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Old
01-25-2011, 07:35 PM
  #1
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Bob Hartley

Hey Thrash fans.

Over on the Devils board there has been some discussion over who our new coach should/could be, assuming Lemaire is in fact just a stop gap to end the season with some dignity. Hartley's name has come up a number of times and so I'm wondering what you all have to say about him, his system, how he was with youth and vets etc.

Thanks. And continued success to your team.

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01-25-2011, 07:52 PM
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atleternal
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You think Kovy is having a hard time adjusting now? Just wait till he hears Hartley's on his way in...

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01-25-2011, 07:55 PM
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Hire John MacLean. It would be a feel-good story for Jersey to bring in an old player.

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01-25-2011, 08:09 PM
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TasteofFlames
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Hartley was very, VERY hard on young guys and he heavily road his vets. Hartley is the kind of coach you bring in once your core has matured and needs to be whipped into shape.

Hartley very clearly lost the team about half-way through the 06-07 season. The team was headed for a major 2nd half nose dive, but the trades at the deadline bumped them into the playoffs. The Thrashers were swept, partly due to Hartley's handling of his goalies. Lehtonen wasn't amazing in Game 1, but wasn't awful (4 goals on 38 shots). Then, in game 2, Hedberg gets beat by a fluke goal and its back to Lehtonen in game 3. He got absolutely SHELLACKED in this game (7 goals on 35 shots). It was back to Hedberg for game 4.

The play-off sweep is how many posters will define the Hartley era, but to be completely fair, he coached the Thrashers best teams, and brought the team most of its modest success (2 40 win seasons, 1 being 97 points, only play-off appearance, best PP and PK units, etc.). I think Hartley is slightly under-rated as a coach, but I have to believe there is a reason that he hasn't been hired since ATL let him go. That said, Kovalchuk had his best season under Hartley and was a vocal supporter of his in the media, so that might be a good connection for the Devil to look at.

The Devils could certainly do worse than Bob Hartley behind the bench, but I find it hard to believe that they couldn't do better.

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01-25-2011, 09:31 PM
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Hartley is a good coach IMO, but no way they hire him with Kovy there

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Old
01-25-2011, 10:39 PM
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What were the issues with Kovy? Outside opinion is that they are best buds and Kovy would be back in top form.

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01-25-2011, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by your funeral View Post
What were the issues with Kovy? Outside opinion is that they are best buds and Kovy would be back in top form.
Hartley made Kovy skate, benched him when he wasn't putting in full effort and tried to make him a complete player. Needless to say he wasn't happy. Said something in the media along the lines of, 'Well, he's the coach right now and I have to do what he says, it is what it is.' He was fired when the team absolutely refused to play at the start of the next season.

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Old
01-26-2011, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DungeonK View Post
Hartley made Kovy skate, benched him when he wasn't putting in full effort and tried to make him a complete player. Needless to say he wasn't happy. Said something in the media along the lines of, 'Well, he's the coach right now and I have to do what he says, it is what it is.' He was fired when the team absolutely refused to play at the start of the next season.
Lemaire has put similar pressure on Kovy with mostly positive results.

What was his system like?

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Old
01-26-2011, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by your funeral View Post
What were the issues with Kovy? Outside opinion is that they are best buds and Kovy would be back in top form.
When Hartley was fired, there was only one guy on the team who felt bad that he was gone. That was Kovalchuk.

Just because Hartley raised expectations exponentially for the young star doesn't mean Kovalchuk resents him, or dislikes him. I'd say your "outside opinions" most closely resemble the true feelings.

That said, Hartley can be a bit of a ******, and his excuses for team losses during pressers come off a bit silly and lame. If there's any reason to dislike him as a coach, it would be that he doesn't appear to hold the players too accountable for their failures.

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Old
01-26-2011, 09:47 AM
  #10
Whaddagoal
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I think dj4aces description is correct here. From what I recall from years ago, Kovy was one of the few guys who came out and said he would actually miss Hartley - (wish I could find the relevant quote). Ever before Jacques Lemaire ever came into the picture, I remember Kovalchuk saying that Hartley was best coach he had [to date at the time], and there was a lot to learn from him. Hartley was the only other coach to really attempt to teach IK the defensive side of things.


From a burnside article after firing (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Asked Wednesday whether his relationship with Hartley had been strained, Kovalchuk denied that his relationship with the coach had ever been "strange" and credited Hartley with making him a better hockey player.
In my mind, there isn't really a strong reason for Kovy to have disliked Hartley (outside of some personal non-hockey reasons):

Kovy got the most minutes under Hartley in his career avgerage, he was given opportunities to get his goals late in the season when nothing was going on. In fact, Hartley gave him extra minutes to get that 41st goal in 2003-2004 when they were gunning to keep his bid alive for the Richard trophy (which he tied eventually got, although tied with Iginla/Nash). Kovy was given every opportunity to better himself under that coach. PK time, full PP time. Hartley for better or worse, heavily relied on Kovy as his star and would often state that he that fact, and would often praise his abilities in the post-games scrums.

