May 28, 2007

Catching Up With The Past

Reports have the Phoenix Coyotes naming long time New York Ranger player/executive Don Maloney as their new general manager.

Maloney (sorry, I didn't have time to create a satisfactorily complete profile) was a fierce competitor on the ice, a solid two way winger who provided a real physical presence. A big lanky forward, he was nicknamed "Big Frame" as he was tough to knock from the puck. He was a pretty good scorer, lighting the lamp 214 times in his 765 NHL game career. He once held the NHL rookie record for points scored in the playoffs (20 in 1979) and was named the 1984 NHL All Star Game MVP.

Since retiring as a player, Maloney has long paid his dues to earn his shot at a NHL GM position. He's scouted for San Jose, coached and managed the New York Islanders before returning to the Rangers to hold a number of different titles under manager Glen Sather.

Sather likely has nothing but great things to say about his now-former right hand man, and I'm sure he said all those great things to Maloney's new bosses in Phoenix. Of course it will be interesting to see how Maloney fits in Phoenix. While most coaches answer to the GM, Maloney's coach will also be his boss, as Wayne Gretzky doubles as managing partner.

As PB of One Fan's Perspective hints, Maloney knows how to run a draft and build an organization from within. In this new salary cap era, that's exactly what successful teams do and do well.

Robitaille Gets Promotion In Los Angeles

While Maloney earned his chance, from my very distant viewpoint I have to wonder just how Luc Robitaille fast tracked his jump to the top in Los Angeles. Robitaille has been named President of the L.A. Kings, just one full year after retiring as a player. Robitaille spent that year as a personal assistant to Tim Leiweke, CEO of the Kings parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group. After just that one year, Robitaille will oversee the day-to-day business operations of the Kings, focusing directly on all business initiatives as it relates to the team.

As Jes Golbez over at NHL Fanhouse suggests, "That seems like a large step for a guy like Robitaille. Just like Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings, Luc doesn't have much in the way of formal business training. Yet, he is expected to operate the day-to-day financial aspects of a multi-million dollar corporate entity?"

Robitaille is truly one of hockey's good guys, so I wish him the best. But somehow this reeks of the "old boys network."

In Case You Missed It

Rick Tocchet pleaded guilty to gambling charges, but is unlikely to see any jail time. Tocchet remains on leave under NHL investigation, and his future within the game will likely be decided on a mid-summers day when hockey is the last thing on the minds of the media.

Brian Leetch officially retired from the game, and though he had a falling out with the New York Rangers in the end, it's only a matter of time before his number 2 is retired by the organization. Larry Brooks of the New York Post argues Adam Graves' number 9 should also be retired in the rafters of Madison Square Gardens.

Habs Inside/Out.com has flashback articles remembering Moe Robinson (yes, Larry's brother) and Brian Skrudland, and points us in the direction of a Doug Jarvis piece at the Brantford Exquisitor. And just for kicks, Habs Inside/Out also finds out what happens if you put hockey pucks in a blender.

In his own unique way, Lowetide looks at the Edmonton Oilers and the NHL by remembering Floyd Hillman, Esa Tikkanen, and Florent Pilote.


Robert L said...

The NHL retired Leetch one season before he announced it himself. That's a kind of like, an infertile husband's pregnant wife asking for a divorce. Some ego's never rest, I thought, when Leetch stated that this was the right time...what a laugh!

Anonymous said...

I agree that this a large step for Robitaille. It's a bit different than Yzerman. At least Yzerman had more experience. According to Devellano, Yzerman had been working with management for the past 5-10 years. Yzerman also did his own contract negotiations with Ken Holland and without a player agent in the past few years.

PB said...

Hiya Joe -

Maloney comes in highly recommended and the front office brass was quoted saying that he was the guy they wanted all along. I hope he does well.

Thanks for the link!