Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kings can Crow

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi Tuesday announced that Marc Crawford will not return next season as the team’s head coach. Crawford has one season remaining on his contract.

In his two seasons as head coach, Crawford posted a 59-84-21 with the Kings.
A good move. Things need to begin to turnaround in Los Angeles, and Crawford never seemed to make any progress in that regard. His teams have been brutal defensively for some time now.

His recommendation a few years back that Dan Cloutier be a part of the solution couldn't have helped.

It's been a long fall for Crawford from the point when he was Team Canada's coach at the 1998 Olympics. I can't see his services as a head coach being in demand, despite the fact there are now six openings.

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At 4:52 p.m., June 10, 2008, Blogger Cams Habs said...

Undoubtedly, he will have work soon. I imagine he will be more inclined to coach in the Eastern conference, as it is a little more suited to his open style of coaching.

I really like Marc. He is an extremely intelligent man and has a very good resume - the Jack Adam's he won in his first year, the Cup with Colorado, and the great job he did turning the Canucks around and achieving success there, including a modest playoff run against Calgary that one year. He didn't have a lot of cards to play in L.A., and a change of scenery for both sides isn't much of a surprise. What I love most about him, however, is his run and gun style of play. He will be a good addition to a lot of teams, particularly in the East as I said earlier.

At 4:52 p.m., June 10, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

What a shock that his belief that Dan Cloutier was a top flight goalie would be a factor in getting him fired.

What is a bigger shock is that despite his belief that Ray Bourque would be a better selection in a shootout than Wayne Gretzky he was still able to find employment. Toss in his involvement in the Bertuzzi attack and I can't imagine anyone giving him a job anytime soon.

One of the top five hardest laughs I have had came when I was in a Chapters and saw a book about great coaches with Crawford on the cover. What a joke.

At 4:57 p.m., June 10, 2008, Anonymous PPP said...

Did Crawford's mom just discover Mirtle's site?

At 5:10 p.m., June 10, 2008, Blogger Cams Habs said...

@ PPP:

I highly, highly disagree.

- He won the Jack Adam's in his first year of coaching.

-He followed that up with a Cup the very next year.

-He joined a Vancouver club that was in heavy rebuilding mode after the Bure 90's, and although he didn't make a lot of noise in the post season, did coach them to a 100+ point season in a short span of time. Marc played a huge role in that - Compare what Marc was able to do with the likes of Naslund and Morrison with what Alain has done - although to be fair, there are some other aspects to that as well. Put that aside, however, and Marc did quite well in Vancouver.

-He joined the Kings, who were in a very similar position as the Canucks were. Besides the stand out guys like Cammalleri, Frolov, Kopitar and Brown, he didn't have a lot to work with up front, their defense was below average and their goaltending was a nightmare - Their best starter was Garon, who sat out quite a bit with injuries, followed by the dinosaur Sean Burke and entertaining Dan Cloutier (He did play 2 other goalies, one was the Japanese sensation who lasted 4 games).

So all in all, given what Crawford has been given in recent years, you can't really pu the blame on him. Is he one of the best coaches ever? I don't think so, but he is very young still and has already proved himself early. I would compare him to someone like Ted Nolan - a great, young coach that has exceeded expectations without a lot to work with.

At 5:39 p.m., June 10, 2008, Blogger Doogie said...

Much as I hate puns in headlines, at least this one wasn't Sun-tastic.

I don't think any one thing is going to lead to Crawford being blacklisted or anything, but his body of work over the last five years has shown some heavily diminishing returns, even considering the kind of lineup he had. I suspect he spends a couple of years waiting before he gets another shot in the NHL; a break may do him some good, anyway.

At 6:48 p.m., June 10, 2008, Blogger k.m.stiles said...

I'm always suspicious when coaches do very well in their first year. Is it because the team finally started to come together at the end of the previous coach's tenure or did the new coach really have that big of an impact? I don't think that being able to use Stanley Cup Winner alongside Marc Crawford makes him an incredible coach because think back to the team that won the Cup.

The Kings may be a mess defensively but the team does have scoring power. Towards the end of the season it really bothered me when he mixed up all the lines almost every single game. For example, I couldn't understand why he was playing the enforcer on the top line.

He may be a decent coach, but he wasn't right for this team and the guys were not responding to him.

At 8:34 p.m., June 10, 2008, Anonymous bk said...

I can see teams staying away until he's out of whatever legal messes he's in.. no organization needs that sort of intention, and it really works against him.

I think it might be in his best interest to lay low for a couple years..

At 9:16 p.m., June 10, 2008, Blogger Blitzen said...

I too wonder how much the on-going Bertuzzi business played into the decision. I would be surprized if another team would invite that circus into their organization. He may be looking for a job for a while.

At 9:18 p.m., June 10, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it might be in his best interest to lay low for a couple years.

"I couldn't agree more."
-- Barry Melrose

At 10:14 p.m., June 10, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

I was thinking to myself today about how new Leaf Ron Wilson really was the best coach available, despite the fact that Tortorella and his Stanley Cup ring was still out there. I considered whether a Cup was the indelible mark of a good coach and Crawford came to mind as a counter-example. I decided that when he was fired there probably wouldn't be a long line of suitors.

It was at exactly that point that it was announced on the radio that he was done.

He's dined out on that Cup win for a long time. Eventually teams were bound to expect him to win a playoff round post-Colorado (he's managed one in the past 10 seasons). According to his Wikipedia entry, amusingly, he's been a serial "Conference Quarter-Finalist".

The Jack Adams trophy, unfortunately, is really a Most Improved Team award, with the coach of the day there to receive it.


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