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Old
04-22-2008, 08:25 PM
  #76
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I wanted to chime in on my Hitch feelings. I'm making the post seperate from my previous one to avoid confusing what I was reporting from the meeting and what my feelings are.

While I would've hired Hitch if I was GM, he is not necessarily our messiah.

Fact. Hitch was ranked in a NHLPA survey by SI as second least coach players want to play for. Why?

Fact. During a NBC game in 03, Brett Hull (who won a Cup in Dallas with Hitch) said about Hitch, and I quote "I hated him, but I loved winning." Well, we aren't winning so do the players hate him?

It seems that hockey coaches have a shorter shelf life per team than other sports, how long till Hitch's demanding style and message start to fall on deaf ears? Or have they?

I'm not at Plucks level regarding our coach, but I will drink no Hitch kool-aid for now. I still believe he is the best coach for this team at the moment. His career record speaks for itself.

He is also good with spin and the media. So my feelings summed up are Proceed with caution.

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04-22-2008, 08:27 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by cbj35 View Post
Pluck... when I made my OP about the meeting I was truly trying to convey what Hitch and Howson said without any of my opinions factored in. I tried to be objective (any personal feelings I put in brackets like this).

So yes, he belived the playoff chase was over after the Det. game...not just cause of the injuries but the way the team blew the 1-0 lead in the 3rd.

And while he didn't actually say "it's my way or out the door you go" he made a pretty strong point suggesting that and used Malhotra as an example.

Take it for what it's worth.
I honestly think you probably got (and relayed) the truth as you heard it spoken. I don't doubt YOU or your motives here - put simply: Was it REALLY Manny finally* boarding the HitchBus in the end throes of the season? OR was it (through trade deadline events and a series of injuries to our centers) Manny moving to the first line and playing first line minutes with 2 world-class players that was actually responsible for the upswing in Malhotra's play and scoring? Which of the two explanations do you think is logical and more accurate?

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04-22-2008, 08:27 PM
  #78
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Thanks to Fire and others who attended and summarized so well. I ended up unable to attend even tho it sounded well wothwhile. I do wish they would quit the "building a dynasty" talk as it seems ridiculous till we have at least some success. We have too many weaknesses and holes to fill. Give other teams credit for already being good and getting better. While chasing a moving pack from the rear patience is not only not a virtue, it is an oppurtunity to get lapped. Unless Koolaid is suddenly an energy drink. Aren't they concerned about filling seats???????Our only hope is they underpromise and overdeliver.

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04-22-2008, 08:35 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
More and more Hitchcock seems bullheaded and egotistical. The way he brushed off a question regarding a survey of NHL players where 10% (second only to Mike Keenan at 36%) said that he was the coach they least wanted to play for was typical, stating, essentially, that he didn't want players that didn't want to play for a "challenging" coach. No, Ken, they don't mind a challenging coach. There are other coaches who challenge their players who didn't make the list or got significantly fewer votes--Jacques Lemaire got as many votes from players saying he was the coach they wanted to play for the most as he got votes saying he was the coach they wanted to play for the least. Keenan even got 2% to say that he was the coach they wanted to play for the most, but Hitch didn't even do that well.

Ken Hitchcock's image is an impediment which he should be trying to minimize as we try to attract free agents. Instead, throughout the season he was far too willing to throw players under the bus instead of taking any personal responsibility and he's still doing it now.
Well, let's not give this little survey more significance than it deserves. Of those who said who they wanted to play for, the top vote getters were either perennial playoff teams or those reported as 'player's coaches' (like Ted Nolan for example).

Frankly, I am surprised that only 10% said they wouldn't want to play in a tightly-controlled 'defense-first' system when you think of how many creative forwards and European style skaters we have in the league. It is also for this reason it is not surprising a cherry-picker like Brett Hull would hate playing for Hitch.

Lastly, I remember similar things being said about Scotty Bowman. One player (I can't remember which one) said 'for 364 days you hate his guts, on the 365th, you collect your Stanley Cup ring.' You bet your arse I'd take Scotty Bowman as a head coach, or for that matter, ANY role in our organization. But that will never happen unless the Red Wings royally screw him.


