Tocchet and Hitchcock Try to Turn Things Around

When a GM supports a coach, that’s usually the surest sign the coach is about to be fired.

Down in Tampa, GM Brian Lawton is supporting coach Rick Tocchet, even as the team struggles to find consistency.

One thing that’s forgotten about Tocchet is that he’s a new coach with an inexperienced coching staff. Rookie coaches and rookie players aren’t always the best combination.

Tocchet still might figure things out. And the main thing keeping him in his job is he’s not Barry Melrose. I suspect Tampa ownership loves Tocchet for that alone.

Speaking of struggling teams, things are rough in Columbus. In fact, things are so bad, coach Ken Hitchcock opened up to the team:

According to players, who didn’t want to discuss the meeting publicly, Hitchcock opened up in a way they have not seen, letting down his “coaching” guard and showing them a side that rarely finds its way through all the film study and the harping on playing more competitively.

If I’m a Blue Jacket and Ken Hitchcock is spilling his guts to me, I’m even more freaked out now. I was under the impression Hitchcock wasn’t programmed with feelings.

Obviously, Hitchcock is totally out of coaching bullets. Flipping through his coaching playbook, he probably realized the only things he hadn’t tried were “emotional sharing” and “shooting a player in the leg.”

Of course, the season isn’t over yet.

Also, 30 years ago today, Mike Milbury beat a Ranger fan with a shoe.

I love that story because when you look at what Milbury did as a GM, the shoe thing seems like one of his sanest moments.