In the 1970s, Billy Martin, then manager of the New York Yankees was fired about five times by owner George Steinbrenner. It was said that nobody could work under Steinbrenner.
Fast forward to Monday, and another Steinbrenner-owned team, the New Jersey Devils, fired their head coach with three games remaining. Now, you may be thinking they were having a bad season, and they wanted a change before the end of the season, but then you realize that they are in first place in their division and in second place in the conference.
Lou Lamoriello is no stranger to these kinds of moves. He has done it in the past with Robbie Ftorek, and he did it with Claude Julien.
Personally, I don’t see why he wanted to make the move, and it had to be something behind the scenes. You don’t fire a coach when you’re in second place this late in the regular season.
This begs another question. Who would want to be coach of the New Jersey Devils anymore? If Lamoriello is treating them like garbage (and I think letting them go to spark your team is doing just that), then you won’t have big name head coaches wanting to come to your team. If Lamoriello wanted to coach this team in the playoffs, why did he bother hiring a coach like Julien? Why not promote an assistant coach?
This reaks of selfishness, and while I’m sure that wasn’t Lamoriello’s reason, he needs to stand back and think about how he has treated coaches and what this might mean for the future of the team.
Lou thinks his team has a better chance of winning the Stanley Cup with him as coach as opposed to Julien. After all, he did lead his team on an unbelievable winning streak at the end of last season as head coach. But you have to feel for Julien who has had himself fired for reasons out of his control.
Rewind to January 2006. The Canadiens were free-falling, in part due to their sub-par goaltender Jose Theodore, which Julien tried to change by putting Cristobal Huet in goal instead. Bob Gainey stepped in and fired Julien and replaced him with himself and Guy Carbonneau.
A shake-up may have been in order in both places, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Julien snapped up by another team by the beginning of next season.
Of course, I could be wrong on this whole scenario. Julien may just be a guy who can’t manage a locker room, and be blackballed like Ted Nolan was. But look at the results of the Islanders this season with Rick DiPietro in the net. They are a playoff team. So whether Julien and Nolan are question marks in the locker room, there is no denying the fact that they can both coach.
Wrestling team spectacular
One of the problems of being a Sports Editor around this time of year is that there isn’t much going on on campus.
However, two members of Concordia’s wrestling team (David Zilberman, gold; Tyler Marghetis, bronze) and one former member (Martine DuGrenier, gold) won medals at the Canadian senior championships.
As someone who has trained as a wrestler with DuGrenier, Zilberman and his father Victor more than five years ago, I can say that they train hard, work harder and are as much a part of the prestige of this university as any other team.
Last year, David Zilberman won Concordia’s male athlete of the year.
This year, rookie Hana Askren should win the female athlete of the year award.
The wrestling team may not grace the pages of this newspaper very often, but they definitely have my respect and admiration.