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Worst Coaches/GMs in NHL history?

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03-08-2013, 11:48 PM
  #51
Mayor Bee
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A couple years ago, I started messing around with mathematical projections and expectations, and then applying it to coaches.

As of the end of 2011-12, here's what I'd come up with. On the basis of points over expectations per 1,000 games....

Among non-interim coaches, the top of the list is guys like Keith Allen, Red Berenson, Harry Sinden, Tom Johnson, Bruce Boudreau (yeah), and Floyd Smith. Among guys who had careers of a more substantial length, the top two are Scotty Bowman and Fred Shero.

However, down at the very bottom...
John MacLean (2010-11 NJ Devils)
Larry Wilson (1976-77 Detroit)
Herb Gardiner (1928-29 Chicago)
Jim Anderson (1974-75 Capitals)

You get the idea. Anyway, if we're going by guys who had at least 100 games, Mike Kitchen is at the very bottom, trailed by George Kingston, Parker MacDonald, and Lou Angotti.

Among those with 200+ games, Glen Hanlon, Curt Fraser, and Barry Melrose make up the bottom.

Among those with 400+ (because for some reason, a total number of games between 300-399 is extremely uncommon), you get Rick Bowness, Fred Glover, Paul Holmgren, and Tom McVie.

The two worst to hit 1,000 are Paul Maurice and Jacques Demers.

Eventually I'll post the spreadsheet for all to dissect. There are obviously extenuating circumstances in nearly every case, whether it's the train wreck that was San Jose and Ottawa in the early years (which probably overstates the mediocrity of Kingston and Bowness while dramatically underrating Kevin Constantine) to bizarre situations involving injuries or other issues.

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03-08-2013, 11:58 PM
  #52
Killion
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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...
He may have been tarred & feathered unfairly, its possible... successful at the Junior & AHL levels as Head Coach, took the Kings to the SC Finals in his first year behind the bench... then the wheels fell off.... LA bottom feeding for a couple of years thereafter... accusations that it was Gretzky's presence, not Melrose's Coaching that got them to the Finals.... signs 3yrs later with the Zoo of Koules & Barrie in Tampa.... lasts all of 16 games.... hard to figure... but "bad enough" to make most lists Ive read in rankings of Worst Coaches All Time. Likely has as much to do with his analysis from the broadcast booth, in-studio as it does his actual track record I suppose.

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03-09-2013, 12:08 AM
  #53
RealisticLeaf55
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In recent memory. Doug Maclean for GM and Joe Sacco for coach

Other bad GMS: Kevin Lowe, Mike Milbury, Jay Feaster, JFJ.

Coaches:Melrose, Capuano, R.Wilson, Gretzky, Maurice.

Worst Owner: MLSE, Harold Ballard, Wang.

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03-09-2013, 12:17 AM
  #54
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Worst Owner: MLSE, Harold Ballard, Wang.
Any "worst owner" list that doesn't have ASG on it is incomplete.

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03-09-2013, 12:23 AM
  #55
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Any "worst owner" list that doesn't have ASG on it is incomplete.
Harold Ballard's racism and stupidity blinds my judgement

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03-09-2013, 12:33 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by RealisticLeaf55 View Post

Coaches:Melrose, Capuano, R.Wilson, Gretzky, Maurice.
Your just naming coaches who failed with the Leafs. Wilson and Maurice are good coaches. Might as well put Scott Gordon in there if youre going to mention Capuano.

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03-09-2013, 12:51 AM
  #57
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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.

He got the gig under Lemaire because they're close friends. Former teammates and both being Québécois. After his stint in Montreal, no one wanted anything to do with him. A coach can be in a bad position, but Tremblay alienated people and nearly got into a fist fight with Patrick Roy on more than one occasion.

I have more sympathy for Houle than Tremblay. Houle was equally incompetent, but he was at least a likeable guy. A likeable guy who just wasn't FO material. Tremblay's stint was a disaster through his own doing. He got a bad rep from that(and rightfully so) and only got a coaching gig because a friend reached out.

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03-09-2013, 12:57 AM
  #58
Morgoth Bauglir
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He got the gig under Lemaire because they're close friends. Former teammates and both being Québécois. After his stint in Montreal, no one wanted anything to do with him. A coach can be in a bad position, but Tremblay alienated people and nearly got into a fist fight with Patrick Roy on more than one occasion.

I have more sympathy for Houle than Tremblay. Houle was equally incompetent, but he was at least a likeable guy. A likeable guy who just wasn't FO material. Tremblay's stint was a disaster through his own doing. He got a bad rep from that(and rightfully so) and only got a coaching gig because a friend reached out.
I agree his stint in Montreal was a disaster of his own making. See my user name? My point was that apparently he did learn from his own eff-ups and was an effective assistant coach regardless of how he got the job. My wife is huge Devils fans and generally knows all things Devils and from what she's told me Tremblay was well liked by the Devils' players as he never was in Montreal. So apparently he HAS learned not to alienate his players.

