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Worst Coaches/GMs in NHL history?

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Old
03-07-2013, 06:35 PM
  #26
Killion
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
Mario Trembley?
... sure, someone who Coaches Patrick Roy clean out of Montreal deserves mention, insuring years of mediocrity. Yep. Works 4me alrighty. Or your guy in Washington, first year on the ice for the Caps, one Jim Anderson. Now, admittedly, Expansion Team, ok, so some slack perhaps, but c'mon here; 4/45/5?! Worst record ever in the history of the NHL. Dude didnt even make it to the end of the season, never Coached another game in the league since.

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03-07-2013, 06:39 PM
  #27
Morgoth Bauglir
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... sure, someone who Coaches Patrick Roy clean out of Montreal deserves mention, insuring years of mediocrity. Yep. Works 4me alrighty. Or your guy in Washington, first year on the ice for the Caps, one Jim Anderson. Now, admittedly, Expansion Team, ok, so some slack perhaps, but c'mon here; 4/45/5?! Worst record ever in the history of the NHL. Dude didnt even make it to the end of the season, never Coached another game in the league since.
That original Caps team was hideous

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03-07-2013, 06:55 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
That original Caps team was hideous
... ya but still. No way that bad. You had Tom Williams, Denis Dupere, Doug Mohns.... goaltenders Mikey Belhumer (5.36), Ronnie Low (5.45) & Johnny Adams (6.90). Then the next year, the inimitable Milt Schmidt gets pulled out of the freezer. Popped in the toaster & defibrillated. Propped up behind the bench with a 2X4. Goes 3/28&5. Replaced by Tom McVie, 8/31&5. No excuse for losing that badly. None.

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03-07-2013, 07:00 PM
  #29
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
... ya but still. No way that bad. You had Tom Williams, Denis Dupere, Doug Mohns.... goaltenders Mikey Belhumer (5.36), Ronnie Low (5.45) & Johnny Adams (6.90). Then the next year, the inimitable Milt Schmidt gets pulled out of the freezer. Popped in the toaster & defibrillated. Propped up behind the bench with a 2X4. Goes 3/28&5. Replaced by Tom McVie, 8/31&5. No excuse for losing that badly. None.
Of course the Scouts weren't much better

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03-07-2013, 08:01 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by SaintPatrick33 View Post
Mario Trembley?
Can't have Tremblay without including Houle as GM. Roy was the most egregious screw-up of Houle's tenure, trading the backbone of the franchise plus team captain Mike Keane for a pair of 2nd line wingers and a back-up. One of the worst trades ever, but then you look at his other moves and it just gets mind-numbing.

Traded heart and soul D-man Lyle Odelein for headcase Stephane Richer (who'd publicly stated he didn't want to go back to Montreal), then a year later bundled Richer with Darcy Tucker for Igor Ulanov, Patrick Poulin, and Mick Vukota. Genius!
But of course it just gets better and better:
Pierre Turgeon and Craig Conroy for Shayne Corson and Murray Baron
Mark Recchi for Danius Zubrus and a 2nd.
Vincent Damphousse for the 1st. Damphousse was traded away because of his upcoming FA status and Houle didn't want to pay his demands. Houle then turned around and traded his own 1st for Trevor Linden and promptly paid Linden the same per year that Damphousse had been looking for ($3.3 million, or there about if memory serves).

That's a HOF goalie, a soon to be HOF winger, three captains, an assistant captain, one of the finest pests of his generation and Jerome Iginla's set-up man, for Shayne Corson, Martin Rucinsky, a marginal starter in goal (Thibault or his replacement Jeff Hackett, take your pick) and some picks.

