Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mike O'Connell is now both retarded and unemployed

Back in December, when Joe Thornton was traded to the San Jose Sharks, I expressed my opinion that Mike O’Connell is of low intelligence. That opinion hasn’t changed much in 3 ½ months. So I was hardly shocked when it was announced he was canned.

This is a firing that should’ve come long ago, based on the way he’s mismanaged this organization, but the timing doesn’t make much sense to me.

While I understand why the L.A. Kings would fire Andy Murray (the logic because the rejuvenation involved in a new coach coming in might breathe some life into the team and get them back in a playoff spot), I don’t get the rationale behind firing O’Connell now.

When they traded Thornton, they pretty much gave O’Connell a vote of confidence for the season, I assumed. A GM cannot trade a franchise player without the blessing of the owner, and so you know Jeremy Jacobs was on board. If they’re going to trade Thornton, then it seems to me like they’ve chosen a side.

Now, by the time O’Connell was fired, it was obvious the season was a failure. He had to go. But now? Seems strange.

And if they were going to fire him, why did they allow O'Connell to sign Tim Thomas to a new contract eight days ago. The signing made zero sense to me then (a three year deal for a 31-year-old who's played well for less than 30 games?), but now that M.O.C. has been canned, it looks even dumber. Unless the decision to fire O'Connell was made in the last week, and if so, the organization is even more fucked than I thought.

The talk amongst Bruins’ fans has now gone from “fire that asshole!” to “who replaces him?”, and I must say, I wonder if some of you B’s fans have any sense at all. You want to replace him with Ray Bourque or Cam Neely? Really?

The Bruins need a qualified, experienced guy to guide them out of the mess that’s become of the franchise, not a name who, though warm and fuzzy on paper, would be in over his head on day one.

It’s one thing when Wayne Gretzky decided to coach the Phoenix Coyotes without a single game of bench experience. The ‘Yotes needed something to fill the seats, and it certainly wasn’t going to be their mediocre hockey team. Gretzky, a minority owner, knew it was a good PR move. Are things so bad in Boston now that they need a GM to fill the building?

And by the way, if you are determined to give the gig to a guy based on his name recognition, wouldn’t Bobby Orr make a whole lot more sense than Neely or Bourque? At least, as an agent, he has some experience with contracts, the CBA, etc. The transition from agent to GM has had both good results (Pierre Lacroix) and some not so great (Mike Barnett), but I have to think it's smoother than the transition from retired player with zero experience to general manager.

Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter who replaces O’Connell. As long as Harry Sinden and more importantly Mr. Jacobs are still involved, they’ll continue their rapid descent into the permanent cellar of the NHL.

For a franchise with such a rich history, and who, once upon a time, had one of the most respected reputations in the league, it’s genuinely sad to see what they’ve become.

5 Comments:

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Maybe it was the signing of Thomas finally opened their eyes to how bad O'Connell is? I dont know..

Management will never learn that signing a 'flash-in-the-pan" for a contract like that will backfire.

It's Sinden that's the problem. Until he leaves, Boston will never go anywhere.

 
At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had finished watching HNC on Saturday instead of turning the TV off and running away, you would have known why he was fired. They showed a press conference withe Bruins owner and he was asked that very question... "WHY NOW?". He said that it was pretty clear that by the way the season has gone, Oconnel was getting the boot at tne end of the season. But Oconnel, knowing this, was continuing to make decisions for the future of the franchise, one he wasnt going to be a part of. Because he was signing guys to contracts, Thomas, Axelson and a few others, it was decided they could not allow him to continue being the GM any longer, not even for the remainder of the season. So they gave him the pink slip now to prevent any more unwanted signings.

 
At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Thomas DeChastelain said...

http://www.quasimodos.com/cgi-bin/blog.cgi

Hi Chris,

Sorry to contact you this way but could not find a e-mail address

Was wondering if you could put this link in your Senators blog section?

We already have your site linked.

Thank you for your time,

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Signing Axelsson was a wise move. Tim Thomas to three years was... slightly less wise.

Thomas has been in and around the Bruins organization for awhile; usually left to toil in their minor league team in Providence, but was always a decent back-up when recalled (prior to this season). Tim's a pretty solid goaltender. However, I don't think he's necessarily one worth a three year contract, nor do I think he will be spending all three of those years in Boston. Boston has a way of screwing over Tim, and I'm sure that tradition will continue.

I disagree that Mike O'Connell was really what ailed Boston. The shift from keeping players under contract to the free agency system now in place is what triggered their descent, helped in no small part by the fact that Harry Sinden has been involved with the club for over thirty years- the same amount of Cupless years. I do not believe htis to be a coincidence. Mike could only do so much with the money he was allowed to work with, and while with Boston, Mike beefed up their scouting program, which has seen some good returns.

I disagreed with the Thornton trade, but at the time, there were three possible men to take the fall for how the team was performing at that time: Joe, Mike Sullivan, or Mike O'Connell. Joe was the easiest choice because for years it's been said he never lived up to his potential. Sullivan was the one who'd coached the team so well in 03-04; it surely wasn't his doing (yet). And Mike O'Connell'd built the team, allowing Joe some input into who he was to play with. Classic blame game. Joe was first, MOC was second, and I'm sure Sullivan's next.

These Bruins, they break my heart.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger wade little said...

Found this blog through google. I agree with 99% of this, O'Connell is an idiot.

But Tim Thomas is one of the few good moves he made. Without him, they wouldn't have been able to get over the fact Raycroft bombed and Fernendez got seriously injured.

 

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