Let's play "Build a Bench," pick the Pens' next coaching staff
Head coach candidates:
Peter Laviolette - My opinion on Laviolette is a neutral one. I think he's neither a terrible nor a great coach, just a decent one that might be the right fit for the Penguins. Has plenty of NHL-head coaching experience and a Cup ring. Seems to work well with a mobile defense, and being a former college D-man himself could bode well for our blueline.
John Paddock - I've heard his name for years as a possible head-coach candidate for the Pens. Lots of experience as head coach and assistant. Has won two Calder cups behind the bench in the A. Was canned late last season after some lackluster play by the Senators, but obviously there were more problems in Ottawa than just coaching.
John Torterella - On paper at least he's a match made in heaven. Knows how to get the most of young, skilled forwards. Preaches an up-tempo, never-say-die mentality. Has plenty of experience as an NHL assistant, head coach and boasts 1 Cup ring. Has a big ego, though, and often clashes with his players, publically. Whines a lot, too.
Marc Crawford - 13 years of NHL coaching experience. 1 Cup. A player's coach that is good with young players and veterans equally and also utilizes an attack-style of hockey. On the downside, the Steve Moore incident still looms. Will also probably bring Dan Cloutier with him.
Todd Richards - Shero's "guy" from the Nashville org. and the one-time heir apparent to Therrien's job. Currently getting experience behind an NHL bench in San Jose, is actually working with their forwards and PP (I thought otherwise).. Familiar with our players already. Is very short on experience, and obviously couldn't be hired until the summer.
Dave King - I hear this name brought up a lot. Brings about as much experience as you could ask, be it NHL, international, and European. Coached Geno in Magnitogorsk. Hasn't coached in the NHL in a while and hasn't coached in the NHL playoffs in over a decade. And he's old.
Brent Peterson - Another name I hear a lot. Long-time NHL assistant, former stand-out WHL coach. Shero knows him from Nashville. I've always felt he didn't have the temperament for a head-coaching job though, and that's why he's never been offered one. Also currently employed so we'd hafta wait.
1st Assistant (forwards, PP)
Kevin Dineen - Longtime NHL forward currently coaching in the AHL. Won the AHL's version of the Jack Adams a couple years back.
Denis Savard - Star NHLer and long-time assistant, had a brief head-coaching gig. I think he'd know exactly how to handle Crosby & Malkin.
Andre Savard - I like him in this position because he's familiar with the current players and can be a liaison with management. Former NHL forward and he should be working with what he knows, not the blueliners.
Don Granato - Longtime minor league head coach and brief NHL-assistant. Won Calder Cup with the Chicago Wolves last season, beating the baby Pens in the finals.
2nd Assistant (defense, PK)
Dave Lewis - Longtime NHL d-man & Red Wings assistant. Kinda blew as a head coach. Brings a boatload of experience and knowledge.
Kjell Samuelsson - Current and long-time assistant of the Philadelphia Phantoms, plenty of NHL experience as a player. Big, lumbering dude might not be the best fit for our d-men but he's gotten high marks from the Philly organization.
Marc Bergevin - Was rumored for the baby Pens assistant job. No coaching experience that I'm aware of, but had a long playing career.
Though in most cases whoever is hired as the head coach will usually bring in their "guys" to work with as assistants rather than the GM, for my money I like Torts with Dineen and Lewis assisting him.
Who do you pick? Or any candidates that should be added to the list?
I'm going to go with Torts as the head coach actually. He may have some sass to him but with some of the other egos on the team, maybe we need a guy that isn't afraid to take shots at them sometimes.
Asst 1: Dennis Savard- even the stars need some more direction.
Asst 2: Bergevin would be the perfect player's coach and keep the room loose by setting himself on fire, if that's what it would take to keep the mood light. The team looks like a bunch of robots this year and they are nowhere near as fun to watch as they were last year.
I wish we could devise a way to resurrect Herbie Brooks he wouldnt stand for this anus excuss of play think of the great quotes he'd use:
"Your playing worse and worse and right now your playing like it's next month", "You look like a monkey trying to hump a football","you gotta million dollar pair of legs and a ten cent heart".
Two hard nosed guys for the head coach and first assistant positions. Torts as head coach and a man, who as a Pens fan I hated for the better part of a decade, Dale Hunter, as the assistant coach. You want a coaching staff that will light a fire under a teams ass, these two are a great start.
Hunter has had success at the OHL level as the co-owner/president/coach of the London knights and Torts as mentioned created a fast paced aggressive system that would work great in with our mobile defense and quick forwards.
Add a guy who can help balance out the two hardasses like the mentioned bergevin and I think that bench could do great things.
It's really gotten to the point that I'd rather see anyone coach this team besides Therrien. For almost any reason. Hell, they couldn't do much worse. I have always thought that Brent Petersen would be the next Pens coach, but at this point I'd settle for Torterella. At least his press conferences are entertaining.
The one thing I like about Torts is that he shows emotion and doesn't sit on the bench emotionless the entire time. He will snap out and he will stick up for his players, he is a brimstone and fire type of guy and he speaks his mind. I like that about him, he doesn't let up with that style either like Therrien has.
Crawford - Most people don't know the dog house part of him, he puts players in the dog house and if we want to see guys like Caputi and others make the team and do well, we don't want Marc around this team at all. He'll play our worst defenseman in big minutes because he likes the guy. I still remember his love affair with Sopel in key situations and man was that brutal to watch.
King - I don't think he wants to come back, he has been rumored to be asked by various teams in the past but he likes the pace in europe and he seems hell bent on staying there. He doesn't coach that often, he gets paid very well and he has a lot of free time because of the amount of games they play. For a guy his age, he's basically semi-retired and coaching.
I would rather pick the assistants at this point, Denis Savard is definitely someone I would want around Crosby and Malkin and for the 2nd assistant if we can get Kjell back in the Pens organization, awesome, if not Dave Lewis is my pick. Purely because of the experience he has. International, NHL and some as a head coach and a lot as an assistant. He has been in a winning situation with the Wings so he knows what it takes to get there. He wasn't a great coach but he is a damn good assistant when he has only 1 task to worry about.
Coach: I wouldn't mind Torts as the interim coach for this season, but in the off season I would like to see Richards take the job he was being groomed for. 1st Assistant: D. Savard 2nd Assistant: D. Lewis