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How did this guy get away?

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Old
04-28-2004, 03:41 PM
  #1
Matts
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How did this guy get away?

The Oilers are so fixated on hiring and acquiring Albertans and this guy just slipped through after his last firing. The Oilers could've hired him in the summer of '02 and all they would've had to do was eat the then last year of MacT's pact.

And if 20 teams would be interested in hiring MacT then it makes you wonder how many teams were after Hitch



GO AWAY, people. There's nothing to see here.

No soap opera between the

superstar and general manager. No player revolt against the coach. No coach calling his

players chokers. No ailing coach replaced by a healthy coach.

No hidden injuries. No suspense over the return of a concussed superstar. No erratic goalie in danger of being high-sticked to death by his own team. No short-side goals or annoying opening and reopening of that five-hole every time Claude Lemieux seemed to shoot.

It's Pleasantville here in Flyers land. Practices run efficiently and on time. Veteran players can be seen in plain view advising younger players, their words overheard without any effort.

All players, except for the young goalie with focus issues, are readily available to the media, as is the glib coach.

It's Pleasantville here in Flyers land. Team Turmoil has become Team Tranquil. Injuries are disclosed...accurately! What a concept. The boisterous star, Jeremy Roenick, the one who hedged on returning to the team this season, dips in and out of the locker-room hallway hardly noticed.

Another star, Mark Recchi,

rumored to be seeking a trade early in this season when it seemed his role would change, would be the team's MVP if captain Keith Primeau had not accepted a role change even more pronounced than Recchi's, and become even more valuable in the process.

The defense that has carried this team to six playoff victories in seven games in no way resembles the defense with which this team began the season. The big names on this team play like role players. The role players, like Donald Brashear, are not unfamiliar with being singled out as that night's star.

Where did this come from? Who calmed the waters, sold this hockey utopia? Certainly

not Bob Clarke, although Ken Hitchcock was quick to point

out yesterday that it was Clarkie's idea to tell everyone the true nature of Kim Johnsson's hand injury rather than relocating it to his, say, foot, as is hockey custom.

But Pleasantville stems from Hitchcock, whose repeated use of "buy in" could not be more

appropriate of a man who began his professional career not as a coach, but as a salesman.

"Would you buy a used car from this man?" I asked Brashear, whose value as a player

has increased exponentially on Hitch's watch.

"If he told me it was a good car and that it was in good shape, to tell you the truth I would buy it," Brashear said. "And I'm pretty sure it would run fine, too."

Of course it would. Everything works fine here in Pleasantville, even when things break. No Eric Desjardins? No problem. Johnsson has a broken hand? Let's pull a guy off the front lines to play defense.

What is the term most used with this team? "Buy in," Recchi said yesterday. Ken Hitchcock

is John Candy with shower rings in his hand, selling them as

earrings to teenage girls, a la "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." I told him this yesterday, and this is what he said of his salesman days, with a big, satisfied smile.

"How would you like to put white numbers on a white sweater and have the guy think I was doing a great job?" Hitchcock asked.

Ken Hitchcock can get away with the occasional miscalculation - like trying to make

Recchi a mucker-grinder, like white letters on white jerseys - for one reason that his predecessors could not:

He has won a Stanley Cup as a coach, been to the finals another time.

"I know one thing," he said. "I could only sell commodity. I could never sell insurance. I could never sell things in the air. And if I lost the sale - and I lost sales - I was a really unhappy guy.

"You can talk to the people I work with. If I lost a sale to a competitor, I was really, really mad."

Hitchcock has been really,

really mad upon occasion this season. Occasionally, it has gotten him in trouble, and occasionally, there have been regrets comparable to the time he put the white letters on the white jersey. There is no question he has an edgy relationship with some of his customers, especially the more experienced buyers.

There also is no question they have not only bought what he was selling, but have resold the product to the other players.

"I don't sell to the group," the coach said. "I sell to five or six."

Hitch calls it the core group. The core group polices the dressing room. The core group sets the tranquil tone. Fearing the

distractions of the Eric Lindros era, the core group told Roenick to keep a lower profile after his return from a concussion. Fearing something similar, the loquacious Primeau became a ghost as he tried to clear his head and return to the lineup.

