Shameful Cassidy comments

WhalerBoy
12-06-2003, 10:00 PM
Im not a big Caps fan, but Im disgusted enough as a hockey fan and as a father to bring this here. This is beyond the rules of dressing room exchanges. Its utterly disgusting. I too have an autistic son like Kolzig, and if anyone ever talked to me like that....well, lets just say Cassidy has lost Kolzig for good.







Capitals' Cassidy Sorry for Remarks
Coach Brought Up Players' Family Lives
By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 7, 2003; Page E01


LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6 -- Washington Capitals Coach Bruce Cassidy apologized to his players Saturday during a brief meeting after a morning skate at Staples Center for remarks he made in the aftermath of Thursday's shutout loss at New Jersey.



The Capitals were outshot by the Devils 41-9 in a 3-0 loss, the first shutout of the season against the Capitals, who have the second-worst record in the NHL. During his postgame remarks, according to sources, Cassidy brought up his players' families, saying that he did not care if the players had pregnant wives or sick children on their minds and that such issues were no excuse for the way they were playing.

"There was no reason to bring our families into this," one player said. "That's crossing the line. It really [upset] a lot of the guys. I can't believe he said it."

Many of the Capitals have young families -- defenseman Jason Doig's wife recently gave birth, for example -- and some have endured medical hardships recently. Olaf Kolzig's son, Carson, is autistic. Defenseman Brendan Witt's wife, Salima, nearly died of sepsis last season after giving birth.

"In frustration after [Thursday's] game I said some things I probably in hindsight shouldn't have said," said Cassidy, who is not married. "I was very frustrated because I thought we had turned the corner after winning a couple of games in a row and I thought New Jersey would be a great test for us and we failed miserably. But now it's behind us and we're in December and this is a chance for us to make up some ground. If we want to get back in the playoff race we can't have another bad month."

Cassidy, 38, is in his second season coaching in the NHL. He is still battling for respect among many veterans and has often struggled to command the team's attention. There seemed to be a consensus among his players that while Cassidy had every right to rip them after Thursday's loss, he went too far in making his remarks personal.

Asked whether he thought Cassidy went overboard in his postgame address, winger Mike Grier, one of the de facto captains on the team, said: "A little bit, yeah. I think some of it was [overboard] and some of it was deserved. We didn't play a very good game and it's an important time of the year. It's frustrating for everyone that we're not playing to our potential and sometimes people get emotional after games and things are said."

Cassidy's communication skills have created problems before. He has had heated exchanges with both Witt and Jaromir Jagr during games this season -- equipment manager Doug Shearer stepped between Witt and Cassidy to separate them, according to sources. Early last season Cassidy had a spirited argument with forward Dainius Zubrus, and his profanity-laced excoriation of rookie backup goalie Sebastien Charpentier in front of his teammates moments after a loss in Buffalo last Dec. 7 threatened to divide the team. One since-departed veteran planned to verbally challenge Cassidy at the following practice if he did not apologize to Charpentier in front of the entire team, which the coach ended up doing.

Players have not embraced many of Cassidy's coaching philosophies and gradually veterans like Calle Johansson, who clashed with him often last season, have been traded, left via free agency or retired. Cassidy earned a reputation for being good with young players during a successful minor league coaching career, but gaining a firm standing with multimillionaire stars such as Jagr and Kolzig has proven difficult.

Cassidy is in the final guaranteed season of his contract -- there is a club option for next season -- but both owner Ted Leonsis and General Manager George McPhee have given Cassidy votes of confidence publicly and privately this season.

Killerbeez
12-07-2003, 05:42 AM
I really can't blame cassidy for being frustrated, these guys are supposed to be professionals. As we've seen with the Ferraros in Portland, the caps organization typically has done the right thing by its players when illness or injury strikes their families. I have to believe the Caps didn't change over night.

Cassidy needs to be fired, but it will be a mercy killing when it does happen. Every person in managment of this team from the owner to the peanut vendor should be fired in the off season, its too late now to change much this year. The million dollar babies that seem to be on this team right now are not stepping it up for whatever reason. Its pretty sad if they need to be motivated at their payscale. Sometimes I wish hockey had a system like football where the players have to play to get the terms of their contract. Then if you have a ridiculous Jagr contract, you could cut him and send him on his way if he has no fire. The Caps and Pirates are rudderless ships right now....Caps managment, time to step up or out.

Jerky Leclerc
12-07-2003, 06:02 AM
Young players make mistakes. So do young coaches. Cassidy owned up and apologized. Hopefully he won't make the same mistake in the future. However, I have to think that the way the team has totally turn against him is not a good footnote in your resume. Losing is one thing. People will forgive and forget bad seasons. People hating you is an entirely different situation and I would be surprised if Cassidy ever work in the NHL again if he is indeed fired this season.

Dizzy
12-07-2003, 11:34 AM
Cassidy has got to go, Ted can't use money as an excuse anymore.