Last edited by leesmith: 04-22-2008 at 08:41 PM.
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04-22-2008, 08:47 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Dr. Fire View Post
Umm, excuse me if I'm being silly here, but I really am a bit bewildered by the Hitch hate. The guy did more with less, than I would have imagined. He is a proven winner. His system does NOT stifle players, it merely requires them to play a complete game, and he demands that all players be responsible. Where in hockey is it a bad thing to try and stop the other team from scoring? I think Nash had 38 goals last season playing with a mish mash of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line guys. Our head case had a heck of a year. Did he stifle them?

Well, I guess you had to be there last night to really absorb the whole session. But, there was no spin or BS. As a matter of fact it was a reality check.

I am sorry so many are so bitter at this stage of the game. I for one am looking forward to seeing the moves made this summer and hope that they will start the process of propelling us to bigger and better things.
Not me dude. I'm completly with you. I have no clue about this sudden Hitch-hate. Dude led us to our best season to date and this team was FAR AND AWAY the most competitive we've witnessed. Nash, Z, Klelsa and Leclaire all had their best season's to date.

Howson gets this guy some more talent and the sky's the limit.

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04-22-2008, 08:48 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by leesmith View Post
Well, let's not give this little survey more significance than it deserves. Of those who said who they wanted to play for, the top vote getters were either perennial playoff teams or those reported as 'player's coaches' (like Ted Nolan for example).

Frankly, I am surprised that only 10% said they wouldn't want to play in a tightly-controlled 'defense-first' system when you think of how many creative forwards and European style skaters we have in the league. It is also for this reason it is not surprising a cherry-picker like Brett Hull would hate playing for Hitch.
You're missing the point, Lee. Other teams play a "defense-first" system. I didn't see 10% saying they didn't want to play for Randy Carlyle or Jacques Lemaire. And both of those guys were on the list of coaches guys wanted to play for as well. Hitch was not.

The fact that the top vote getters are perennial playoff teams/coaches really doesn't help Hitch does it since this franchise is the only one that hasn't made the playoffs?

Hitch and Howson can discount it all they want, but players are not lining up to play for this team or its coach. And they can keep talking about how you don't develop a team from free agents, but last I checked, we haven't developed a legit PPQB who can play on our first pairing and we haven't developed a first line center--and we're not likely to have both of those developed from within in the next couple years. And there aren't that many available in trade that if Howson gets an offer for a "non-Hitch guy" who has the skill to serve our needs he can afford to turn his nose up at him.

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04-22-2008, 08:54 PM
  #82
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Pluck your point with Malhotra is worth pondering. Hitch gave his take on it, it'd be nice to hear what #27 would say.

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04-22-2008, 08:54 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
You're missing the point, Lee. Other teams play a "defense-first" system. I didn't see 10% saying they didn't want to play for Randy Carlyle or Jacques Lemaire. And both of those guys were on the list of coaches guys wanted to play for as well. Hitch was not.
Then you missed my point. Randy Carlyle won last year's Stanley Cup and Jacques Lemaire has had his team in the playoffs three times now. It's only logical that players would want to play for a Cup contender or for a 'player's coach.' As of right now, the head coach of the Blue Jackets can claim neither.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnCornelius View Post
Hitch and Howson can discount it all they want, but players are not lining up to play for this team or its coach. And they can keep talking about how you don't develop a team from free agents, but last I checked, we haven't developed a legit PPQB who can play on our first pairing and we haven't developed a first line center--and we're not likely to have both of those developed from within in the next couple years. And there aren't that many available in trade that if Howson gets an offer for a "non-Hitch guy" who has the skill to serve our needs he can afford to turn his nose up at him.
There's something we can agree on.

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04-22-2008, 08:55 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Top Shelf View Post
Not me dude. I'm completly with you. I have no clue about this sudden Hitch-hate. Dude led us to our best season to date and this team was FAR AND AWAY the most competitive we've witnessed. Nash, Z, Klelsa and Leclaire all had their best season's to date.

