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05-17-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Ladd View Post
I disagree.

Not only do I believe that's the hill Chiarelli is willing to die on, I think that battle has already been fought.

I think "total autonomy with regards to hockey decisions" means everything to Chiarelli. When Neely was hired, Chiarelli went on radio show after radio show telling everyone that he makes the hockey decisions. "Total autonomy." He has to answer to Neely for his performance, but he isn't going to let Neely tell him how to do his job, no more than Parcells was willing to let anyone else pick the groceries. If Chiarelli fails, Neely can fire him, but his success/failure will be the result of his decisions, not Neely's.

I believe this rift came to a head after the Philly series in 2010. Neely, who has zero GM experience and even less coaching experience went to the Harry Sinden/Mike O'Connell playbook and wanted to scapegoat the coach. Chiarelli didn't think that was the right thing to do, and more importantly, decided that he wasn't going to be a puppet. He stood with his coach and drew a line in the sand. That line turned to cement when Chiarelli and Julien won the Cup. Now, as Dupe's said on the radio today, "they're a package deal."

And really, at this point, what does Chiarelli have to fear? If they fired him this afternoon he'd have a job by this evening.

I agree with everything you said, except that I don't think his support of Julien is absolute. I don't think any GMs support of a coach is absolute.

Coaching changes are inevitable. I think there will be a time where Julien as a coach isn't effective any more. Maybe his style doesn't mesh with the personnel or the playing style in the league changes and Julien doesn't adapt. Whatever it may be in the future a change in coaching will come.

I think if it benefits the team Chiarelli would fire Julien.

I'm a big Julien supporter and I think he's earned a lot of rope to play with. But eventually there will be a need for a change in coaching and I think Chiarelli would be willing to make that change. Chiarelli has shown he's willing to make big changes if he feels its the right thing to do: ie trading Kessel, firing Lewis. I don't believe they are a "package deal".

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