As the season goes on, it appears that more and more teams are not realizing their true potential. While some may look to trades to shake up their roster, that's just silly, because nobody makes trades anymore. The real solution to right the ship? Hire a new coach.
Who, you may ask? Luckily for you, we here at Pension Plan Puppets Heavy Kitten Manufacturing and Pug Ranch GmbH LLC are also in the business of employment services. Our one client is looking for work, and we'd like to find him work by the New Year so we can get a compensatory draft pick he can provide for his family in 2016.
If you're an NHL GM of the following teams, and you're reading this, I strongly encourage you to consider firing your current loser coach and hiring a proven winner in Randy Carlyle.
What's the Problem: after three straight division titles and an appearance in the Western Conference Final, the Ducks are underachieving. They started the season 1-7-2, and continue to sit in last place in the West. Under Bruce Boudreau, the Ducks are 3-3 in playoff series, and two of those are against Calgary and Winnipeg, so they basically don't count. More of the same underachieving that got Boudreau run out of Washington. Boudreau is a loser; the Ducks are a loser. They need a proven winner.
Why Carlyle is a Fit: Carlyle has won a Cup with the Anaheim Ducks; Boudreau hasn't. It's science. Plus, he knows the inner workings of the Ducks. Isn't it much easier to hire someone who knows their way around? You don't have to train them on things like what the computer password is, or how to work the toaster.
Carlyle could even turn around perennial losers like Toronto, who are sitting in last under new coach Mike Babcock. He's the only coach in the last ten years to get the Leafs into the playoffs; these are just the facts. And in Anaheim, he has all the ingredients to repeat that success. Dave Nonis in the front office! Dallas Eakins is the AHL coach! A star player at right wing! A goaltending tandem! Uhh, is Korbinian Holzer still there? Say hello to your new first pairing defenseman, Anaheim! You'll be winning a Cup in no time.
What's the Problem: Corsi? More like bore-si, am I right? Because the Hurricanes are a bore. Sure, they may be one of the top possession teams in the league, but they still suck. They're going to miss the playoffs yet again. Under Bill Peters, the Hurricanes would be winners if they played in the CORSI Hockey League, but Steve Simmons assures me they do not. They play in the National Hockey League, and they need a coach who would make them a winner there. They need a proven winner.
Why Carlyle is a Fit: Forget possession; Carlyle knows the stats that matter. Stats like hits, fights, and more importantly, goals and wins. Carolina's goaltending is a problem, and Carlyle knows just how to fix it: by pushing shots outside! It worked in Toronto. Sure, it may result in twenty more shots a game, but those shots probably wouldn't go in anyway. Hello, 2006 Cam Ward!
What's the Problem: After a very successful 2013-14 season, the Avalanche floundered. They missed the playoffs last season, and look primed to do so again. In a division where six teams could make the postseason, the Avs are the only team bad enough that you mistakenly think they play in the Pacific Division. They need a proven winner.
Why Carlyle is a Fit: Patrick Roy has lost the room, but can't hear the criticism because he has Cup rings in his years. But he won those rings as players, not a coach. Patrick Roy has 0 rings as a coach, Randy Carlyle has 1. Do the math, morons.
Also, the Avalanche have a promising young defenseman in Tyson Barrie, and if there's one thing that Carlyle knows, it's how to competently coach young offensive defensemen! It's a perfect fit!
What's the Problem: the Penguins sit out of a playoff spot, and offensive woes are to blame. In spite of a high-flying offense of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel, the Pens sit 28th in goals per game with 2.23. Their powerplay is third last in the league. They hired a new coach in Mike Sullivan, but after two games- and two losses- I think we've seen enough. He's a loser. They need a proven winner.
Why Carlyle is a Fit: Despite the ongoing media narrative that Kessel killed Carlyle's career, nothing could ever kill Carlyle. If a toaster couldn't hold Ol' Rando back, do you really think the enigmatic hot dog man will?
Quite the opposite, actually; Phil Kessel was never better than he was under Carlyle. Here are his points per game under all of his coaches.
See? Kessel's career absolutely flourished under Carlyle, and it was clearly his excellent, winning coaching that was the reason for it. Phil needs his guy back in Pittsburgh to get the most out of him.
As for the team offense? Just look at how the Leafs offense has entirely derailed since Carlyle has been gone. Horachek? More like Not-Gonna-Score-a-chek? Babcock? Apparently a defensive mastermind, but yawn. Mix in a goal, buddy. The Penguins need to jumpstart a tired offense, and Randy is their guy.
What's the Problem: After a season that saw them make the postseason, the Canucks are struggling. Their 11-13-8 record has them sitting three points out of last in the West, and AHL-calibre coach Willie Desjardins is clearly over his head. The Canucks sit narrowly behind a playoff spot in a weak Pacific Division, and a coaching change could get them over the top. They need a proven winner.
Why Carlyle is a Fit: After one season with John Tortorella behind the bench, the Canucks unceremoniously fired him, which was a mistake. The Canucks should've trusted the process and let him work his magic. Just look at how he's turned around Columbus since their 0-8 start!
But, Vancouver can't have Tortorella back, so this is the next best thing to get them that winning, gritty edge! Jim Benning has constructed a roster tailor-made for Carlyle, including long-term commitments to Derek Dorsett and Luca Sbisa, who fits the Carlyle blueprint for first pairing defenseman. The Sedins are fine, but Brandon Sutter is really a quintessential Carlyle player to make the first line great again.
I recommend Carlyle with but one caveat: while Dorsett and Brandon Prust are a good fit for the fourth line, they may be one Carlyle player short of his perfect roster. I'd recommend trading for Jay McClement, maybe for that Jake Virtanen guy? Kid isn't even good enough to hold an NHL roster spot. What a steal.
Many teams would be really lucky to have Randy Carlyle as their coach, but these are the five most suited to get a jump-start from his systems. I hope each of these teams strongly consider what Carlyle can do for them so they return to their winning ways.
Preferably before January 1, because we really, really want that draft pick.