Howson gets this guy some more talent and the sky's the limit.
Hitch hate? I haven't seen one iota of Hitch-hate on this forum. Do you not remember what true coach hate reads like? (see: Doug Maclean, Gerard Gallant.)

Please, Hitch can stand a little criticism, he has plenty of room to grow as an NHL coach - it's not like he's Jacques Lemaire or Scotty Bowman. I think Hitch has lots of potential and upside.


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04-22-2008, 08:59 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by Pluckfur View Post
Hitch hate? I haven't seen one iota of Hitch-hate on this forum. Do you not remember what true coach hate reads like? (see: Doug Maclean, Gerard Gallant.)

Please, Hitch can stand a little criticism, he has plenty of room to grow as an NHL coach - it's not like he's Jacques Lemaire or Scotty Bowman. I think Hitch has lots of potential and upside.

I agree. I really like Hitch, but I certainly feel there are some areas where HE can improve, just as he says his players can.

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04-22-2008, 09:01 PM
  #86
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In hindsight, I wonder what would've happened had Hitch decided he wanted to be the GM following MacLean's ouster?

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04-22-2008, 09:03 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by contingent_23 View Post
In hindsight, I wonder what would've happened had Hitch decided he wanted to be the GM following MacLean's ouster?
He'd be GM and Head Coach. I'm glad he's not. Howson brings a brutal honesty to the table. Hitchcock is overly optimistic to his own detriment.

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04-22-2008, 09:05 PM
  #88
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Originally Posted by Dr. Fire View Post
Umm, excuse me if I'm being silly here, but I really am a bit bewildered by the Hitch hate. The guy did more with less, than I would have imagined. He is a proven winner. His system does NOT stifle players, it merely requires them to play a complete game, and he demands that all players be responsible. Where in hockey is it a bad thing to try and stop the other team from scoring? I think Nash had 38 goals last season playing with a mish mash of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line guys. Our head case had a heck of a year. Did he stifle them?

Well, I guess you had to be there last night to really absorb the whole session. But, there was no spin or BS. As a matter of fact it was a reality check.

I am sorry so many are so bitter at this stage of the game. I for one am looking forward to seeing the moves made this summer and hope that they will start the process of propelling us to bigger and better things.
Its not "hate" as you seem to think. What I'm tired of is idolatry. This fan base seems to follow one false messiah after the next.

Our "best season ever" was actually a lower position in the conference than the prior year in which Forrest Gump impersonator Gerard Gallant started the season as coach, so forgive me if I'm not willing to worship at the Altar of Hitch after he also failed to surpass Gerard Gallant's Jackets record for wins in a season.

He improved the defense...but the offense has continued to decline from its height in 2005-06 when it was led by such offensive stalwarts as Jan Hrdina.

The honeymoon is over for both our coach and GM. Its time for them to win. Talk is cheap.

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04-22-2008, 09:06 PM
  #89
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I'll give you a ice pick, and a Supersoaker and tell you to go and win World War II, its just not going to happen.


Leave Hitch alone.

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04-22-2008, 09:14 PM
  #90
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I agree. I really like Hitch, but I certainly feel there are some areas where HE can improve, just as he says his players can.
... and I as a fan also have areas where I can improve.

(odd quoting myself, I know, but I didn't mean that statement to sound smug and all-knowing)

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04-22-2008, 09:16 PM
  #91
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I'll give you a ice pick, and a Supersoaker and tell you to go and win World War II, its just not going to happen.
Of course it won't. It was "over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor."

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04-22-2008, 09:19 PM
  #92
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So Hitch's legacy has been built on a team that someone already layed the ground work for? Certainly paints a new light.

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04-22-2008, 09:22 PM
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Have I missed something...other then an poll saying Hitch isn't a player favorite, how has Hitch hurt us? Has Columbus lost out on any players b/c of Hitch being our coach?

Something that I think shouldn't be ignored from earlier in this thread is that Richards named Columbus as one of 6 teams he would accept a trade to.

Someone made the comment that, "what happens when Howson brings in a player that doesn't fit Hitch's style" ...wasn't it stated earlier in this same thread that Hitch would like to see Svitov come back, while Howson not so much...seems to me Hitch may be more willing to give "questionable" players a chance then Howson.