And what picks!!!:
1996--Matt Higgins, 18th overall, 57 GP in NHL
1997--Jason Ward, 11th overall, 336 GP in NHL (only 105 w/ Habs) & let's not forget in the 2nd Gregor Baumgartner (who?), 37th, no NHL GP
1998--Eric Chouinard, 16th overall, 90 GP in NHL
1999--No 1st, traded for Linden. First pick was in the 2nd, Alexander Buturlin, 39th overall, No NHL GP.
With the pick from the Recchi trade: Matt Carkner, 58th overall, 171 GP in NHL, none w/ Montreal.
2000--Ron Hainsey, the crown jewel of Houle's scouting department, 13th overall, 566 GP and,
Marcel (I'm not Marian) Hossa, 16th overall, 237 NHL GP

Red Wings fans can point to Harkness all they want, but Houle is frankly in a league by himself as far as incompetence. And at least Harkness had success on the collegiate level, so you can understand why management would have chosen him. Houle had been selling beer for Molson before Ron Corey made the call.
And yes, it was Houle's call to hire Tremblay, who had already publicly feuded with Roy and had called for Roy to be traded on his radio show.

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03-07-2013, 08:22 PM
  #31
Ogie Goldthorpe
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Bill LaForge - lasted all of 22 games in Vancouver before being fired in 1984. Probably one of the quickest firings ever.
But not before he ended the career of one of his own star players, Darcy Rota.

The Canucks had a couple of really bad coaches during that stretch of epic awfulness. Tom Watt was pretty terrible too.

As for GM's... Jake Milford, Harry Neale and Jack Gordon were all hugely responsible for that stretch of epic awfulness, both with terrible trades and horrible drafting. Seriously, if you had a hand in the league record 15 straight losing seasons, you must be amongst the all-time worst.


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03-07-2013, 08:24 PM
  #32
Morgoth Bauglir
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Originally Posted by double5son10 View Post
Can't have Tremblay without including Houle as GM. Roy was the most egregious screw-up of Houle's tenure, trading the backbone of the franchise plus team captain Mike Keane for a pair of 2nd line wingers and a back-up. One of the worst trades ever, but then you look at his other moves and it just gets mind-numbing.

Traded heart and soul D-man Lyle Odelein for headcase Stephane Richer (who'd publicly stated he didn't want to go back to Montreal), then a year later bundled Richer with Darcy Tucker for Igor Ulanov, Patrick Poulin, and Mick Vukota. Genius!
But of course it just gets better and better:
Pierre Turgeon and Craig Conroy for Shayne Corson and Murray Baron
Mark Recchi for Danius Zubrus and a 2nd.
Vincent Damphousse for the 1st. Damphousse was traded away because of his upcoming FA status and Houle didn't want to pay his demands. Houle then turned around and traded his own 1st for Trevor Linden and promptly paid Linden the same per year that Damphousse had been looking for ($3.3 million, or there about if memory serves).

That's a HOF goalie, a soon to be HOF winger, three captains, an assistant captain, one of the finest pests of his generation and Jerome Iginla's set-up man, for Shayne Corson, Martin Rucinsky, a marginal starter in goal (Thibault or his replacement Jeff Hackett, take your pick) and some picks.

And what picks!!!:
1996--Matt Higgins, 18th overall, 57 GP in NHL
1997--Jason Ward, 11th overall, 336 GP in NHL (only 105 w/ Habs) & let's not forget in the 2nd Gregor Baumgartner (who?), 37th, no NHL GP
1998--Eric Chouinard, 16th overall, 90 GP in NHL
1999--No 1st, traded for Linden. First pick was in the 2nd, Alexander Buturlin, 39th overall, No NHL GP.
With the pick from the Recchi trade: Matt Carkner, 58th overall, 171 GP in NHL, none w/ Montreal.
2000--Ron Hainsey, the crown jewel of Houle's scouting department, 13th overall, 566 GP and,
Marcel (I'm not Marian) Hossa, 16th overall, 237 NHL GP

Red Wings fans can point to Harkness all they want, but Houle is frankly in a league by himself as far as incompetence. And at least Harkness had success on the collegiate level, so you can understand why management would have chosen him. Houle had been selling beer for Molson before Ron Corey made the call.
And yes, it was Houle's call to hire Tremblay, who had already publicly feuded with Roy and had called for Roy to be traded on his radio show.
Well, Ronald Corey could ultimately be blamed since it was his call to hire them both. Corey was a disaster for the Habs.

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03-07-2013, 09:06 PM
  #33
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I'm sure that Joe Sacco will go down as an awful NHL coach in terms of ones who manage to hold on to their job for a long time. This is his 4th season in charge. His avg finish from the last 3 is 11th. This season it might drop down to 12th.

