Pat Quinn, Roger Neilson, Fred Shero – all too young

Pat Quinn, with Jack Adams Award

Pat Quinn won the Jack Adams Award coaching the Vancouver Canucks in 1991-92. His last NHL coaching job was with the Oilers in 2009-10.

The passing of Pat Quinn yesterday threw my memory into rewind. I didn’t know Pat well. Interviewed him a couple of times when he was head coach of the Los Angeles Kings. But his way-too-early departure made me think of two former NHL coaches – Roger Neilson and Fred Shero. And how they also left us too early.

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Adam Oates had every right to call out his underachieving superstar, Alex Ovechkin, this week. And I said as much today on TSN1260 Edmonton’s Lowdown with Lowetide show, while talking with host Al Mitchell. Ovechkin is a coach killer. For years, Ovi has been compared to Pittsburgh’s super kid, Sidney Crosby. Well, there’s absolutely no comparison.  (TSN1260 podcast is here)

http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/alex-ovechkin-minus-more-teeth2.jpg

In his nearly nine years in the NHL, Capitals' Alex Ovechkin has been good for over 800 points...but little else

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Where were you the day Wayne Gretzky was dealt?

August 9, 1988 was a day that changed the face of sports forever…because it was the day Wayne Gretzky was dealt from the larger-than-life Edmonton Oilers to the meaningless Los Angeles Kings. That Tuesday morning, I arrived at my CBC Network Sports office in Toronto a little late (just like every day) and plunked myself down with my feet on my desk. Many who worked on the fifth floor of that building on the east side of Yonge Street, just north of Gerrard, were in Seoul, South Korea. There to produce CBC’s coverage of the XXIV Olympic Summer Games. You know, the “Ben Johnson Games.” I stayed in Toronto to produce our CFL on CBC coverage, which continued during those months. With so many gone, our offices were a lot like a ghost town. Then my phone rang.

Gretzky cries at trade presser

On the morning of August 9, 1988, Wayne Gretzky is overcome with emotion as he discusses his move to Los Angeles (Photo Brian Gavriloff)

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The National Hockey League season is only five days old and already I am sick of all the gum-flapping surrounding a recently slimmed-down Don Cherry and his perceived lack of verbal control.

Don Cherry

Hockey Night in Canada personality Don Cherry has been ruffling viewers' feathers since his final NHL coaching job, in Colorado, in 1980

Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Cherry is being slowly sliced to ribbons for simply giving his opinion (something Hank Williams Jr. can relate to these days). And I’m getting really sick of it. If you don’t like what Cherry says, don’t watch. (more…)

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Matt Bradley has Alexander Semin all figured out

So Florida Panthers’ forward Matt Bradley doesn’t much care for his former Washington Capitals’ teammate Alexander Semin.

Alexander Semin

Over the past two seasons, Alexander Semin has been a point-per-game player for the Capitals - but not in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

You don’t honestly think that all players on all teams actually get along with each other, do you? They do not. In fact, sometimes they hate each other so much they won’t even speak. But those points are irrelevant when it comes to winning. Chemistry is important, but a desire to win is much bigger. And that’s the biggest problem Bradley has with Semin. (more…)

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