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Dose of Reality #63

August 7, 2007

He’s back, before we even had time to rearrange the furniture.  The Tampa Bay Lightning are being sold, pending NHL approval, to a group that has none other than Doug MacLean in it.  And Doug has already announced that he will be Chairman and CEO, according to TSN.  How about that!  Now Jim Clarke will have a place to go.  The local car dealers must be crying about this one, hoping that Doug would be here when the 2008 models are released.

Seriously, I do have a few comments.  First, I think Doug will do better this time around.  He surely has learned from the mistakes he made in Columbus and will be smarter.  Another thing is that he gets to run an existing team, not starting from scratch like he did with the Blue Jackets.  As much as this hurts, I think he will win the Cup before Columbus does.

The other side is this:  According to the local press, MacLean says his likes current Bolts coach John Tortorella.  Torts is a screamer and ass-kicker, so it will be interesting to see if Doug enjoys watching a clone of himself behind the bench, but a clone that has won the Cup.  And how do you think Marc Denis is feeling now?  MacLean has taken a lot of shots at Marc and now he gets to sign his paychecks, which are now much larger than they were in Columbus.  Will Denis find Post-It notes on his checks?

Finally, can you imagine how much fun the NHL meetings are going to be for the CBJ management now that they have to sit down next to Dougie again?

Look for a real estate transaction in the Arena District now with J. Douglass MacLean’s name on it.

Truth Serum

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One comment

  1. I have said many times before that Doug takes too much credit for what happened in Florida back in 1996 when the team went to the Cup Finals. Yes of course Doug was the coach but most of the credit is due to Roger Neilson who was the mastermind of the Panthers runup to the Cup Final. Roger’s sin was that he was too defense oriented and so he was canned in favour of Doug who had the luck of taking a young team to the finals and all that rat stuff to boot.

    John Torts is a master motivator/ manipulator and in my opinion nothing like Doug. Yes both have nasty streaks but that is where it ends. The current Tampa Bay Lighting is much further ahead that the current Jackets. In fact I’ll venture to say that the goaltending in Columbus is a notch ahead of Tampa’s. But that is where the similarities end. Vinny L., Marty St. L. and Brad R. form one of the best tandem of offensive talent in the NHL. Ironically Tampa has not drafted that well either just like the Jackets so Doug in that regard will feel at home. What Doug will have to get used to is the constant winning part. It’s been so long since Doug has had that winning feeling that he should heavily medicate himself at the beginning of the season to keep himself calm for the 40+ winning season ahead and yes, there will be a playoff run.

    Other than that I don’t begrudge Doug one bit for getting a piece of the Lighting pie. Doug does have the gift of gab and clearly again, he gets to spend other people’s money like he did with Mr. MacConnell in Columbus. This time he will have Jay Feaster to guide him through the bad trades (Federov) and overspending (Federov) and evil GM”s ( Burke) that might pick the Lighting pockets. I think that sooner than later Jim Clark will be in the Tampa area- who wants to move to Syracuse anyway?

    Many people have raked Doug over the coals for the job he did in Columbus and believe it or not I often defend Doug for the fact he built a team from scratch in a new market. The template in this regard are the Minnesotas and Nashvilles for the hockey stuff, and Minnesota in my mind in the last 10 years of expansion is a true blue success story. Still it is hard to convince a hard nosed Canadian that hockey sells in Florida. There are not that many of us that vacation there to fill the stands on a nightly basis.

    I wish Doug all the best and I think he has found his true calling which is his P.E.I. charm or b.s., whatever you favour. Those of us who are familiar with the Maritimes in Canada think Doug is great because he makes a killing in the hockey business regardless of the outcome. With our luck Doug might indeed win a Cup before the Jackets but he has to sign those big three first to have a chance.



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