Time to start throwing out names. Laurie and I batted around names tonight trying to figure out where Lombardi might turn. Mid-season, getting permission to interview assistant coaches is tough, so that further limits options.
In speculating about the coaching changes, a couple of options need to be considered:
1) stay the course? or are we changing directions in coaching philosophy?
2) good cop? or bad cop? player’s coach? Or (ahem) not?
I won’t speculate on the latter, I don’t know what the players have been telling Lombardi (yet), or what he feels is needed. So I’ll avoid that. but I tend to think Lombardi is looking to stay with the basic coaching philosophy, not changing directions very much. So we should look for coaches that have similar ideas of how to play hockey as Sutter does — discipline, defense first, physical play. Someone who’s strong with veterans and good with kids (but if you can’t get both, strong with veterans).
First candidate, who wins on the “continuity of the system” basis: bring up Roy Sommers from Cleveland, let Wilson and RAeder assist, and see how the season goes. A lot of sharks know and like/respect Sommers, Sommers has been more or less mentored for this shot by the Sharks, and he knows, understands and believes in the “sharks system”. And Lombardi si loyal to those loyal to the franchise and likes to develop and promote from within. I’d give Sommers a 40% shot at this. Depends on whether or not they feel he’s ready and whether the sharks feel they want to continue the system or bring in a new voice.
Ted Nolan (won’t happen)
Barry Smith (asst. Detroit; unlikely at best)
Kevin Constantine (might actually be a good choice; could both sides find where the hatchets are buried?)
Rick Ley (leave your resume at the door. Next)
Robbie Ftorek (Dan is already called Lombardi to lobby. Intriguing choice, but…)
Bill Barber (Ha. hah hah. heh. giggle. sorry, I needed a good laugh…)
Ron Wilson (proved he could coach in Anaheim. Proved nobody can coach Jagr in Washington)
Bob Murdoch (okay, why am I mentioning HIS name?)
Herb Brooks (as mentioned by Melrose. hmm)
Cap Raeder (not likely)
jean Perron (hi, vickie! don’t choke)
Roger Neilson (asst. ottawa)
that’ll give a few names for folks who are trying to remember who they wanted to suggest….
My short list:
I wouldn’t at all mind seeing them bring in Sommers for the season and see how it works out. but if they look outside the organization. my short list is Ron wilson, Pat Burns and Roger Neilson, if we could convince him. I think Bob Gainey would be a great choice — except I don’t for a second think he’d consider it. Herb Brooks is an intriguing choice, epecially short term, especially if Lombardi wants a bad cop in there. And I think Constantine could do the job, if the, um, outstanding issues could be resolved…
I’m not holding my breath on that, for some reason…