Now he is back, front and center, breaking down games, looking more professorial than checking center with his glasses on. Primeau even interceded to

get Robert Esche to come out

of hiding and talk to the media

after his first-game mastery of the Devils in the last round.

To do otherwise, he might have argued, would have given us something, beyond great hockey, to see.

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Old
04-28-2004, 04:21 PM
  #2
Mr Sakich
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matts, to be fair you should have pointed oout that Hitch could have selected any head coaching job he wanted. He is also a friend of MacT and would never want him to be fired so hitch could take his job.

The oiler org is very loyal and would never have fired a guy who is doing a pretty good job.

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Old
04-28-2004, 04:27 PM
  #3
copperandblue
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Seriously? You would really want Hitchcock coaching in Edmonton?

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Old
04-28-2004, 04:31 PM
  #4
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He hates Edmonton. I hate him. I don't care much for his coaching style too.

Besides he's better off coaching a veteran team, not a young team like the Oilers.

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Old
04-28-2004, 04:41 PM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemskyfan
He hates Edmonton. I hate him. I don't care much for his coaching style too.

Besides he's better off coaching a veteran team, not a young team like the Oilers.
ahem brother

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Old
04-28-2004, 07:36 PM
  #6
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Hitchcock hates Edmonton? where was that said ? If its true I didn't know that, especially since he's an Edmontonian himself

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Old
04-28-2004, 07:40 PM
  #7
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Actually he's from Sherwood Park but there are some old articles from Edm newspapers I've read here....you have to scroll down for awhile and you will find one about how much Hitchcock hates Edmonton - especially after the 1997 upset.

I can't direct link it, so click on Present: West on the top left, click Rexall and click Articles which is near the top right.

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Old
04-28-2004, 07:51 PM
  #8
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He coached Dallas for 7 years...here is the list of young players who broke in under his watch:
Jere Lehtinen
Jamie Langenbrunner
Brenden Morrow

He'd be an awful fit for Edmonton.

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Old
04-28-2004, 08:47 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemskyfan
Actually he's from Sherwood Park but there are some old articles from Edm newspapers I've read here....you have to scroll down for awhile and you will find one about how much Hitchcock hates Edmonton - especially after the 1997 upset.

I can't direct link it, so click on Present: West on the top left, click Rexall and click Articles which is near the top right.
Here's the article link: Click Here
'He's described our city in the past year to his new friends in Dallas as a hockey heaven and tells them of how visiting players "race for the newspapers - it's like the centre of the hockey universe.'''

Hitch doesn't hate Edmonton-he was just putting on the playoff game face.

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Old
04-28-2004, 09:52 PM
  #10
Matts
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Yeah I never read that before

this is a guy who used to sharpen Mess's skates. You don't think he'd do anything for a chance to coach in his hometown? And yeah he hasn't broken in many young guys but how have the Stars drafted?

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Old
04-29-2004, 01:55 AM
  #11
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Philosophical differences.

Hitch is about safe, boring, defensive hockey that drains the life out of the game.

KLowe would neve allow it here.

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Old
04-29-2004, 09:42 AM
  #12
Matts
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Yeah that bloody Hitchcock

what with all his winning and how he gets the talented players to buy into a season. Damn him and his success. Much better to hang into a guy with two or three years expereience as an assistant. Then again that guy played pro hockey and won a Cup so that makes Hitch inferior to such a man.

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Old
04-29-2004, 01:29 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
what with all his winning and how he gets the talented players to buy into a season. Damn him and his success. Much better to hang into a guy with two or three years expereience as an assistant. Then again that guy played pro hockey and won a Cup so that makes Hitch inferior to such a man.
You tell 'em, Matts!

TRAP!

TRAP!

TRAP!


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Old
04-29-2004, 03:39 PM
  #14
Matts
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I prefer

to look at it as:

WIN
WIN
WIN

Or at least consider the possibility that for a few years at least Hitch could squeeze the most out of our guys. Personally I feel he's just like Mr. PotatoHead Sutter, Burns, Keenan and all those guys who are such hardasses that players look and long for the first excuse to turn on them. It doesn't happen when you're winning because the fans become accoustomed to winning and they'll point the finger at the players for once. But as soon as you hit a little lull, then guys are hoping another coach comes in who doesn't want them to work so hard.

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Old
04-29-2004, 06:58 PM
  #15
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And Hitch has had such poor teams too.

Jesus, look at the frigging talent on the teams he coached, and he even missed the playoffs with a star studded lineup.

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Old
04-29-2004, 07:22 PM
  #16
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Maybe I'm in the minority but,
If I'm paying thousands of dollars for season tickets to watch my favourite team I'd rather they play Oiler hockey and lose than sitting through a 3 hour game of trap and winning 1-0.Even though I am not a fan of MacT's style as it is borderline trap and getting worse each year it's not like watching Calgary,NJ,Minny or the other teams that have given up on exciting hockey.Some of those teams couldn't even sell out their rinks last year in the playoffs.
The Oil under MacT aren't playing the brand of hockey that Lowe wants to see but if Lowe gets a true top line center as well as a #2 centerman and picks up that one dman we need(Tverdovsky) would make the difference.
My vote would be against Hitch ever coaching an exciting team.

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Old
04-29-2004, 09:22 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
And Hitch has had such poor teams too.

Jesus, look at the frigging talent on the teams he coached, and he even missed the playoffs with a star studded lineup.
Not that I say that Hitch should have been the Oilers coach (I kind of agree with Copperaddict), but,

Have you ever thought that the reason those teams are so talented is because they have a good coach? Where would Mike Modano be without Hitchcock? Another one-way forward? Lehtinen? Probobly would still be a 3rd liner.

I think Hitchcock is very good at teaching, and actually I like him with young players (he iced a veteran lineup because he had one, but I think if he was faced with a younger team, he would be successful there too). Look at the job he's done with Joni Pitkanen this year? He's playing big minutes and getting all sorts of experience. Bad with youngsters? I really disagree.

In hindsight, Bob Hartley as Oilers coach would have looked real nice though.

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Old
04-29-2004, 09:45 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
In hindsight, Bob Hartley as Oilers coach would have looked real nice though.
I second that.

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Old
04-30-2004, 04:47 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizral
Not that I say that Hitch should have been the Oilers coach (I kind of agree with Copperaddict), but,

Have you ever thought that the reason those teams are so talented is because they have a good coach? Where would Mike Modano be without Hitchcock? Another one-way forward? Lehtinen? Probobly would still be a 3rd liner.

I think Hitchcock is very good at teaching, and actually I like him with young players (he iced a veteran lineup because he had one, but I think if he was faced with a younger team, he would be successful there too). Look at the job he's done with Joni Pitkanen this year? He's playing big minutes and getting all sorts of experience. Bad with youngsters? I really disagree.

In hindsight, Bob Hartley as Oilers coach would have looked real nice though.

I tend to think Hitch would be a great fit for the oil. They need an A$$ kicking coach to get them ready for every game. The biggest problem this team has is inconsistancy and if chaging the coach would change this then so be it. I was really hoping the oil would pick him up when he became available, but we were in mid MacT-love in at that time. I find it humorous that oil fans don't want to play the trap, when it is proven to be the best way to win a cup in this era of hockey. ut of the last 5 years theonly non trapping team to win was Col. If the oil can get into the playoffs and even do some damage by playing the trap, i am all for it.

As a side note though I really think the Trap will die if they don't allow goalies to handle the puck and shrink the goalie pads. If this comes about you may see the end of the trap era. The whole basis of the trap is to push opposing forwards to the outside and give them marginal shots from those area's. With the pads the goailes have and the ability to stop the puck behind the net teams had no chance to score from there and shooting the puck in was a give away plain and simple. Under the proposed system a shot from the outside will ahve a chance of actually scoring from there and you can shoot the puck in and make the d-men turn and chase it now instead of interfering with the forchecker. If all goes acording to plan we may see a new era of hockey with no trapping.

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Old
04-30-2004, 05:48 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chayos1
I tend to think Hitch would be a great fit for the oil. They need an A$$ kicking coach to get them ready for every game. The biggest problem this team has is inconsistancy and if chaging the coach would change this then so be it. I was really hoping the oil would pick him up when he became available, but we were in mid MacT-love in at that time. I find it humorous that oil fans don't want to play the trap, when it is proven to be the best way to win a cup in this era of hockey. ut of the last 5 years theonly non trapping team to win was Col. If the oil can get into the playoffs and even do some damage by playing the trap, i am all for it.

