E-Mail Subscriptions to the Blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, June 09, 2008

John Anderson: Time to show up

There has been a consistent chorus of Wolves fans who have been calling for John Anderson’s ouster. Even this year, as the Wolves are one win from the Calder Cup Championship, they have raised their voices, in a minority, to say that it is time for Anderson to go.

I suppose the chances of pleasing everyone are none, especially if you coach a team. From the mommy in pee-wee demanding you play HER kid to the fat geek who looks as though he never played ping-pong, everyone has two things in common. One of them is that they have an opinion.

So, over the years I’ve tuned these people out. If you don’t have anything new to add to the discussion, and typically the argument involves the loss in the lockout finals against the Philadelphia Phantoms and the inability (independence?) to work within the Atlanta system. That’s the same system that has never gone to the playoffs. Well, if you don’t have anything new to add, sit down and shut up.

But the chorus sings on. Joined by voices such as Craig Constance of the Atlanta Journal Constitution this spring when he said the Wolves semi-independence has hurt the Atlanta Thrashers. Bloggers who follow the teams have disagreed with his method of analysis. “Professional” writers who haven’t followed the Wolves have joined with Constance in piling onto the Wolves. It’s a civil war and I know what side I’m on.

Till this weekend. During a chat room session on Wolfkeeper someone demanded to know what the chances of Anderson being offered an NHL coaching job if the Wolves can’t clinch the Cup.

It was a damn good question. I had to listen to the chorus again.

I think the chorus may have it right this time. If the Wolves can’t clinch the Cup Tuesday, Anderson may not be asked to coach an NHL team for years, if ever. He really can’t wait till Thursday, that would show perhaps the players did it. Anderson has to make the changes in strategy and lines and maybe bench some stars that haven’t shown enough during the playoffs. I don’t know. But he has to win.

I suppose some team will consider him for a job as an assistant if he wins on Thursday. But he has to win this week or his career will be launched of a cliff.

I’ve liked Anderson, when I’ve come in contact with him on road games. But his business is brutal. Winning is not just everything. It is the only thing. And there is someone with him on this ride-- Kevin Cheveldayoff, the Wolves' GM.

The fallout from not winning a Cup could spell plateau for Cheveldayoff too. Cheveldayoff is among the nicest people in the Wolves organization, and the brains behind so many of the Atlanta system tweaks. I’ve always felt he should be given a shot at an NHL job too.

But if the Wolves lose on Thursday, that will not happen.

No comments: