Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hanlon Out, Boudreau In

Anyone who has followed Caps hockey at all this season knew that it was not a question of if Glen Hanlon would be fired...but when.

And "when" becomes today, as it was announced this morning that Hanlon had been removed from his position as head coach. Serving as interim head coach will be Bruce Boudreau, bench boss for the Caps' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears.

None of this is a surprise.

Hanlon's tenure here was overall a very successful one, creating a team that grew a reputation for being hard-working and feisty if not overly talented. He was the perfect coach for a young, rebuilding team - patient, calm, and always eager to teach. The problems started when suddenly this group of lunch pail guys was infused with more talent, and then magnified when the talent suffered a rash of injuries.

It seemed at times that the Caps simply stopped listening to him. Many players came out over the past week and defended Hanlon, saying he was telling them what to do and they just weren't executing - well, that's a problem. If the players aren't motivated to follow instructions that they know are right, it's time for a change.

So after a loss to the Thrashers last night the Caps find themselves under the guidance of Boudreau, a talented AHL coach who has led the Bears to two straight Calder Cup finals. Boudreau has the advantage of having coached a number of the Caps in the AHL and has been regarded by some as one of the better coaches not in the NHL - we'll see how true that is when the boys travel to Philly for a post-Thanksgiving matinee against the Flyers tomorrow.

Best of luck to Hanlon - I'll admit I'm sad to see him go, as much as I am looking forward with hope for a turnaround. And of course good luck to Bruce Boudreau in his new's hoping he's got what it takes.

It certainly can't get any worse.


Anonymous said...

I hope he can turn your guys around and then come back here. Seriously. What is it with you guys theiving all our dudes?

(Also Bearcap12 has the Clymer interview on tape if scroll all the way down. The Beagle one's there too, but it's not working.)

DMG said...

Well said. I've been pleasantly surprised by the response of Caps bloggers; I was expecting a fair amount of criticism for Hanlon, pitchfork-rattling for McPhee and skepticism about B.B.

But then I guess that's why I like the blogging community. Anyone who takes their own time to write about the Caps and the NHL winds up looking at things from a more in-depth perspective and realizes running a real NHL team isn't as easy as it was when we were playing NHL 96 on our super nintendos.

usually frustrated caps fan said...

Another well said post DC; bet you don't even throw like a girl, do ya. Just kidding.

CapsChick said...

Teka: I wouldn't worry too much, I have a feeling this is a temporary solution - McPhee certainly wasn't going to be the coach and they needed someone to step in until they can find someone.

dmg: I can't even score a goal in those video games - I'm the queen of randomly mashing buttons until something happens...

ufcf: Sadly, I do throw like a girl. Vast wisdom, intelligence, wit and hockey knowledge just didn't translate to the ability to throw a ball ;)

Shelby said...

Ugh. I found out about this in the worst way. I'm in exile visiting family for Thanksgiving and we were out to dinner. Imagine how shocked I was to see that Hugs was fired scrolling on ESPN. Wow. I'll admit it, I teared up a bit.

It's completely necessary and I have confidence that that was all that was holding us back, but still, I felt attached to Hanlon. It was like he was my cool uncle or something. :) Whatever's best for my boys though...

Anonymous said...

One down and one to go. McPhee needs to get the axe as well. He has done nothing for this club, but make it a joke. How many times do the Cap's need to finish last in the SE division before good old Ted realizes there needs to be a change in managment? What exactly has McPhee done to still be the GM? He drafted Alex Ovechkin... big whoop that was a no brainer. anybody could have done that. He lead the Cap's to the Cup finals....with players David Poile drafted and traded for. Other then that nothing but missing the playoffs and coming in last place. Good job!