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03-09-2013, 01:13 AM
  #59
Ed Wood
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Doug MacLean is the worst GM I can think of. He's even worse as a commentator.

Dave Allison coached the Ottawa Senators for 27 games going 2-22-3. He needs to be in the conversation.

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03-09-2013, 01:22 AM
  #60
Kyle McMahon
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Steve Tambellini has to be making his way on to lists by now. Pretty much the only moves he's made is draft 1st overall. How many 30th place teams feel that adding one 18 year old to the roster in the offseason is enough to turn the team around? Apparently Steve has thought so for three years in a row. Of course it needs to be mentioned that Kevin Lowe is at best an overseer and at worst a puppet master when it comes to Tambellini, so he shares just as much blame as well.

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03-09-2013, 09:43 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
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".

.
You are making excuses. He had plenty of time to turn that team around and by the time he was fired the team was worse than the team he inherited

The 06-07 Jackets had 73 points and finished 13th in the conference and 25th in the league.

The 11-12 Jackets finished last in the league and the team he assembled over the offseason is currently in last place. That is regression, not progress.

I'll give him a pass on the 07-08 season since he was hired after the draft and free agency, but 4 seasons is long enough to turn a team around or show some major progress and neither happened.

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03-09-2013, 09:49 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by The Dingo View Post
GMs : Button,John Ferguson, Jr., Brett Hull, Howson,MacLean, Mike Smith, Tambellini, Wadell,
Add Sam McDisaster...or was that McMaster??? I wasn't sure at times...

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03-09-2013, 09:55 AM
  #63
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Add Sam McDisaster...or was that McMaster??? I wasn't sure at times...
I my mind made me forget about that loser as some kind of self protection mechanism.

The only defense I can give for "The Disaster" was that ownership was a mess and his payroll was constantly being cut.

But his return on the Gretzky trade can never be forgiven, especially considering that Craig "Hands of Stone" Johnson was the prize.


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03-09-2013, 10:21 AM
  #64
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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.
I like that your response to "Bowman was a mediocre GM" is to cite his list of coaching achievements like everybody in this thread doesn't already know them.

Bowman was absolutely a mediocre GM in Buffalo, even if he was the same coach he was everywhere else, and it had nothing to do with the state of the organization. Giving him control to move players he was beefing with (which I'm sure you know meant anybody at anytime) meant a lot of shortsighted moves, and he could never put together that franchise-redifining blockbuster no matter how hard he tried. He wanted to move up in the Stevens/Housely draft for example, but an in-the-red Capitals team decided to hold onto their pick.

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03-09-2013, 10:56 AM
  #65
Mayor Bee
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You are making excuses. He had plenty of time to turn that team around and by the time he was fired the team was worse than the team he inherited

The 06-07 Jackets had 73 points and finished 13th in the conference and 25th in the league.

The 11-12 Jackets finished last in the league and the team he assembled over the offseason is currently in last place. That is regression, not progress.

I'll give him a pass on the 07-08 season since he was hired after the draft and free agency, but 4 seasons is long enough to turn a team around or show some major progress and neither happened.
Howson was hired on June 15, 2007. That means that he's responsible for the 2007 draft and free agency period.

Second, the team he assembled over the offseason is not in last place. That honor belongs to 2011-12 Southeast Division champion Florida. And since this season isn't over, why are we talking about this season at all?

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03-09-2013, 11:03 AM
  #66
Gentle Ben Kenobi
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Howson was hired on June 15, 2007. That means that he's responsible for the 2007 draft and free agency period
On my last post, I meant to say "so close to draft and free agency".
I also said "give him a pass", meaning holding him accountable for it isn't reasonable.
2 weeks is not enough time to do a complete organizational analysis and prepare for either. Especially a draft.

Quote:
Second, the team he assembled over the offseason is not in last place. That honor belongs to 2011-12 Southeast Division champion Florida. And since this season isn't over, why are we talking about this season at all?
I said "tied" meaning they have the same number of points...
Second to last is still inexcusable for a GM with several years on the job. There is no way that team makes the playoffs or is even in the hunt.


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03-09-2013, 11:30 AM
  #67
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Phil Watson deserves at least a mention.

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03-09-2013, 12:47 PM
  #68
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...like everybody in this thread doesn't already know them.
Well thats not very nice. I feel like I just got struckbyaparkedcar!

