Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Two-Year Window

GM Sutter has replaced Coach Sutter with Coach Playfair. As previously discussed, I approve.

Memo to the new coach: I have no idea how long your career will last, or where it will head, but it is extremely unlikely that you will ever have a two-year opportunity like you do now. You have a huge core -- talented mix of youth and middle-age -- with a Vezina Trophy winner to boot. I hope you're not inclined to treat this as a learning experience.


Eric Francis had a pretty good piece in the Sun there yesterday about that two-year window. I didn't get around to talking about it, but it'd make for interesting fodder here, probably.

I posted the above note. For some reason it called me AnonyMouse.

What kind of relationship did Playfair have with the players as an assistant coach?

Scotty Bowman said recently that the hardest thing for an assistant coach to do is to be promoted to head coach of the same team. As an assistant coach you usually have a better relationship with the players than the head coach. The assistant is the middle man between the players and the head coach. Most have a hard time adjusting to this.

Bowman cited Dave Lewis as an example when he took over after him with The Red Wings.

Lewis was the first person to come to mind for me as well, but Playfair has plenty of head coaching experience from the minors and should do much better with the transition than Lewis did...


I think the GM needs to be full time now days. There are a few teams that seem to be dancing with the cap limit. A coaching distraction may mean a missed GM opportunity.

If its true that the NHL really is trying to change to a faster, more skillful game, it makes sense that Sutter could see the writing on the wall for his coaching style. The reality for Playfair though is Darryl is still going to make the player aquisition/development decisions and wanted somebody close enough in world view and loyal enough in deed to be his coach. Ultimately I think Playfair will be a transitional coach (I guess they all are, really) between the hard line 'Sutter way' and a fully adapted 'modern' coach comfortable with the new NHL. I would agree with Matt that this is a team of 'not now but right now' and for the duration of iggy/kipper's prime years. There is no time and no space for learning on the job.

I am proud of Jimmy Playfair today!

Even though I am an Oilers fan, I am from the same hometown as Jimmy, Fort St. James, where the Fort Forum is always packed in the winter.

I remember the day Jimmy got drafted by the Oilers in 1982. His picture was on the front page of the Caledonia Courier, and Jimmy bought 50 copies for family and friends. He gave one to my grandma who was very good friends with Jim's mom.

The funny part is that Jimmy's younger brother, Dennis, took the remaining copies of the Courier, and drew moustaches on each one.

Dennis Playfair would have followed his brothers into the NHL, but he was killed less than three weeks after Jimmy got drafted. He was killed in an accident after getting in with a drunk driver.

There's no doubt in my mind that Dennis would have made pro. He was bigger than both his brothers, and he had an offensive upside, unlike hi brothers. I remember watching him play midget hockey at 13 years of age and dominate.

Jim will do well. He's been successful at every level he's coached at. Good Job Jimmy. Can you send me an autographed picture? I'll put it alongside my Portland Winterhawks autographed team photo.

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