able to fight our way somewhere between a 7-10 seed this year, but it hasn’t happened. Sure, the players are partly to blame as they’ve been underperforming (that could be the understatement of the week from me). But I also think that I’m guilty of believing that Modin was ever anything more than a 60-point producer, and Carter’s year with the Sedin twins was not an abberation. I think a lot of other people are guilty of this as well.

    I’m hopeful that a coaching change is all the team needs to turn the corner, but I’m fearful that it will take much more than that.

  5. Bryan Berard will score 10-15 goals for CBJ, most of them on the PP, but will still end up -10 if he plays 30 games. Berard is not the answer. Where are all the draft picks from the past few years? Nash and Tollefsen play regular shifts, Fritsch is on the third line, and Leclaire is a replacement for Denis. Where is Picard and Brule?

    I think the players would like to go out and do their jobs and not have the GM come storming into the locker room screaming at them. I think Agnew would like to make up his own lines, be able to bench players when he wants to, and design a style of play to fit the available skill set, not to fit a fantasy team.

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