Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Coaching Quandary

I am not saying that Ted Leonsis is making calls to replace anybody at this point. But if Capitals fans seem dead set on cutting Glen Hanlon loose, then we might as well look at our options.

The likeliest outcome would be the dismissal of Hanlon. GM George McPhee most likely will stay. General managers normally are not replaced mid season. Mostly because the GM would cut the coach before his hot seat gets too hot. If McPhee stays with Hanlon, they both go. So it's likely that McPhee would rather find a new coach rather than a new job. Much like the situation in Atlanta, Don Waddell had to cut Bob Hartley or lose his job as well.

So if Hanlon is out, who do you want in? Bob Hartley? Pat Quinn? Another?

Bob Hartley would be a bad choice. He is a harsh coach more apt to push veterans rather than a young squad that is short of confidence right now. Pat Quinn would be a better choice. His knowledge of international hockey would be helpful with both Russian and Swedish stars on this team. Those are the two I know of that I could talk about, but I am sure there is more.

But again, I think a lot more bad has to happen before we go down this road. There is still time to turn this around. The Capitals are playing with more urgency, which is good, but the results are less than spectacular. And when this offense gets hot, talk of coach replacement will be the last thing on Caps fans' minds.

I think part of the reason for the recent decline is that teams are more prepared for the Capitals. The Caps aren't the rebuilding youth of years past. They are getting NHL's best full attention. Maybe a couple of those games last year the other teams didn't take the Caps too seriously. This year they are.

I doubt Uncle Ted will be making any drastic changes soon. But I have been wrong before.

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