Cherry was fairly good in the NHL while he was in Boston. He has tonnes of excuses for failing in Colorado like a bad goalie though I dunno how true they are. To me though it seems like he was more of a motivational coach rather than one who passed on knowledge to his players of what plays to use, what to do in X situation etc. I don't think he'd do well in today's game though he was good for his time because today's game involves systems and strategy.

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03-07-2013, 09:24 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by LegionOfDoom91 View Post
Scott Howson is one more recently.

The Jeff Carter trade probably cost him his job.
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Originally Posted by The Dingo View Post
GMs : Button,John Ferguson, Jr., Brett Hull, Howson,MacLean, Mike Smith, Tambellini, Wadell,
Howson doesn't belong within a mile of these lists. The CBJ's best four seasons were on his watch, including the only playoff appearance in team history. Even if you include last year's 30th-place finish, the average point totals of his teams exceeds any single season MacLean was able to do in seven years.

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03-07-2013, 09:37 PM
  #35
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I'm sure that Joe Sacco will go down as an awful NHL coach in terms of ones who manage to hold on to their job for a long time. This is his 4th season in charge. His avg finish from the last 3 is 11th. This season it might drop down to 12th.

Cherry was fairly good in the NHL while he was in Boston. He has tonnes of excuses for failing in Colorado like a bad goalie though I dunno how true they are. To me though it seems like he was more of a motivational coach rather than one who passed on knowledge to his players of what plays to use, what to do in X situation etc. I don't think he'd do well in today's game though he was good for his time because today's game involves systems and strategy.
With that roster, injuries and management I don't know how anyone thinks the Avs should be doing better than they are.

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03-07-2013, 10:00 PM
  #36
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Howson doesn't belong within a mile of these lists....
No, he most certainly does not, but Barry Melrose? "Steven Stamkos' might be a good player someday, when he fills out like". He most assuredly does. Tony Granato? All that talent in Colorado? Replaced now by Sacco who so too seems "challenged"? Ebbie Goodfellow in Chicago? Couldnt close a paper bag much less seal the deal the deal with a win.... oh, and honourable mentions to Richard, Geoffrion, Plante & Wayne Gretzky. Nice try fellas'. Most amusing if you didnt live in Quebec or Arizona.

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03-07-2013, 10:01 PM
  #37
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Bill LaForge - lasted all of 22 games in Vancouver before being fired in 1984. Probably one of the quickest firings ever.
I just came here to post the same thing. Didn't his usage of The Gauntlet "drill" end Darcy Rota's career? Did I get the story right?

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03-07-2013, 10:07 PM
  #38
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Irving Grundman. He had no business being a hockey GM. Imagine what the Habs would look like today if Pollock had appointed Bowman.
Seeing what Bowman did with the Sabres as GM in the 1980's, I don't think he would have been that much of an improvement.

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03-07-2013, 11:03 PM
  #39
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Seeing what Bowman did with the Sabres as GM in the 1980's, I don't think he would have been that much of an improvement.
And what was he supposed to do following on the heels of none other than Punch Imlach (1970-1978) with but one year with an interim GM separating them? Turn water into wine?... I believe to this day he still holds the record for the Sabres Most Wins by a Coach. You cant make a silk purse from a pigs ear, though Lord knows he tried. Some pretty brilliant player personnel moves under his tenure. Gone the cloaks of Montreals' blankets of comfort, an actual pipeline, depth. Why Pollock didnt appoint him GM because he thought Scotty wasnt versed on the business side, a bit of a "hothead" I just dont know. Beyond foolish. Off to Pittsburgh, Stanley's Cup, ditto with Detroit. As a Leafs fan, I have a lot of respect for the Montreal Canadiens organization, want them to be their best. Dunno what overtook Pollocks mind, promoting former Boxing Promoter Irving Grundman over Scotty Bowman.

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03-08-2013, 07:48 AM
  #40
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This thread screams for Pierre Maguire
He'd pretty easily be in my top 20. Worst coach in Whalers/Hurricanes history, and that's saying something, though Larry Kish gives him a run for his money.


