Two teams in the South East Division made coaching changes today - the fourth change already in this young NHL season: Are teams more prone to making drastic moves in today's NHL with the level of parity and the great equalize, the loser point? I'm really not sure that I would gas Bruce Boudreau just to replace him with a junior coach. Some guys are better suited to developing young talent: Brian Kilrea, Perry Pearn, the Sutters, etc... and while I'm not writing Dale Hunter off but this isn't a team trying to make the playoffs, it's a team trying to become the champion they should already be. Hunter is an alumni and his personality might lend itself ot managing the massive compilation of egos in the Caps room. I wish him the best.
Paul Maurice also lost his job with Carolina...again. When you ice a team as weak as the Caps can you really place blame on the coaching staff? Is it his fault Eric Staal has been innexplicably damaged after jeopardizing the career of his own baby brother? Carolina has a solid goalie, and should have two superstar calibre players, but one is in a cloud, the other is finally hitting the sophomore slump and the supporting cast just isn't that good. Maybe the Sutter boys, Drayson Bowman and Zach Dalpe will develop over time, but it seems unfair Maurice wasn't given the same opportunity. It's not like Paul Maurice is responsible for signing Tomas Kaberle.
The next coach to go has got to be Randy Carlye in Anaheim. Hockey pundits are mystified as to the Ducks' inneptitude this season, clammering about the great collection of talent they have and how it should be performing better. True, the Ducks have some high-end power on their team in all departments, just not enough decent players. Visnovksy and Fowler can run a power play, and Sbisa is looking like a solid shut-down D-man, but Beauchemin is horribly overrated and cost them a great prospect and one of the league's leading scorers. If you're even considering dressing Sheldon Brookbank you've got a problem. Up front they have a great line plus one well aged Finn (not Koivu), and that's about it. Andrew Colgiano is the sixth highest scorer on the team...that about sums it up.
What gets me about the Anaheim situation is the Bobby Ryan for Jeff Carter and a prospect rumors...are you serious? Carter and a prospect for Bobby Ryan??? If Columbus gave up Couturier and Voracek for Carter and then gave away another prospect and Carter for Bobby Ryan it'd be a worse move than Gardiner and Lupul for Beauchemin. Neither of these two teams should give up on their current players. That would be an amazing trade for Anaheim to add another premiere centre, which they need, but the Ryan, Getzlaf, Perry chemistry is too good to write-off.
Lastly I just wanted to comment on my level of amazement with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Calder is his. Yes, I know Craig Smith and Matt Read and a number of other previously unheralded players are making their cases, but barring injury he's got it wrapped up and may just play his way in to serious competition for other hardware.