Worst Coaches/GMs in NHL history?
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03-16-2013, 10:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pacific NW
Originally Posted by
Coach...There are many candidates but I will go with Laforge. I read about this guy in a book called
by Stephen Cole and I was incredulous.
Ya, LaForge was Hardcore Psycho, somewhere between John Brophy & Eddie Shore. You mentioned The Gauntlet; players lining up 3' out from the boards about 3' apart in a row, the incoming basically getting stapled, nail gunned & sledge hammered absolutely full-on.
LaForge insisted on pulling this completely idiotic primeval stunt in Vancouver (lasted about 22 games) as well. Darcy Rota, then a top producer and not far off from leading the Canucks in goals "all time" is recovering from a serious neck injury. Forced to run the Gauntlet, gets hurt again & cant play at all, eventually retires from the NHL & hockey altogether prematurely as a result.
LaForge however was fairly successful at the Jr levels, always with wins in 600-700% range. Still though, head case. He'd have his players sit on the bench during the pre-game skate. Just sit there staring at the opposition making their rings around the goalie & taking shots, loosening up, all in an attempt to intimidate them. Just sit there scowling, "gunning" em. Not saying a word. Then when the pre-game skate was over, single file into the dressing room like a bunch of psychopathic assassin robots....
... while coaching in the CHL, challenged Dave Dryden, coaching the opposition to a fistfight at centre ice. Dryden obliged, but that was it for LaForge. Got a 50 game suspension, effectively ejected from the league. Was hired by Tri-City Americans, but the players, Jr's mind you, they all went on strike & presented a petition to the GM before LaForge even arrived.
All kinds of crazy stories about Wild Bill... actually "adopted" some 17yr old behemoth of a player out of Delta BC, 6'3" 220lb Natural Born Killer.... When coaching in Niagara Falls Tie Domi begs him for a tryout, walkon. Bill ignores him until Domi says "look, I'll take on your best fighter right now & if I win I get a tryout, Ok?. So, who's your best fighter?". LaForge finally replying, telling Domi "I am"....
... purportedly had the trainers file out the bottom rims of the players visors to razor sharp edges, then instructed them leave the helmet on in a fight. Pity the poor kid throwing punches into that Ronco Vega-Matic of a nightmare. Like sticking your hand in a wheat thresher, under the plate of a frikin Lawnboy without first cutting the engine...
Died young did Bill LaForge. Heart attack at 53 in 2005. Quite the character. Just no way no how could you pull & get away with NHL players what he did at the Junior level. He deserves to be on this list, even though less than what was it, 22, 24 or 26 games in total?
dug up the Rota story... plenty more "out there". Most amusing fellow was Bill LaForge provided you didnt play for him I should think.
Last edited by Killion: 03-16-2013 at
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