Quote from a 2004 game in April.
Quote:
"We had two objectives," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "One was to win the game and No. 2 was to try to get Kovalchuk as many goals as we possibly could."
There were a few benchings under Hartley's regime, but if anything, Hartley was a disciplinarian-but-caring "father figure" interested in Kovy developing his all around game, and I think Kovy certainly understood/appreciated that - based on my memory and what I could find in the media. I even remember a Thrashers video from years ago where Kovy was praising how the coach is trying to improve his two-way game. Of course maybe it was all media talk, but it certainly seemed genuine.

Just do a Kovalchuk Hartley news search on google from 2004 - 2007 and you'll see tons of interesting quotes of old.

____

Anyway, I sort of wish the Thrashers didn't cut Hartley off after that 6 loss to start the season, I believe Holik as a leader was more of the problem than Hartley ever was. A good coach with the wrong veteran leadership at the time.


Last edited by Whaddagoal: 01-26-2011 at 09:53 AM.
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Old
01-26-2011, 10:48 AM
  #11
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The reason I wouldn't hire hartley if I'm NJD has less to do with Kovy than it does the fact that NJD are probably going to be starting a young goalie in the next few years. If you want to destroy his confidence and stunt player development, Hartley's your man.

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01-26-2011, 12:29 PM
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I am surprised to see his name. My son has been offered a spot with there organization for next year, and therefor surprised me to see his name here. Bob Hartley is the head of the hockey program at the Canadian International Hockey Academy for next year. If someone has something more concrete that he is going to New Jersey, please pass it on.

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Old
01-26-2011, 04:12 PM
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StevenintheATL
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As a fan, I was not happy to see Hartley be let go, but it's easier to fire the coach than it is to fire the players.....

Hartley could be a good coach for a number of teams that may have openings in the off-season. I have to say that if the Senators coaching job becomes available (It's been rumored to be most of this season.), Hartley may be the most likely to take that position as opposed to any opening in say New Jersey or on Long Island.

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01-26-2011, 04:16 PM
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he's a great coach for a veteran team, an awful one for a young team, and he screws with young players' heads like no one i've seen before

that said, kovalchuk was at his best when hartley was the coach, so if you want kovalchuk to be your team's leader, he wouldn't be a bad hire.

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Old
01-26-2011, 10:42 PM
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I, for one, was glad when Bobby got the axe. I personally thought he got far too much credit conisdering he coached our best rosters (by far).

The biggest issue I had with Bob was his refusal to play to our strengths. After the lockout we continued to play dump-and-chase hockey, which is not good when you're a team of shooters with no real power forwards.

I never felt like the Hartley teams were 'hard working' teams. Even this years team, while not that talented on paper, puts forth effort to win the little battles. I never saw that under Bobby H.

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Old
01-27-2011, 05:32 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott1994 View Post
I am surprised to see his name. My son has been offered a spot with there organization for next year, and therefor surprised me to see his name here. Bob Hartley is the head of the hockey program at the Canadian International Hockey Academy for next year. If someone has something more concrete that he is going to New Jersey, please pass it on.
Nothing "concrete" at all. It's just speculation. Jersey needs a permanent solution, and Hartley hasn't had work since he coached here in '07. His name gets tossed around every time there's a coaching spot open... including here in Atlanta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenintheATL View Post
As a fan, I was not happy to see Hartley be let go, but it's easier to fire the coach than it is to fire the players.....
It's not even that. Waddell fired Hartley to save his own bacon.

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Old
01-27-2011, 12:08 PM
  #17
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Originally Posted by atleternal View Post
You think Kovy is having a hard time adjusting now? Just wait till he hears Hartley's on his way in...
Oh dear God, I didn't even THINK about that when I first read the question. :rofl:

Kovy would explode.

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01-27-2011, 02:20 PM
  #18
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One thing I did not like about BH was that he leaned heavily on his guys and refused to play others. If you were a Hartley guy, you could make mistake after mistake and not miss a shift. If you weren't one of his guys and made a single mistake, you'd never see the ice again. I think Bob Hartey's unwillingness to play Bradon Coburn is what ultimately led to him being traded to Philly for Methuselah.

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01-27-2011, 04:24 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by your funeral View Post
Lemaire has put similar pressure on Kovy with mostly positive results.

What was his system like?
From great defensive system like Devils was playing suddenly to free-flowing defense and dump and chase -offense where central area is passed by one of two passes would be interesting change to see.

He is not right guy for NJ, he is old time coach who does not seem to listen but will use his voice instead.

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