Av-merican
12-07-2003, 01:46 PM
Man, they just need to fire this guy and get it over with. It's obvious he has no clue what he's doing, and it's a badly put together team to begin with.

PSUhockey34
12-08-2003, 03:58 AM
What makes me mad is that ownership and managment is showing more loyalty to cassidy then to its heart and soul players

AllIsFehrNLoveAndWar
12-08-2003, 09:41 AM
What makes me mad is that ownership and managment is showing more loyalty to cassidy then to its heart and soul players

exactly. If Cassidy wanted Bondra and Kolzig gone I bet they would trade them too. keeping Cassiy happy seems more important thenmaking the fans happy.

Jagr not getting along with Cassidy doesnt seem so bad anymore does it?

CapitalsCupFantasy
12-08-2003, 10:51 AM
exactly. If Cassidy wanted Bondra and Kolzig gone I bet they would trade them too. keeping Cassiy happy seems more important thenmaking the fans happy.

Jagr not getting along with Cassidy doesnt seem so bad anymore does it?

I was one of those people that wanted Cassidy gone, but I've since listened to several interviews with Leonsis about that subject, and I'm starting to agree that changing the coach isn't going to make a bit of difference to how this team plays. The simple truth is, this team outside of it's top 5 players, is well below average in NHL talent. What good coach in his right mind would assume the helm of this sinking ship?

txpd
12-08-2003, 11:26 AM
I was one of those people that wanted Cassidy gone, but I've since listened to several interviews with Leonsis about that subject, and I'm starting to agree that changing the coach isn't going to make a bit of difference to how this team plays. The simple truth is, this team outside of it's top 5 players, is well below average in NHL talent. What good coach in his right mind would assume the helm of this sinking ship?

its just a thought, but you could look at the LA Kings. they have been without many to most of their top players and seem to be hanging in there.

Brock
12-08-2003, 12:39 PM
The hourglass on Cassidy's NHL coaching regime is slowly ticking to a halt.

I can't imagine he is going to last much longer.

FlyersFan10*
12-08-2003, 12:40 PM
If Cassidy goes, McPhee has to go along with him. George is the one who put the team together and it's obvious that George really doesn't have a clue on what needs to be done with the team. I'll bet that if a real GM and a real coach come to town, I can guarantee Jagr gets back on track. If Leonsis is serious about the team making money and attracting fans again, he needs a good coach who can bring the best out of everyone. That being said, a rookie coach shouldn't be brought in. They need someone with experience who can handle the veterans. I think that for all his faults, Rick Bowness would be a good choice. Another good choice would be John Paddock, who has been a successful coach with the former Winnipeg Jets. Perhaps Ron Lowe would be another good choice to coach the team. As for a GM, Neil Smith is a pretty good GM and wouldn't have to worry about the whole "New York never rebuilds" mentality and could really turn the team around. Just my $.02 worth.

txpd
12-08-2003, 01:32 PM
""If Cassidy goes, McPhee has to go along with him.""

That would be fine with me, but frankly I am not willing to wait for McPhee to get fired in order to ditch Cassidy.

""George is the one who put the team together and it's obvious that George really doesn't have a clue on what needs to be done with the team.""

I think to be fair to McPhee you need to consider:
A. That its widely accepted that it was Ted Leonsis and not McPhee that made the Jagr deal and negotiated the contract extention with Jagr.
B. It was Leonsis that abruptly changed McPhee's player budget.

The was a cohesive unit with an identity up until the Jagr move. Getting Jagr changed the needs of the team to a great extent.
Deciding to pull back on the budget without time to prepare the roster for that tied the GM's hands.

The Capitals current roster problems are much more a matter of Leonsis's move to get and sign Jagr and Leonsis decision cut budget.

McPhee's mistake was hiring Cassidy. Some of the drafts have not been good, but all there seem to be some great prospects in the pipeline and on the team. The Zednik/Zubrus deal has looked very bad in the past.
Today it doesn't look so bad at all.

I am not sure that Leonsis doesn't bare more responsibility for the Caps roster problems than does McPhee.

AllIsFehrNLoveAndWar
12-08-2003, 03:04 PM
I was one of those people that wanted Cassidy gone, but I've since listened to several interviews with Leonsis about that subject, and I'm starting to agree that changing the coach isn't going to make a bit of difference to how this team plays. The simple truth is, this team outside of it's top 5 players, is well below average in NHL talent. What good coach in his right mind would assume the helm of this sinking ship?

how many top nhl talen players does atlanta have? calgary? minnesota last year?

PSUhockey34
12-08-2003, 04:43 PM
Why fire McPhee, I think he's been one of the better GMs in the leauge since taking over with the caps

txpd
12-08-2003, 05:05 PM
how many top nhl talen players does atlanta have? calgary? minnesota last year?

that is the wrong question. How many more NHL caliber players does Atlanta have than Washington? Players with more than one full NHL season of experience?
Atlanta...Kovulchuk, Kolzov, Savard, McEachern, Cowan, Kaberle, Stefan, Robitaille, Petrovicky, Tremblay, Sutton, Tamer, Tjarnquist.

