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Old
04-11-2011, 10:16 AM
  #1
mnwildgophers
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Richards Fired

From Wild website:

Quote:
The second head coaching tenure in Minnesota Wild history has come to an end. Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has announced that Head Coach Todd Richards has been relieved of his duties effective immediately.
http://wild.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id...id=DL|MIN|home

I think most of us saw this coming.

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04-11-2011, 10:19 AM
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Circulartheory
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Question:

Head back into defensive style and willing to see if the players suffer another adapting year?

Or hiring a new offensive coach, just a more proven one?

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04-11-2011, 10:20 AM
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Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease keep Rick Wilson!

Good move IMO. Richards had two years to do something with this team and just treaded water. He wasn't given a load of crap either, he had a lot of quality players to work with. Sure, he didn't have Sidney Crosby, but he had some good guys.

It was obvious he's deficient in terms of line matchups, which is 99% of a head coaches job during a game. He might have had a good strategic mind, but we saw players taking steps backwards during his tenure. Koivu, Mr. Franchise, had leadership problems, which none of us saw coming. He couldn't jive with Havlat. He was married to Antti Miettinen in the top six. Burns was all over the place. Richards seemed tentative in his coaching, almost like he was afraid to do anything. One or two bag skates, plenty of days off after losses, no answers for any problems with the team, and he never seemed to reduce the ice time of players who were struggling.

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04-11-2011, 10:22 AM
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mnwildgophers
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Yeah he seemed to have a very tough time matching up lines. I wonder if Yeo is the favorite or if we want to go in another direction?

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04-11-2011, 10:22 AM
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IMO, they will go with Therrien, outside chance of Hitchcock. They will want a veteran coach who has experience with a defensive system. Players will NOT struggle if they are under a good hockey mind. Most of these guys have played a defensive style before. Therrien is already with the Wild as a scout and has a relationship with Fletcher and Houston coach Mike Yeo, while Hitchcock has won a Cup with Rick Wilson.

The reason I really think Therrien could get the job is that they will likely want to see how Mike Yeo does next year, and probably won't want to commit to a 3-year contract like Hitchcock would want.

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04-11-2011, 10:27 AM
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Yeah I agree. I think they will move towards a more experience coach. Richards seemed like the right hire at the time and stuff, but an experienced coach could be a good thing.

I wonder about Mike Yeo. He seemed to have done well with the Aeros, but I'd prefer to go with an experienced coach.

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04-11-2011, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
IMO, they will go with Therrien, outside chance of Hitchcock. They will want a veteran coach who has experience with a defensive system. Players will NOT struggle if they are under a good hockey mind. Most of these guys have played a defensive style before. Therrien is already with the Wild as a scout and has a relationship with Fletcher and Houston coach Mike Yeo, while Hitchcock has won a Cup with Rick Wilson.

The reason I really think Therrien could get the job is that they will likely want to see how Mike Yeo does next year, and probably won't want to commit to a 3-year contract like Hitchcock would want.
I personally love defensive style hockey.

My only concern is, that they used the past two seasons forcing these players to learn offensive style hockey.

They also drafted players like Bulmer and Zucker to fit that style.

I mean, I would love to see Yeo or Therrien become coach, just I'm worried players would take another step backwards in what was supposed to be a huge shift of playing style for the past few seasons.

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04-11-2011, 10:29 AM
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Yeah I agree. I think they will move towards a more experience coach. Richards seemed like the right hire at the time and stuff, but an experienced coach could be a good thing.

I wonder about Mike Yeo. He seemed to have done well with the Aeros, but I'd prefer to go with an experienced coach.

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04-11-2011, 10:31 AM
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Adios Richards!

Your time spent here was appreciated very little by me!

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04-11-2011, 10:34 AM
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Can we get rid of Barr too?

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04-11-2011, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by saywut View Post
Can we get rid of Barr too?
My guess he will get the hook as well. He seems to be the odd one out when the new coach arrives who probably wants to bring his own assistant.

