He just fired himself when offering RFA Ryan Kesler a contract, lost any respect around the league and it was the move to do to give the Flyers a bit of cridibility back.
Clarke was on the skids way before the RFA incident.
While he's done a good job of assembling a strong crop of forwards, his record with defencemen and goalies was his undoing. Never really being able to put together a strong combination in the defensive zone. Poor choices on D just further exposed the lack of a top notch goaltender. The lack of a solid goaltender further compounded the woes of a less than stellar crop of defencemen.
Well some of us keep saying how we're just posters in front of computers and that the GM's know what they're doing since it's their job, I find it odd that most of us knew he was going in the wrong direction with his slow d-men and bad goaltending and he didn't do anything about it. He had great rookies to play with and the Flyers would be a better team if they had sacrificed one of their youngs guns for some serious goalie talent. Though it takes two to tango, he had to do everything he could to make his team a new NHL team and find a better goalie, even if it means to overpay a little.
But he didn't always do a bad job, if we keep saying how Gainey has improved the team via the draft, well Clarke wasn't that bad either in that department.
I don't like Clarke much, though he could play on my team anytime. I think he did a poor job of foreseeing the type of players he would need, esp. on defense.
As far as the Kessler situation, while I don't really like the idea of going after rfa's, he played within the rules. I don't see how this made a difference.
Any smart and respecful GMs know this is not a way to acquire players.. Any org will keep their young talended kids, they are just trying to resign them for cheap.. Trying to get young RFA is just a stupid way to make the salaries and players movement going crazy.. As good as a kid may be, if he keeps working hard and improve his game, he will earn big money at about 26-27 years old, giving them big money at the begin of their carreer isnt the proper way to go IMO, some will sit on their paycheck and the quality of the game will decrease.. What make the game so exciting right now is the high level of intensity displayed, what was badly lacking before the lock-out.. I would even say it has a bigger impact than the new rules prevaling.. You see more and more kids earning jobs and more and more vets retiring but give the kids millions reasons to slack down and the show will suffer. Teams are trying to establish good work habits, here it took Gainey behind the bench to put some order, the Leafs fired Quinn, hired Maurice and let some vets walk away.. Ask any Leafs players, they are skating and sweating a big deal since the begin of the camp.. DiPietro, who just reached a long term deal earning about 5 millions per season, decided to stay in the net about 1 week ago after the team was down something like 6-1 and that Nolan wanted to replace him by Dunham... I guess Snow had a good meeting with the kid cause Dunham started the next 3 games for the Islanders... When you have a guarenteed contract in your pocket, you can do what you want, most will honour their contract but other will sit on their big fat *** and do what they want, such as making a coatch fired..
While I dont think it was correct to boo Brisebois last night, I can understand some fans had some good reasons to do it... Brisebois made in Savard's hands after giving him his big contract... The guy was lazzy, was cheating and playing some pretty ugly hockey.. I think most Habs fans just cant stand lazzyness and this is the first one reason why Brisebois wasnt appreciated over here..
By the way, even if they're false, they're still his teeth.
The Kessler thing. Whatever, it wasn't the first time it was done, probably won't be the last. I just hope it doesn't happen to the Habs. Either way, we make an offer or one of our players gets an offer. I think it throws your pay structure out of wack, and it may garner resentment.
Clarke's problem was his defense corps of lumbering buffuloes in a league that is moving more towards the gazelle. Big and slow versus quick and agile. In the past, goaltending was an issue, but I don't believe that is the case this year. Also a lot of leadership left the Flyers this past summer.
Finally, Hitchock's message wasn't getting through anymore. This usually happens when coaches are as demanding as he is. The same thing happened to him in Dallas and the same thing will happen in his next assignment. He is a good coach, so that next assignment should come soon. Pat Burns had the same problem everywhere he went. Good coach again, but eventually the players will tune you out when you are that demanding. Of course it happens to all coaches, it just seems that the more demanding, the quicker they will tune you out at the first sign of failure.