Reaction to the Canadiens firing head coach Jacques Martin…Time for the Maple Leafs to address their prime need…Flyers must be proactive to address defense issue…Six stages of dealing with news of Mike Milbury’s assault charge…A brief (funny) history of Teemu Selanne.
PUCK DADDY/HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE/BLEACHER REPORT: offer up their respective takes on the Montreal Canadiens firing Jacques Martin as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant Randy Cunneyworth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While I’m surprised this move came now, I was expecting it perhaps in the New Year. This could also be seen as GM Pierre Gauthier trying to save his own job in the process, hoping Cunneyworth can reverse the club’s fortunes. The perception is the Canadiens are a team lacking depth up front, with an uneven defense, being bailed out by an all-star goaltender. Hey, did we just flash back to the Canadiens, circa 1993-94? Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how the club responds to the change behind the bench. Some observers feel it should’ve come a month or two ago, and that it’s “too late” to turn their season around, but the Habs are currently only two points out of a playoff berth in a tight Eastern Conference, and only five points out of fourth overall. If they string together a few wins, they could rise quickly in the standings. It remains to be seen if they can do so under Cunneyworth, but this will be a great opportunity for him to prove his worth at the NHL level. If he turns around the Canadiens season, the job will be his full-time after this season.
THE HOCKEY WRITERS: Alex Mamalis believes the time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to add a quality center is now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And by now, that means after December 27th, as GM Brian Burke has his self-imposed trade freeze currently in place. I agree the Leafs need to bolster their depth at center, especially the first or second line, but it’s not an easy task to find what they’re looking for right now. Perhaps something might open up near the trade deadline, provided the Leafs are still in the playoff chase by that point. For now, I don’t see what moves Burke could make. Then again, he’s caught us by surprise before, so we shouldn’t fully dismiss the possibility. Just don’t expect it to be Eric Staal.
THE HOCKEY GUYS: Tyler J. Altemose believes Flyers GM Paul Holmgren must be proactive in bolstering his blueline depth now that Chris Pronger is out for the season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Holmgren will keep his eyes and ears open for options, but I don’t see him racing out to make a move before the holiday trade freeze is implemented, and if his team keeps playing well, he won’t rush into anything after it.
LIGHTHOUSE HOCKEY: presents: 6 Stages of Dealing with News of Mike Milbury being charged with assault.
DOWN GOES BROWN: A brief, hilarious history of Teemu Selanne.