Bored Canucks fans with no hockey to follow went crazy this week with the announcement that Dan Cloutier had been hired by Vancouver as a goaltending coach.
Cloutier, despite technically being the third most successful goalie in franchise history, is not well remembered by Canuck fans.
I could link some youtubes supporting this fact, but I don’t want to watch them and neither do you.
Just go to really deep dark places in your mind and you’ll find them.
It’s the absurdity of the notion that a goaltender who first popularized the beachball-as-puck meme teaching young goalies how to play the position that has everyone up in arms.
It would be like Mitt Romney teaching young Republicans how to connect with voters. But really, is he that terrible of a hire?
Let’s explore this in bullet-point form, say five of them.1. Athletic talent does not equal coaching success
This is easy.
For obvious reasons Dan Cloutier is not well remembered by Canuck fans.
Alain Vigneault was a terrible player and a fantastic coach. Wayne Gretzky was a decent player but a horrible coach.
Remember in 24/7 last year when Peter Laviolette admitted during a practice that he had just 12 games in the NHL?
I could include a ton more examples but you should get the point that there really is no correlation between success on the ice and success behind the bench.
It simply doesn’t work that easy. Maybe Cloutier turns out to be a terrible coach, but it won’t be because he was a terrible goalie.2. It’s only the AHL
It’s important to note that this is a Wolves hire technically. Cloutier won’t be tasked with telling Cory Schneider or the cat-who-came-back Roberto Luongo how to refine their game.
Instead, he’ll be dealing with the minor leagues, a place most Canucks fans have always felt he’s better suited for.
Of course this does task him with the development of Eddie Lack but, again, maybe he turns out to be a good coach.3. This isn’t his first rodeo
After slowly fading away from the league following his trade to the Los Angeles Kings, for a second round pick of all things, Cloutier became an assistant coach for the CHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays.
He left that job in 2009 to attempt an NHL comeback and when that fizzled out he became the Barrie Colts goaltending coach.
Mathais Niederberger started 49 games for the Colts last year, and finished sixth in GAA, seventh in save pct, and fifth in wins.
Maybe Cloutier knows what he’s doing?
He seems to have experience, this isn’t like taking some green young goaltender and throwing him in net during the most successful era in franchise history to date and hoping he doesn’t do anything to impede their….ah you get it.4. Let’s bring back more infamous Canucks in ironic roles
Never thought I’d say it, but Lafayette can be the shooting accuracy Coach
- Nathan LaFayette as shooting accuracy coach.
- Todd Bertuzzi as public relations consultant.
- Dana Muryzn as powerskate coach.
- Fedor Fedorov can teach rookies how to fight, as demonstrated with Kevin Bieksa.
- Mats Sundin and Mark Messier as hairstylists.
- Jason King on how to successfully play with the Sedins.
The possibilities are endless.5. Look, it’s giving us something to talk about
If you haven’t noticed we’re in a lockout right now where the two sides aren’t even talking to each other yet.
There is nothing going on to talk about aside from fake seasons and hack journalists.
We’re starving on an island right now and Dan Cloutier is a big juicy coconut. He, like Bonnie Raitt, is giving us something to talk about. For that we should be thankful.It’s just curious timing he returns to working in the NHL the season after Lidstrom retires.
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© Richard Hodges for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |
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