As a side note though I really think the Trap will die if they don't allow goalies to handle the puck and shrink the goalie pads. If this comes about you may see the end of the trap era. The whole basis of the trap is to push opposing forwards to the outside and give them marginal shots from those area's. With the pads the goailes have and the ability to stop the puck behind the net teams had no chance to score from there and shooting the puck in was a give away plain and simple. Under the proposed system a shot from the outside will ahve a chance of actually scoring from there and you can shoot the puck in and make the d-men turn and chase it now instead of interfering with the forchecker. If all goes acording to plan we may see a new era of hockey with no trapping.
Just a question Chayos...

how much money do you shell out every year to watch NHL hockey, the Oilers in particular?

How much time do you spend watching the games?

Personally, it costs me roughly $80 per month for my satelite and centre ice package. It also cost me an additional $1400 for tickets, gas, accomodations, food, etc to attend games in Toronto, Detroit and Philadelphia.

Now, for me personally, I would not have shelled out over $2000 to watch the Oilers play a trap. The entertainment value far out weighs the fact that my team won or lost. Now, if all you do is watch the occasional game and watch the standings, that's fine... but I don't understand how anyone can shell out all kinds of money with the team winning being the only reason.

I am a hockey fan first, and an Oilers fan second. I will put up with losing provided I am entertained. I won't pay attention to winning if it is done through boring clutch and grab and interference.

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Old
05-01-2004, 11:33 PM
  #21
Matts
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Now define Oilers hockey?

because if you mean the origin of OIlers hockey being the system Slats saw in Finland and brought back to a bunch of kids who were talented enough to play it, then I'd say right now TB plays that style and Det has in the past and so has Col and Van under Crawford

But I'd really like to see Oilers hockey defined. to me it's just more propoganda spewed by Lowe and Co and in this day and age you'd damn well better have an awesome goalie if you're gonna take the chances that a team like the Ligthning does.

and does it make sense to hold on to an indenity when adapting with the times could prove more successful on the ice?

Right now Oilers hockey means sending in two forecheckers, taking goaltender interference and high sticking penalties, being great at ES but terrible on special teams and not being able to understand the importance of netminding

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Old
05-02-2004, 12:00 AM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts
because if you mean the origin of OIlers hockey being the system Slats saw in Finland and brought back to a bunch of kids who were talented enough to play it, then I'd say right now TB plays that style and Det has in the past and so has Col and Van under Crawford

But I'd really like to see Oilers hockey defined. to me it's just more propoganda spewed by Lowe and Co and in this day and age you'd damn well better have an awesome goalie if you're gonna take the chances that a team like the Ligthning does.

and does it make sense to hold on to an indenity when adapting with the times could prove more successful on the ice?

Right now Oilers hockey means sending in two forecheckers, taking goaltender interference and high sticking penalties, being great at ES but terrible on special teams and not being able to understand the importance of netminding
Matts, no team has played that style of hockey since the Oilers did it. TB doesn't do it, Detroit didn't do it, and Vancouver sure as hell doesn't do it.

No, the Oilers don't do it like they used to, simply because that style of hockey would get slaughtered now. The Oilers of the 80's were the only team that could play that style of hockey because of the players they had compared to the players on the other team. Put that team in now, and they would struggle because those guys wouldn't be as dominant.

I don't give a crap if the Oilers win 15 Stanley Cups in a row playing the trap. Entertainment is priority one, at least from my perspective.

Oilers hockey has always been first and foremost about speed. Not just skating speed, but the ability to create offense through speed. Passing, creating turnovers, cycling, etc... Yes, the style of play has changed slightly so it isn't the firewagon hockey of the 80's, but there is certainly a difference between a Minnesota Columbus game and an Edmonton Vancouver game.

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Old
05-02-2004, 12:34 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgbone
there is certainly a difference between a Minnesota Columbus game and an Edmonton Vancouver game.
Erm, are you implying Columbus plays the trap?

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Old
05-02-2004, 09:56 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit
Erm, are you implying Columbus plays the trap?
I meant in terms of the speed and flow of the game.

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