Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Mullet gets cut

And replaced by Rick Tocchet, otherwise known as the guy who got busted for gambling with Wayne Gretzky's wife (but, allegedly the Great One was as clean as his image. Allegedly.)


Indeed, my feeling that the Lightning management team was more Dan Synder than Mark Cuban is coming true. Right down to the fact that the Lightning are taking a hit to the wallet after every boneheaded decision. From Mirtle, who must be feeling like a sage:

"Canning Melrose will cost ownership $2.25-million over the next three years, a sum to be added onto the $1.3-million already owed John Tortorella. Tocchet will also almost certainly receive a pay boost for going from an assistant to a head coach."

What an ugly situation. The Lightning were looking awful this year and Melrose certainly bares much of the blame. Simply put, the league is very different from his days with the Los Angeles Kings and Gretzky. And some questioned his coaching ability in those times, too.

Still, the Lightning ownership is wiping the most egg off its face. Their off-season orgy of stupidity involved signing past-their-due-date guys such as Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi, a good trooper but questionable talent in Ryan Malone and a dubious contract year case in Radim Vrbata.

Vrbata = the world's biggest fan of Tampa Bay's management team

They also sent away a decent young prospect in Matt Carle, poorly managed the rookie year of Steve Stamkos and botched the Dan Boyle situation on an epic level.

Just a mind numbingly bad situation that reeks of Isiah Thomas type incompetence. Clearly, Melrose is meant to smile on a loud, quasi-futuristic ESPN set and rock some hockey platitudes. Please Barry, don't make us cringe with another disastrous coaching run. Most of us like you, just stay away from a bench.

As poorly as Melrose was doing, you cannot help but wonder if the Lightning would've been better off letting him submarine the whole season. Then they could get a shot at winning the John Tavares jackpot (if you think that he's not the #1 pick you probably also think that increased ticket sales and fawning media coverage are things NHL teams avoid). Really, even a gambling creep could probably steer a team with Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis, Stamkos, Tavares and Co. to a playoff run. Right? RIGHT?

Can you believe this franchise won the Cup within the last five years? Can you believe Tocchet is a head coach while John Tortorella, Pat Quinn and other actually talented coaches wait for a job? What a clusterfuck.

Somewhere Jay Feaster is eating a victory turkey.

That headline is in memory of the great Wesley Willis. Saw him live in some random shack in Oklahoma, but failed to give him what was apparently a standard headbutt (he had what seemed like a horn on his forehead ... just an uncomfortable moment).

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