Bob Mason is untouchable and Rick Wilson seem to be working. Darby's Darby

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Old
04-11-2011, 10:37 AM
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As long as they hire a coach who knows how to utilize the talent he has rather than the talent he wants them to be, it won't matter what kind of system he runs. A good coach knows how to adapt and attempts to maximize each player's potential -- while knowing their weaknesses. Can't have any of the "welp, we signed him with top-6 money, so he oughta play on the top-6" mindsets. Hopefully Chuck gets it right this time.

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04-11-2011, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generic User View Post
As long as they hire a coach who knows how to utilize the talent he has rather than the talent he wants them to be, it won't matter what kind of system he runs. A good coach knows how to adapt and attempts to maximize each player's potential -- while knowing their weaknesses. Can't have any of the "welp, we signed him with top-6 money, so he oughta play on the top-6" mindsets. Hopefully Chuck gets it right this time.
Well, that would work in an ideal world, but you need to have a system that the entire team can agree upon. A system that every player will agree playing so that they can play an efficient and effective game.

Of course, you try to be as flexible as possible, but you need a plan, a blueprint of how you want to play.

Just my opinion.

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04-11-2011, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generic User View Post
As long as they hire a coach who knows how to utilize the talent he has rather than the talent he wants them to be, it won't matter what kind of system he runs. A good coach knows how to adapt and attempts to maximize each player's potential -- while knowing their weaknesses. Can't have any of the "welp, we signed him with top-6 money, so he oughta play on the top-6" mindsets. Hopefully Chuck gets it right this time.
Agreed 100%. This, along with a struggle to control momentum (both of a game and of multi-game skids) was Richards' biggest struggle.

I still want to see Walzy get an assistant job, too. I think Tampa was totally wrong to drop him in their Stalinist purge and the results of his "project" (Stamkos) speak for themselves.

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04-11-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CircularTheory View Post
Well, that would work in an ideal world, but you need to have a system that the entire team can agree upon. A system that every player will agree playing so that they can play an efficient and effective game.

Of course, you try to be as flexible as possible, but you need a plan, a blueprint of how you want to play.

Just my opinion.
For sure. You can't make everyone happy, though. With 23 guys on the team you're probably gonna have to try to find a balance if you want everyone to agree. Not everyone would be happy/thrive in any given system. Like Gaborik under Lemaire. Or Havlat if we revert back to a defensive system. I could imagine the hesitation in Nick Schultz's face when he was told, "hey Nick, the trap is gone. Get ready to forecheck, pinch and cycle the puck a lot more." Obviously we don't have the tools for it right now, but I love how the Wings approach games.

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04-11-2011, 10:49 AM
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I'm still a baby in terms of hockey knowledge, and I'm wrong far more than I am right, but IMO a good offensive player will still be a good offensive player under a defensive coach. Gaborik put up huge numbers when healthy under Lemaire. Parise had great numbers under Lemaire. Kovalchuk turned his numbers around drastically under Lemaire. Bouchard put up great numbers under Lemaire. None of those players are defensive minded guys.

The only players IMO that would be less valuable are the puck rushing defensemen, like Burns and possible Zidlicky. A defensive coach will almost never activate his defensemen like that, so you're downplaying one of their greatest strengths. But offensive players will still score, energy guys will still hit, shutdown defensemen will still box out and block shots, and the goalies will look better too.

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04-11-2011, 10:49 AM
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We called this yesterday, read up on our other foil-hat theories on coaching firings here:

http://nhlhotstove.com/in-wake-of-co...ntial-firings/

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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04-11-2011, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generic User View Post
For sure. I didn't mean NO system would be fine. I just meant forechecking, trap, etc. With 23 guys on the team you're probably gonna have to try to find a happy medium. Obviously not everyone would be happy/thrive in any given system. Like Gaborik under Lemaire. Or Havlat if we revert back to a defensive system. I could imagine the hesitation in Nick Schultz's face when he was told, "hey Nick, the trap is gone. Get ready to forecheck, pinch and cycle the puck a lot more." Obviously we don't have the tools for it right now, but I love how the Wings approach games.
For sure, but I think alot of that will have to lean on Fletcher rather than the coach.

