Debate Time: Who’s Gonna Get Canned Edition

This is a new segment, in which I debate myself about a topic of my own choosing.

Since we’re entering the All-Star break shortly (only one game on the schedule tonight) and the topic of mid-season awards has been beaten to holy hell, I figured it’d be a good idea to debate who the most likely coach to be fired in the second half will be.  Remember, several coaches have already gotten the axe this season:  Scott Arniel , Paul Maurice, Bruce Boudreau (although he was subsequently picked up in Anaheim), Davis Payne and Jacques Martin.  And since it’s way more fun to talk about who’s going to lose their job than it is to talk about who’s going to win a trophy that nobody cares about, let’s do it.

Geoff Wolinetz:  Hey there, Geoff.  Good hanging out with you again last night.  We sure watched a lot of the Big Bang Theory.  Awesome show.  Let’s talk about coaches that could be on the hot seat.  After we eliminate the teams that have already canned there coaches, I think we wind up with a pretty manageable list.  The way I see it, there’s three teams that are likely to fire their coach and one team that could be a potential wild card.

Let’s start with Lindy Ruff.  I think Ruff is just about as good a bet as there is to get fired.  He fits all the qualifications:  he’s been there forever, which means he may have lost the team in some respect.  He’s got woefully underperforming players in guys like Derek Roy, Drew Stafford and Brad Boyes.  The team is playing like crap.  And they’ve got a new owner, who’ll probably want to bring in his own guys.  I assume that Darcy Regier will be fired also.

Geoff Wolinetz:  I know where you’re going with this, but first let me say that it was a pleasure hanging.  You’re getting thinner and better looking every time we get together.  And I totally hear you on the Big Bang Theory.  High, high quality programming right there.

If I’m not mistaken, the second coach on your list is Ron Wilson.  That’s a Toronto team that, under his watch hasn’t made the playoffs in the last 3 seasons.  The natives are getting as restless as Canadians can get, which is extremely restless when we’re talking about hockey.  To me, this team needs to make the playoffs this year (a reasonable bet, but by no means a slam dunk) and they’ve got to make a run of some kind.  Otherwise, I think Wilson’s going to be looking for another job.

GW:  You read my mind again, handsome guy.

Finally, I think that Calgary’s Brent Sutter could wind up on the chopping block.  If they miss the playoffs this year in a very strong Western Conference, I think it’s all but over for Mr. Sutter.  GM Jay Feaster made a move to get some more offense to go with Jarome Iginla when he acquired Mike Cammalleri.  I think Feaster’s a patient guy, and he’s been patient with Sutter, but I think the patience is wearing thin in the Saddledome.

I think you can guess who my wild card is, so why don’t you go ahead and say it?

GW:  Very well.  I think our old friend Tom Renney shouldn’t be too comfortable where he is right now.  I know he’s a Western Canada fella and he’s coaching a Western Canadian team, but let’s face it:  this team is having a brutal season.  18 wins in 49 games.  RNH was a bright spot until he went down with an injury.  Obviously, Tom Renney can’t control the injuries, and management may be forgiving enough to give him another season, but I do think he should be worried.  I don’t think he’ll be fired, but to be honest, I’ve seen stranger things.  Remember when the Penguins fired Ivan Hlinka 8 games into the season?  Sometimes, you never know.

GW:  Well, that’s it for this time my friend.  See you at home tonight?

GW:  You bet.  I’ll bring the chicken fingers.