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03-09-2013, 12:50 PM
  #69
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Steve Tambellini has to be making his way on to lists by now. Pretty much the only moves he's made is draft 1st overall. How many 30th place teams feel that adding one 18 year old to the roster in the offseason is enough to turn the team around? Apparently Steve has thought so for three years in a row. Of course it needs to be mentioned that Kevin Lowe is at best an overseer and at worst a puppet master when it comes to Tambellini, so he shares just as much blame as well.
I think under Renney, at least the Oil had a quality coach. This Krueger guy is awful.

Tambellini is going to get fired this offseason anyways. Its just an embarrassment to the league and accusations of outright cheating to lose will start if they keep him on.

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03-09-2013, 06:43 PM
  #70
Oscar Acosta
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Three first overall picks and looking like they're gunning for a fourth is an absolute embarassment to the organization and the league. Maybe if they were making any progress you could appreciate the "rebuild" but they are going nowhere.

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03-09-2013, 06:52 PM
  #71
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Didn't Don Cherry lead a QMJL team to a terrible season?
Yeah, the Mississauga Ice Dogs when they were an expansion team. Not sure I'd include Cherry on this list here. It wasn't the NHL for starters, and secondly Cherry was a wonderful coach for Boston in the 1970s and is the only coach who put a scare into Bowman and the Habs at that time.

I don't know if there is a worse GM than Mike Milbury. As a coach he was alright, as a GM he set the Islanders back 15 years to which they are now just recovering.

As a Leaf fan I might rank John Ferguson Jr. up there as a rotten GM. He inherited a contender in 2003 and ran them into the ground before getting fired in 2008. Why do you give that many players no-trade clauses I will never know.

Never thought Kevin Lowe was much of a GM either. Dustin Penner for how much?


For coaches, hmmm, you can't really say a guy who lasted 40 games on here because if he never got another shot it tells you something. I prefer to pick a coach who somehow kept getting jobs despite always being lousy. So maybe Barry Melrose?

Honourable mention, while he wasn't a poor coach, I can't think of a coach that has more baggage than Ted Nolan. I can't blame the NHL for more or less blackballing him and despite what he complains about it has nothing to do with him being native.

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Old
03-09-2013, 06:58 PM
  #72
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** Canuck bias.

Bill Laforge
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03-09-2013, 07:14 PM
  #73
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The fact that when Doug Maclean toots his own horn, he can only come up with one solid pick which was 1st overall (why don't they ever ask him why he was in position to draft Rick Nash?) should put him near the top.

Mike Milbury wasn't good but at least he got them to the playoffs twice. Also in his defense he had indifferent ownership and a limited budget through his tenure. He may have been decent if not for the fateful 2000 draft where his brain clearly took a day off.

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03-09-2013, 10:35 PM
  #74
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You are making excuses. He had plenty of time to turn that team around and by the time he was fired the team was worse than the team he inherited

The 06-07 Jackets had 73 points and finished 13th in the conference and 25th in the league.

The 11-12 Jackets finished last in the league and the team he assembled over the offseason is currently in last place. That is regression, not progress.

I'll give him a pass on the 07-08 season since he was hired after the draft and free agency, but 4 seasons is long enough to turn a team around or show some major progress and neither happened.
A lot of the 2006-07 Jackets' key players were past 30 and on the decline (Fedorov, Vyborny, Foote, Norrena). His predecessor had traded away Beauchemin for an aging Fedorov, and traded McQuaid for a 5th round pick. There weren't many young players or prospects to get excited about, save Zherdev and Mason.

Howson at least - briefly - made the Jackets a playoff team before blowing up the team for another rebuild. He did make a number of good trades, such as the ones for Umberger, Vermette, Tyutin, and Torres. Even recently he managed to acquire a decent 3rd line centre and two top-4 defencemen (Letestu, Nikitin, Wisniewski) by trading a 4th, 4th and 5th rounder. He had the misfortune of seeing Carter and Wisniewski, his two big acquisitions, get injured in the opening weeks of the 2011-12 season, contributing to that team being so bad and Carter wanting out.

In hindsight, his only real bad moves were: 1) selecting "bust" Filatov at 6th overall, 2) making Mason his starter, and 3) firing Hitchcock. I think Howson at least beats the likes of Maclean and Milbury.

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Old
03-09-2013, 11:06 PM
  #75
Big Phil
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The fact that when Doug Maclean toots his own horn, he can only come up with one solid pick which was 1st overall (why don't they ever ask him why he was in position to draft Rick Nash?) should put him near the top.

Mike Milbury wasn't good but at least he got them to the playoffs twice. Also in his defense he had indifferent ownership and a limited budget through his tenure. He may have been decent if not for the fateful 2000 draft where his brain clearly took a day off.
Milbury's trade of Luongo for Dipietro made very little sense at that time. It looks 100x worse now. But even at that time he had the best young goalie in the game. I remember thinking that with a little luck Luongo could be in the mix for the 2002 Olympics at that time (he had to wait for the 2004 World Cup). What in the world was he thinking?

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