about nine months ago i had the good fortune to spend a couple of hours shooting the proverbial shit with the coaching staff of the carolina hurricanes, which certainly stands out as one of the single best events of my entire life. tom rowe is an incredibly genuine, personable, and intelligent human being (and coached gio in lowell, so we had lots to chat about !), and paul maurice is pretty much the coolest guy i've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
i won't go into a lot of detail here (but the tales are immensely awesome and i'd be happy to share them in person), but let's just say this: when maurice quizzed me on the dion phaneuf trade, i wonder now if he wasn't already pondering how to poach ian white from calgary... the linked article, here, kindof fascinates me on a few different levels, but before i take that on, i would like very much to wish coach maurice the most enormous of congratulations on his 1,000th game, being the youngest to ever do so at a spritely 42, and of course to offer my best wishes for another thou' before he chucks in the towel...
so ian white was coveted by maurice, a man i have the most intense respect for, who coached him with the marlies and the leafs. i've said time and time again that white was the only piece of the dion trade that made it worthwhile (unless hagman can ever play to potential), and was aghast that darryl sutter offered him the five dollar slap in the face... if i was ian white, i totally would've gone to arbitration.... anyhow, following that debacle, white had to go and have an awful october & november in the flaming C and make me look dumb. well, here's the thing: other than jackman, gio, and kiprusoff.... who DIDN'T have an awful october & november in the flaming C ??!? and it seems that on a team with little-to-no pressure, with a reliable defensive partner (joni pitkanen) on the first pairing, he's thriving. that says alot about the dire situation in calgary, if you ask me.
from the article on white:
He said the pressure to win in Calgary this season exceeded even that of his years in Toronto, with its massive media presence.
"It was big-time refreshing to come here," White said. "I know most of the guys there aren't having a whole lot of fun now. It's not fun when you're losing, especially all of the pressure and stuff there. It was a very, very stressful first two months of the year there for me."
so there you go. it's a pressure cooker in the flames dressing room and 'most of the guys' aren't having a whole lot of fun. while you can clearly chalk this up to the team's losing record, you have to also wonder how much of it can be attributed to coaching, management, ownership, and the other players in the room.
happy saturday, everyone.