Thursday, October 13, 2005

Just to break up the day...

Inspired partly by the debate going on over at BOA (for what it's worth, I was always a fan of Craig Simpson as a colour guy, and maybe this is just the years of EA talking, but I have no troubles with Jim Hughson on play-by-play), and partly because we just finished playing two of the better-managed teams in the NHL (or, at least, teams that now have good management), I figured I'd toss it out there: who do you guys like as coaches/GMs in the NHL? I mean, in this new NHL and all, with its level playing field, management has become more important than ever, right? Like, that and not hooking? Right?

Anyway, I'd have to say I think Bob Gainey is one of the smarter GMs in the league (although I think Darcy Reghier deserves some credit for what he did with the Sharks, too). Gainey has more or less won wherever he's been, his draft record is pretty superb (I believe it's nine rookies/second-year players starting for the Habs, and he drafted any of the young talent the Stars have around these days, too), and I honestly can't think of one bad transaction he's made, either in terms of trades or signings (feel free to correct me on that if you have a glaring blemish). He built a solid Habs team on somewhat-limited resources, and he's got a good, young nucleus signed up for a lot of years.

On the coaching side, I've always been partial to Andy Murray (LA has been killed by injuries the last few seasons, which is the only reason he hasn't been winning, because he's one damn fine hockey guy), though I really don't think there is one stand-out, must-have, obvious choice as "the best coach in the league," really. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Discuss.


Pi said...

Dude. Darcy Rehgier is GM of the Sabres, not the Sharks(theirs is Doug Wilson). As for he best GM in hockey, why not the very very old looking John Muckler?

Matt said...

I think the right guy won the Jack Adams last year, and I nominate Tortorella as coach numero uno.

No one seems to be able to identify why (if) the Lightning have been particularly lucky the past two years, or why the Lightning are clearly the team with all the advantages. And yet they won they Cup.

And I'm waiting for clearer evidence, but I think Darryl Sutter may end up being the top GM - I actually think he's more suited to that role, at this point in his career, than as a coach. I honestly expect that if they Flames are still suffering a month from now, he'll fire himself as coach.

Pleasure Motors said...

Whoops—Pi is, of course, entirely right in every fashion. I meant, obviously, ex-Sharks GM Dean Lombardi, who really doesn't have a good link available anywhere online. Good catch.

Also, good call on Tortorella.

Jonathan W said...

Good GMs:
ANA- B. Burke
CGY- D. Sutter
COL- P. Lacroix
DET- J. Holland
EDM- K. Lowe
MIN- D. Riseborough
MTL- B. Gainey
NSH- D. Poile
NJ- L. Lamoriello
OTT- J. Muckler

Good Coaches:
ATL- B. Hartley
COL- J. Quenneville
DAL- D. Tippett
DET- M. Babcock
EDM- C. MacTavish
FLA- J. Martin
LA- A. Murray
MIN- J.Lemaire
MTL- C. Julien
NSH- B. Trotz
OTT- B. Murray
PHI- K. Hitchcock
SJ- R. Wilson
TB- J. Tortorella
VAN- M. Crawford

Colby Cosh said...

The finest GM in the game has to be Lamoriello--he's got a sterling draft record and his team just keeps on reloading.

Tortorella has made his case as a top coach, but let's see how the honeymoon goes. Crawford and Hitch are the ones I have the most respect for.

sacamano said...

I think Burke as a personality is a pretty strong choice. Matt pointed out somewhere that Vancouver never would have weathered the Bertuzzi incident as smoothly with anyone else at the helm. But as a hockey guy . . . I'm not sold on him. How many playoff series has he won as a GM? One?

I like Lamoriello, but I also think K-Lowe has done a pretty solid job setting up the team for the "new NHL." Whether this will translate to future success remains to be seen.

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm going with Hitchcock - just for the way he was able to turn Modano and Hull into even more dangerous players

Andy Grabia said...

Lamoriello and Lacroix are my picks.

mudcrutch79 said...

I just want to take this opportunity to point out in yet another public forum that Doug MacLean sucks.

Lamariello and Lacroix would be my picks as well.