Olczyk fired, Therrien hired
Well, that was fast.
Days after rumours circulated about the demise of Pittsburgh Penguins coach Ed Olczyk, former Montreal Canadiens coach and bench boss of the Penguins AHL club, Michel Therrien, is the new coach of the NHL Penguins.
Which means, of course, Olczyk was handed his walking papers after just 111 games as a head coach.
Pundits said when Olczyk was hired that it was a risky move, given his lack of coaching experience. It was apparently a Super Mario call, as were some of the Pens' offseason acquisitions. Neither are looking particularly good so far.
It was also said Olczyk wasn't running a tight ship and that the team's practices lacked structure. Neither of these things will be a problem under the no-nonsense Therrien. (It's interesting how the Penguins have been raiding their AHL franchise, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton — the hottest pro hockey franchise anywhere right now — all season, promoting young talent like Ryan Whitney and Erik Christensen. Now, they've nabbed the coach, making you wonder what will be left of W-B/S by the season's end.)
Still, I find it hard to believe Olczyk is to blame for the Penguins woes this season. I said their roster stunk before the season began, and — surprise, surprise — it still stinks now. And worse than I ever could have imagined.