Thats 13 proven NHL players, not including Heatley.

The Caps have Jagr, Lang, Bondra, Zubrus, Grier, Halpern, Miller, Gonchar, and Witt. Thats 9. 9 of 18 skaters dressed. that means the other half are rookies and minor league journeymen.

CapitalsCupFantasy
12-08-2003, 08:28 PM
really really bad.


Who knew Kono had a life sentence commuted by Governer GMGM.

IceBagadonuts
12-09-2003, 08:16 PM
I think TXPD pretty much hit the nail on the head.

While some of the Caps' stars have performed with maddening inconsistence, the spark to the team's current downslide pretty much began when Leonsis (a nice dude in his own right) pulled a mid-stream strategic reverse and ordered McPhee to cut the payroll. In military terms, that's like cutting your generals' planes/tanks/ammo AFTER you've already gone to war. Inevitably, the troops in the trenches start to say "WTF, this deal's FUBAR, man!"... and things grind to a halt where The Rubber Meets The Road (or, The Ice). I know this scenario well. I once played in a league called Vietnam... where a lot of "owners" lost their resolve (wimped out) when the going got tough... yanked the support from the troops... and gutted morale. (But I digress.)

The Caps do face an uphill marketing battle at the ticket office, as Washington's never been a real hockey-hotbed (with some occasional spurts). Deep-pocketed owners can usually bridge these revenue rough patches, but Leonsis' huge chunk of AOL stock has taken a mega-beating. Accordingly, the "pockets" are leakin', the bankers are squeezin', and his new partners ain't on-board just for the prestige.

The NY Islanders have danced (tripped?) a similar routine, with owner Charles Wang pulling a sudden (and all-too-public) salary-dump on GM Mike Milbury... with disastrous resonations in their locker room.

McPhee's a decent and respected GM (moreso than Milbury) but he's been given a "bad hand" to play. Cassidy looks Deer-In-The-Headlights overmatched with the resulting coaching challenge, but I'm not sure Scotty Bowman could pull rabbits outta the hat here, either.

With other teams also veering towards financial retrenchment, that all puts a big premium on managements' Leadership (not bean-counting) skills. To cut buck$ while maintaining player morale and performance is one tricky challenge. The Isles showed how NOT to do it (with the Caps the Runner-up).

Some Canadian small-market teams have showed HOW TO: (1) don't splurge in the first place, (2) get hungry players, discard jerks, (3) build, don't buy (the players), (4) get key sectors of the business community to support/buy-in (uniquely difficult in WashDC) and (5) team chemistry-chemistry-chemistry.

That success template requires a patient, long-term mind-set in a team's management... and that's often just not in the "hard-wiring" of the kind of wealthy entrepreneurs who buy sports teams. Their egos are measured in truck-loads (limo-loads?). Their "vision" horizon is measured in weeks, or months (Win Now, Or Blow It All Up), not in years/decades. The "model" that works in business (aggressive pursuit of market-share, then cut-back to survive the inevitable cycles) is lethal in pro sports. (Wanna take bets when the 'Skins' Danny-The-Wonder-Boy blows up his whole team and coaching staff... again?)

Maybe if the NHL had a school for owners -- with "tests" beyond mere financial means -- teams like the Caps and Isles (I know, there's others) wouldn't be withering on the boom-bust vine.

AllIsFehrNLoveAndWar
12-09-2003, 08:23 PM
that is the wrong question. How many more NHL caliber players does Atlanta have than Washington? Players with more than one full NHL season of experience?
Atlanta...Kovulchuk, Kolzov, Savard, McEachern, Cowan, Kaberle, Stefan, Robitaille, Petrovicky, Tremblay, Sutton, Tamer, Tjarnquist.

Thats 13 proven NHL players, not including Heatley.

The Caps have Jagr, Lang, Bondra, Zubrus, Grier, Halpern, Miller, Gonchar, and Witt. Thats 9. 9 of 18 skaters dressed. that means the other half are rookies and minor league journeymen.

I think you have a point but listing some of those Atlanta players as proven is stretching it a bit. I think the big thing you are missing is a NHL proven coach for atlanta and the caps have and ahl level coach.

txpd
12-10-2003, 04:07 AM
I think what is interesting to note is the general failure on the part of the young prospect players and the ahl level players getting their nhl shot.
Sutherby has not improved from where he was last season. Pettinger brings little to the table unless he is nothing more than a 4th line energy player. Gordon has shown some defensive/PK skills and Semin has shown he can create offense in the NHL, but there are many holes in their NHL games. Eminger has played well but was WAY over his head as a top pair defenseman and his confidence has been hammered.

there is not a success in the bunch.
Doig earned a spot as a 6th defenseman roll player last year. He has neither regressed or improved from that. when his minutes and responsibility move up the quality of his ability is exposed. The same could be said for Kiwi and Berry, but Doig is the most consistant performer at the marginal NHL level.

none of these guys have gotten any better.