I'm not trying to say Hitch should be above criticism, but put me in the group that feels some are being a bit harsh

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04-22-2008, 09:27 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by CBJSlash View Post
I'll give you a ice pick, and a Supersoaker and tell you to go and win World War II, its just not going to happen.


Leave Hitch alone.
Then Hitch needs to can the crap about ice pick (Boll) and Supersoaker (Fritsche) being the mechanism by which our shot at the playoffs was obliterated. If he believes we lost WWII due to a lack of legitimate NHL weaponry, then he should say so. If he really believes that Manny boarded the magic bus with Ken Kesey and the rest of the Merry Pranksters- then he should by all means say so ... but he can't then be surprised at being called out for such silliness.

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04-22-2008, 09:30 PM
  #95
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So Hitch's legacy has been built on a team that someone already layed the ground work for? Certainly paints a new light.
Not at all, I just don't think a coach of his caliber should get a free pass. Nobody's saying his legacy as the jackets coach is null and void, but he needs his share of accountability from the fanbase.

He's almost been here for two years, don't forget.

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04-22-2008, 09:30 PM
  #96
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Originally Posted by BluejacketNut View Post
So Hitch's legacy has been built on a team that someone already layed the ground work for? Certainly paints a new light.
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Originally Posted by CBJSlash View Post
I'll give you a ice pick, and a Supersoaker and tell you to go and win World War II, its just not going to happen.


Leave Hitch alone.
Last I checked, Hitch was the one at the deadline begging to keep this band together. And still claiming they should have been capable of 90 points just yesterday.

Should I leave Marc Crawford alone because the Kings are poorly constructed or is he subject to criticism solely because he isn't involved with this organization?

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04-22-2008, 09:34 PM
  #97
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Last I checked, Hitch was the one at the deadline begging to keep this band together. And still claiming they should have been capable of 90 points just yesterday.
Great point Cap'n. It was blind confidence in his abilities and system as a coach that probably lead to those comments. But I think he got knocked back down to earth a bit when he began to over-promise post-ASB.

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04-22-2008, 09:37 PM
  #98
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Should I leave Marc Crawford alone because the Kings are poorly constructed or is he subject to criticism solely because he isn't involved with this organization?
Since you bring it up though, the Kings are the perfect example of what the CBJ should NOT do this summer. No more MacLeanian Band-Aids. There's a careful balance that must be achieved here between free agents/trades and developing our own.

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04-22-2008, 09:47 PM
  #99
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Then Hitch needs to can the crap about ice pick (Boll) and Supersoaker (Fritsche) being the mechanism by which our shot at the playoffs was obliterated. If he believes we lost WWII due to a lack of legitimate NHL weaponry, then he should say so. If he really believes that Manny boarded the magic bus with Ken Kesey and the rest of the Merry Pranksters- then he should by all means say so ... but he can't then be surprised at being called out for such silliness.
That isn't the way I saw it. When we lost the reckless abandon, willingness to hit anything that moved, and excess energy (Boll and Fritsche) during the same game, you could see the life get sucked out of the team. That is what Hitch probably meant (I wasn't there to hear the quote, but that is the way I took it).

Some guys provide stability in the room. Some guys provide leadership. Some wear their emotions on their sleeve (Fritsche is this kind according to some Puckraker's article from awhile ago). Some help the team loosen up (every team needs a goofball or two). It takes all kinds and you need a balance. It would just be nice if some of these types could hit the broad side of a barn with some sort of regularity.

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04-22-2008, 09:49 PM
  #100
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Since you bring it up though, the Kings are the perfect example of what the CBJ should NOT do this summer. No more MacLeanian Band-Aids.
I'll be honest, I don't think what the Kings did was so bad. They were bad. They are still bad. But none of those moves have permanently damaged them. They are still likely to start the off-season $25 million under the cap in a market where they can easily go to the cap and still make money. To be honest, can you imagine how much worse it might have been if they done nothing and played a bunch of AHL guys? Instead they could at least put butts in seats during the early part of the season when there was at least a curiosity factor and their young players stayed in the AHL where they weren't getting thrown to the wolves.

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