Fletcher will have to identify that medium and find a coach that has shown the ability to coach that certain system very well.

Hiring a good coach, but who's system is far off the team's medium would require to force-ably coach majority of the players to shift styles of play and to force Fletcher himself to change his approach on building the future Wild.

That is my biggest concern when hiring a defensive minded coach. We just spend the past two seasons preaching offense, as well as signing Nystrom, Brodziak and drafting Zucker and Bulmer. Do we want to start shifting styles again?

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04-11-2011, 10:59 AM
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Most of our guys have played defensive hockey before. They'll figure it out. And I'm really not worried about Nystrom, he sucked under the offensive coach anyway. Zucker and Bulmer aren't going to be failures if they have to play some defense.

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04-11-2011, 11:02 AM
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Most of our guys have played defensive hockey before. They'll figure it out. And I'm really not worried about Nystrom, he sucked under the offensive coach anyway. Zucker and Bulmer aren't going to be failures if they have to play some defense.
I guess.

But its just the idea of forcing them to do one thing and telling them "this is the right thing to do", then all of a sudden say "do the opposite", doesn't set right with me. It seems...challenging...and asking too much in too short of a time...

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04-11-2011, 11:05 AM
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What a shocking news.


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04-11-2011, 11:05 AM
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I really don't think it's too much to ask. They're professional hockey players. It's not like they've played under one coach their entire lives. And every coach teaches defense. Hell, with Rick Wilson, we played a different system for much of this year, when they were actually playing defense and not just scrambling and screening the goalie.

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04-11-2011, 11:09 AM
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I don't think we'll go back to a defensive style of hockey. I remember when Fletcher was brought in he said he wanted (to transition) this team into an uptempo brand of hockey. The Richards experiment didn't work out as hoped but it shouldn't force the team to go back to something they weren't seeking to do. Fletcher/Leopold will hire someone that coaches an offensive style of hockey.

Just my $.02

Just to add to this thought, if we change every time something doesn't work we're going back to the DR days. When Anaheim won the Cup we wanted to become a gritty team. The following year that didn't work out. You need to pick a style and stick with it.

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04-11-2011, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I really don't think it's too much to ask. They're professional hockey players. It's not like they've played under one coach their entire lives. And every coach teaches defense. Hell, with Rick Wilson, we played a different system for much of this year, when they were actually playing defense and not just scrambling and screening the goalie.
But I think the problem from me, comes that, along with the return of a defensive minded system also come fan expectations for playoffs, a sort of "return to the good ol'days", which isn't reasonable.

Either hope for playoffs and stick to the system that has been preached for the past two seasons with a more veteran and experienced offensive coach, or bring back defensive style with more lenient expectations.

JMO.

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04-11-2011, 11:12 AM
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Well, the writing was on the wall for quite some time. Todd seemed like a good enough guy, especially towards the members of the team. Maybe he was too much of a player's coach. In my opinion, though, he just wasn't ready for this type of jump to the NHL. You could see it on his face, he was just overwhelmed at times. Hopefully he can figure things out and land on his feet somewhere.

As far as who the team hires, I have mixed emotions about it. I'd like to have an experienced coach. However, I'm not terribly excited about having retread guys like Hitchcock and Therrien. And personally, if the organization hires a guy like those two it signifies to me they still don't totally get where this team is at and still believe this team can contend as it's currently constructed.

Leipold forcing the issue and trying to make this team a contender next season is my biggest concern. I'd like to see some type of plan in place and the organization stick to it.

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