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03-08-2013, 09:17 AM
  #41
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He'd pretty easily be in my top 20. Worst coach in Whalers/Hurricanes history, and that's saying something, though Larry Kish gives him a run for his money.
It's a shame because McGuire is very smart. He's probably the best color guy in the league, because of his smarts and his passion for the game...they're nearly unmatched. But in Hartford, he was not taken too well...I wonder if that was just youthful exuberance/immaturity...I kind of wonder if he would do it differently now and how he would do...he's no dummy that's for sure...

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03-08-2013, 09:38 AM
  #42
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He flat out wasn't ready for it IMO. 2 years with the Pens in a non-coaching role, 2 years as an assistant with Hartford, 6 years as a NCAA assistant mostly with D-III teams. He needed HC experience elsewhere first, whether that was in the AHL or IHL, before he should have been given the reigns with an NHL team.

Personally I think he's closer to being GM material then HC material the same way I think Ron Francis is going to make an exceptional GM but he wouldn't be the kind of guy I'd want coaching my team.

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03-08-2013, 02:55 PM
  #43
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Mario Trembley?

Surprised it took this long to mention him. But you also have to include Rejean Houle. Tremblay was gone by '97, but Houle was in Montreal for another 3 years after that. Let's look at Houle's mishaps. We'll start with 1st round draft picks:


1996- Matt Higgins, who only played 57 games over 4 years and only scored 1 goal. Passed up on Marco Sturm and Danny Briere.

1997- Jason Ward, wasn't even a Canadiens regular until 2003-04. Passed up on Marian Hossa(oddly enough drafted his brother 3 years later) and Brenden Morrow.

1998- Eric Chouinard, out of the league after 4 seasons. Passed up on Martin Skoula, Robyn Regehr, Simon Gagne, and Scott Gomez.

1999- no 1st round pick, but drafted Alexander Buturlin in round 2. He never played an NHL game. Passed up on Mike Commodore and Jordan Leopold.

2000- Ron Hainsey and Marcel Hossa- Hainsey was not as much of a fail since he's still in the league right now, but he didn't even suit up for the Habs until the 2002-03 season. Hossa didn't even become an NHL regular until 5 years later. Passed up on Alex Frolov, Brad Boyes, Steve Ott, and Justin Williams.


Now with the trades:


-Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado for Jocelyn Thibault, Andrei Kovalenko, and Martin Rucinsky(1995)- Roy and Keane lead the Avs to the Cup that very season. Thibault didn't play poorly given the circumstances, but he was far from great. Kovalenko was traded in the offseason and scored a career high 32 goals his first season out of Montreal. Rucinsky played decent for Montreal.

-Pierre Turgeon, Rory Fitzpatrick, and Craig Conroy to St. Louis for Murray Baron and Shayne Corson(1996)- Turgeon started with 11 points in 9 games and ended up scoring 134 goals over his next 5 seasons. Fitzpatrick was no loss, but Conroy almost immediately developed into an excellent defensive forward with a nice scoring touch. On the flipside, Baron was gone at season's end and Corson only had 1 decent season until he left for Toronto 3 years later.

-Mark Recchi to Philadelphia for Dainus Zubrus(1999)- Recchi was simply having an off year coming off back to back 30+ goal seasons. Goes to Philly and scores 20+ goals every year for 7 consecutive seasons.

-Vincent Damphousse to San Jose for 3 draft picks(1999)- one pick was a first rounder who turned out to be Marcel Hossa. The other 2 never played a game in the NHL. Trading Damphousse wasn't outrageous since he was going to be a free agent and didn't want to lose him for nothing. Fair enough. Damphousse was in the middle of a second consecutive mediocre season. First season in San Jose, he put up 70 points which was his highest in 3 years. He scored 20+ goals in 3 of his first 4 seasons in San Jose.

-1st round pick to New York Islanders for Trevor Linden(1999)- Linden completely bombed in Montreal and was gone after 1 1/2 seasons. Only thing that eases the pain a little bit was the 1st rounder turned out to be Branislav Mezei, who never scored more than 7 points in a season and only played in 7 seasons.

