It would probably take a miracle to revive coach Joe Sacco’s depleted Colorado Avalanche. (Jack Dempsey/AP)
By Allan Muir
Less than two weeks into this exceptional season and already the wolves are circling.
In Pittsburgh, Dan Bylsma is being pilloried for his in-game management. In Colorado, Joe Sacco’s toughness is questioned. In Dallas, fans are grumbling about Glen Gulutzan’s lack of bench presence. In Florida…in Carolina…
Anywhere teams are losing, panic buttons are being mashed by fans who are only too aware of the playoff implications of a slow start. Car pools are being organized to help ex-coaching staffs get to the airport. Wish lists of possible bench bosses are being drawn up on cocktail napkins.
Change needs to happen, and it needs to happen now, before it’s too late. Right? Right?
If it was up to the fans, half a dozen bench bosses would be looking over their severance packages right now.
But general managers, the men who actually have to make these decisions, tend to be a little more judicious, a little more big-picture oriented. They want results, but they grasp that these are unique circumstances. Which makes me wonder: Could this actually be the safest year in NHL history to be a coach? A season in which not one single coach gets fired?