Just wanted to make a few comments on several recent happenings in the NHL and here at HockeyAnalysis.com.
Sean Avery: It is time that someone really put this guy in his place and I think it is really going to happen. Everyone is getting tired of his act and most importantly his teammates and his teams owner is getting tired of his act. His main ally within the Stars organization was Brett Hull and Hull is now saying his antics of yesterday stepped over the line and goes beyond hockey. I am not sure what the Stars franchise will do but if I were owner Tom Hicks I would first put Avery on waivers. If someone claims him then you just got rid of a headache but I doubt anyone will claim him. Next I would sit Avery down and tell him this is his last chance and that he should focus on playing hockey and quit all the other nonsense and tell him that the next outburst will see him being sent to the AHL where he can play out the rest of his four year contract.
Laviolette/Maurice: Today we have learned that the Carolina Hurricanes have fired coach Peter Laviolette and re-hired former coach Paul Maurice to take over at least until the end of the season. I am not convinced that Laviolette is a great coach, but I don’t think he is a bad coach either. This is an unfortunate situation where I think Laviolette is getting fired for being a coach of an average team made worse by a number of significant injuries. I don’t see how this will make the Hurricanes better. Having watched Maurice in Toronto the past couple seasons, I do not think that Maurice is a good coach. His teams have missed the playoffs 7 of 10 times and outside of the surprise cup run in 2002 he has won zero playoff series.
Burke/Toskala: I am a little dismayed at what Steve Buffery has written in a column today. In particular I am dismayed at the idea that maybe Toskala is one of the untouchables on the Leafs.
Nobody on the current roster is said to be untouchable, with the possible exception of 19-year-old defenceman Luke Schenn, and perhaps Mike Van Ryn, Niklas Hagman and Vesa Toskala. Toskala has been red-hot of late and it seems Burke won’t be in any hurry to ship him out, and not just because he’s finally coming around after an inconsistent start.
“I believe in him, in fact, we tried to get him early in his career,” Burke said of the Finnish netminder.
Luke Schenn is probably untouchable. That makes sense. Niklas Hagman is a relatively young guy that can do a lot of things well so I can see wanting him around (though I wouldn’t necessarily say he is untouchable). The same sort of think can be said for Van Ryn. He is probably a Burke kind of player and doesn’t make too much money. But Toskala? I’ll forgive Buffery for the Toskala red-hot comment since he probably wrote it before Toskala gave up a stinker of a goal 1:15 into the game and then three more goals in the first period and 5 on 30 shots in total, but is Toskala really untouchable? And I hope Burke is really just trying to say nice things about Toskala in order to keep his trade value up because I absolutely don’t believe he is a #1 goalie on any team looking to make a lengthy run in the playoffs.
Finally, I want to formally welcome our new Flames blogger Matt to HockeyAnalysis.com. Matt will be writing at Flames.HockeyAnalysis.com and already has a couple of posts up on the Sean Avery situation.