-Vladimir Malakhov to New Jersey for Sheldon Souray(2000)- The initial trade was supposed to be Patrice Brisebois for Sergei Brylin. The Devils had accepted, just waiting for Brisebois to waive his no-trade clause. Brisebois refused and the traded was changed. Malakhov was the Habs top d-man, putting up 36 goals-72 assists-108 points the prior 3 seasons and was +12. Malakhov ends up helping the Devils win the Cup and Souray was just a better version of Brisebois...when he was healthy.

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03-08-2013, 03:17 PM
  #44
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Surprised it took this long to mention him. But you also have to include Rejean Houle. Tremblay was gone by '97, but Houle was in Montreal for another 3 years after that. Let's look at Houle's mishaps. We'll start with 1st round draft picks:


1996- Matt Higgins, who only played 57 games over 4 years and only scored 1 goal. Passed up on Marco Sturm and Danny Briere.

1997- Jason Ward, wasn't even a Canadiens regular until 2003-04. Passed up on Marian Hossa(oddly enough drafted his brother 3 years later) and Brenden Morrow.

1998- Eric Chouinard, out of the league after 4 seasons. Passed up on Martin Skoula, Robyn Regehr, Simon Gagne, and Scott Gomez.

1999- no 1st round pick, but drafted Alexander Buturlin in round 2. He never played an NHL game. Passed up on Mike Commodore and Jordan Leopold.

2000- Ron Hainsey and Marcel Hossa- Hainsey was not as much of a fail since he's still in the league right now, but he didn't even suit up for the Habs until the 2002-03 season. Hossa didn't even become an NHL regular until 5 years later. Passed up on Alex Frolov, Brad Boyes, Steve Ott, and Justin Williams.


Now with the trades:


-Patrick Roy and Mike Keane to Colorado for Jocelyn Thibault, Andrei Kovalenko, and Martin Rucinsky(1995)- Roy and Keane lead the Avs to the Cup that very season. Thibault didn't play poorly given the circumstances, but he was far from great. Kovalenko was traded in the offseason and scored a career high 32 goals his first season out of Montreal. Rucinsky played decent for Montreal.

-Pierre Turgeon, Rory Fitzpatrick, and Craig Conroy to St. Louis for Murray Baron and Shayne Corson(1996)- Turgeon started with 11 points in 9 games and ended up scoring 134 goals over his next 5 seasons. Fitzpatrick was no loss, but Conroy almost immediately developed into an excellent defensive forward with a nice scoring touch. On the flipside, Baron was gone at season's end and Corson only had 1 decent season until he left for Toronto 3 years later.

-Mark Recchi to Philadelphia for Dainus Zubrus(1999)- Recchi was simply having an off year coming off back to back 30+ goal seasons. Goes to Philly and scores 20+ goals every year for 7 consecutive seasons.

-Vincent Damphousse to San Jose for 3 draft picks(1999)- one pick was a first rounder who turned out to be Marcel Hossa. The other 2 never played a game in the NHL. Trading Damphousse wasn't outrageous since he was going to be a free agent and didn't want to lose him for nothing. Fair enough. Damphousse was in the middle of a second consecutive mediocre season. First season in San Jose, he put up 70 points which was his highest in 3 years. He scored 20+ goals in 3 of his first 4 seasons in San Jose.

-1st round pick to New York Islanders for Trevor Linden(1999)- Linden completely bombed in Montreal and was gone after 1 1/2 seasons. Only thing that eases the pain a little bit was the 1st rounder turned out to be Branislav Mezei, who never scored more than 7 points in a season and only played in 7 seasons.

-Vladimir Malakhov to New Jersey for Sheldon Souray(2000)- The initial trade was supposed to be Patrice Brisebois for Sergei Brylin. The Devils had accepted, just waiting for Brisebois to waive his no-trade clause. Brisebois refused and the traded was changed. Malakhov was the Habs top d-man, putting up 36 goals-72 assists-108 points the prior 3 seasons and was +12. Malakhov ends up helping the Devils win the Cup and Souray was just a better version of Brisebois...when he was healthy.
Truth be told, I don't think Tremblay is necessarily a "bad" coach, it's just that his stint in Montreal was a disaster. When Ronald Corey tabbed him to coach the Habs he had 0 experience coaching. He had gone straight from playing to the announcer's booth and hadn't been so much as an assistant coach on a pee-wee team before taking over Montreal. From everything I've heard Tremblay learned from the plethora of mistakes made in Montreal and was a very good assistant coach for Jacques Lemaire.

