Tag Archives: Glen Sather

Mark Messier’s Dilemma

I am not a fan of the The Captain and this post does little to change my mind

But NHL coaches aren’t born, they’re made. Adam Oates is a great example: Extremely intelligent, a student of the game, and a player with name recognition for generations of talent that came after him; but he needed some time as an NHL assistant coach before he could earn a head coaching gig with the Washington Capitals.

Wayne Gretzky is another example, and one Messier shouldn’t follow: He hadn’t coached a game before taking over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2005-06, and proceeded to miss the playoffs for four consecutive seasons – losing 161 games and much of his luster as a man that could master every facet of hockey.

Messier’s coaching experience is limited to coached the Canadian national team in the Deutschland Cup and Spengler Cup in 2010. This hasn’t stopped teams like the Edmonton Oilers and the Rangers from inquiring about his services as a head coach, but in both cases that’s as much about name recognition as it is coaching acumen.

So if the former captain is serious about this stuff, he needs to understand that his name is a foot in the door but that it doesn’t automatically get to appear on that door next to “head coach” just because he’s Mark Messier.

He can take the Oates route and work as an assistant. He could be a rock-star AHL coach, honing his craft and earning experience as a bench boss. He can learn the ropes like any novice and become a better coach because of it.

Or he can just admit that this was about being HEAD COACH OF THE NEW YORK RANGERS and nothing else will do. That’s fine. Leave the other 29 jobs to those with the hunger for the job rather than the job title. Hey, the Rangers will probably be hiring a GM soon.

If you recall, Messier wanted to be named the New York Rangers GM before despite having no experience scouting, coaching or really anything than being a team captain.  He doesn’t seem to be willing to do the work to succeed as an executive that he was as a player.

I know he won those rings but it’s almost as if he forgot how he got them.

Tortorella the worst kind of coach

Michael Grange has a fantastic column on the firing on John Tortorella.

News that he was fired as head coach of the New York Rangers Wednesday was an excellent excuse to collect ‘best-of packages’ of his worst moments. They are fun in their own way.

But they tend not to capture some of the quieter moments such as when he’d look to a guy making a miniscule fraction of his salary and needing a clip for the news about … anything … and respond by using the power of his pulpit and his status as the head coach of the mighty Rangers to make whoever it might be feel about two inches tall for doing his job.

Cut ‘em down, smirk, do it again. Up close it wasn’t fun or funny at all.

He’s been the subject of a Steve Porter remix. His explosive rants about the ‘whiny Pittsburgh Penguins stars’ or his battles with Larry Brooks of the New York Post are YouTube classics.

Good for him and undoubtedly good for fans who enjoy a little pepper with what is normally a pretty bland soup.

But from where I sat during the Rangers-Senators series last season, when Tortorella took his obstinacy to a new — low — level that he carried through the playoffs, he was a bully who enjoyed turning convention on its head for no apparent reason — like a kid picking legs off a spider.

Make sure you read the entire thing.

Updated: Make sure you check out this video with Nick Kypreos on Tim and Sid on Tortorella.  If you are still thinking about the New York Rangers, Doug MacLean, Nick Kypreos and Daren Millard discuss the New York Rangers firing coach John Tortorella and the reaction from the players.