Great Leaders as players that were bad Head Coaches?
With the media circus in New York discussing Messier as a possible candidate for head coach a question occurred to me:
What are the best historical examples of players that were considered "great leaders" while playing but turned out to be poor coaches?
- This isn't about Messier, was only the NY coach hunt that triggered this question.
- Please try to differentiate between players that were considered "great leaders" on the ice vs. just being great players. For example while I think Gretzsky was the best player during his career I don't think of him as having been a great "leader" while playing. Obviously this can get very subjective, so my suggestion would be to focus more on how the player was viewed as a leader while playing rather than how great/talented of a player they were.
Bryan Trottier and John MacLean come to mind immediately.
A general rule in every sport is that the greater they are as a leader while playing the worse they'll be as a coach. Obviously there's exceptions to this rule in every sport but by and large you'll rarely see an all-time great player or leader succeed as a coach.
I'm very very interested to see how Patrick Roy does in Colorado.
Stan Smyl: captain of the Canucks 82-91, led Canucks to Stanley Cup finals in 82. Hired on as assistant coach after he retired. Moved to Canucks minor league affiliates as head coach in Syracuse, then Kansas City, then Manitoba 99-04. For such a hard player, he had a rep for being soft as a coach, & was recalled to the big club & reassigned to a variety of front office positions that he apparently didn't excel at, either. He's currently "collegiate scouting advisor" or some other honorary/cushy/nepotistic "keep him on the payroll" jobs.
He was my favorite player, & it's kinda sad he wasn't able to cut it as a coach.