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03-08-2013, 03:45 PM
  #45
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honourable mentions to Richard, Geoffrion, Plante & Wayne Gretzky. Nice try fellas'.
It's a little hard to judge Richard by one game, don't you think? Similarly I think it's quite a stretch to call Plante a bad coach when his team finished better than they had the year before, in the only year he was ever head coach.

Geoffrion too wasn't a bad coach by any means, really. In Atlanta Geoffrion coached an expansion team full of no-names and also-rans to better records than their expansion cousins (the Flames had over twice as many points as the Islanders did in their first season) and to a playoff spot in only their second season. Granted his times in New York and Montreal were brief but it wasn't as though he was fired for poor performance, he simply quit due to his health. You could argue the circuses created around his hirings as coach in Montreal and New York and subsequent departures made the situations in those cities worse, and thereby by extension made him a bad coach, but I think that's pretty thin reasoning.

Gretzky wasn't a very good coach but I wouldn't go as far as to say he's an honourable mention for "worst coach ever".

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03-08-2013, 03:55 PM
  #46
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Howson doesn't belong within a mile of these lists. The CBJ's best four seasons were on his watch, including the only playoff appearance in team history. Even if you include last year's 30th-place finish, the average point totals of his teams exceeds any single season MacLean was able to do in seven years.
Even if he is the lesser of two evils... He still belongs on the list.

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03-08-2013, 11:55 PM
  #47
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Even if he is the lesser of two evils... He still belongs on the list.
Vehemently disagree. I think it's absolutely insulting to history to take someone whose career record as GM was 173-190-60, particularly considering the situation that he stepped into, and put him anywhere within a mile of a list called "worst GMs in NHL history".

Now, if he had all sorts of talent and tools at his disposal and did nothing with it, that would be quite another thing. If he'd arrived in Montreal in 1976, or Edmonton in 1982, or Detroit in 1995, and had that record, it would be another story. But take a look at what Columbus had on the NHL roster (two actual NHL players under age 30) and in the farm system (nothing) and tell me that he belongs on that list.

I was talking about this with my mother a couple days ago. She mentioned that today is a far cry from 2007, when an injured defenseman meant that Derrick Walser or Aaron Johnson was on his way up, and an injured forward meant that one of Alex Picard, Steve Goertzen, or Geoff Platt would make an appearance.

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03-09-2013, 12:21 AM
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Evincar
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John Ferguson Jr. was hilariously bad.

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03-09-2013, 12:29 AM
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It's a little hard to judge Richard by one game, don't you think?.... Gretzky wasn't a very good coach but I wouldn't go as far as to say he's an honourable mention for "worst coach ever".
My parameters are pretty wide. Coaching didnt suit Richard & Richard didnt suit Coaching. Bad Coach, be it one game or one hundred. Plantes in there for similar reasons despite the uptik with the Diques; Geoffrion gets all kinds of credit for Atlanta, not so much elsewhere, NY/Mtl, which is why I included him, ill health, zoo's & circuses considered. And Gretzky? Bad Coach. Nowhere near the worst but "bad enough" for as is my prerogative to give him "Honourable Mention" along with the aforementioned. None of these guys would be in the same class as a Harkness or whomever, varying degree's of incompetence, unsuitability or what have you...

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03-09-2013, 12:31 AM
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No, he most certainly does not, but Barry Melrose? "Steven Stamkos' might be a good player someday, when he fills out like". He most assuredly does. Tony Granato? All that talent in Colorado? Replaced now by Sacco who so too seems "challenged"? Ebbie Goodfellow in Chicago? Couldnt close a paper bag much less seal the deal the deal with a win.... oh, and honourable mentions to Richard, Geoffrion, Plante & Wayne Gretzky. Nice try fellas'. Most amusing if you didnt live in Quebec or Arizona.
I don't know what to make specifically of Melrose. That Kings team had so much talent within the vicinity of its prime during a power vacuum within the conference...

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