Monday, November 20, 2006

Hitchcock Interviews with Jackets

Ken Hitchcock was spotted in Columbus on Sunday, no doubt interviewing with CBJ officials. He is alleged to be the first of several interviews for the head coach position, which should be solved "in the next week or two".

Several Dispatch articles take guesses at who also may be on the list of candidates, but Hitchcock is routinely seen on top. The other top contenders include Andy Murray, most recently from the L.A. Kings, and Pat Quinn, who coached Toronto to six straight playoff appearances.

According to some, GM MacLean is heavily considering giving the position to Agnew permanently. I couldn't disagree with this idea more. Agnew may be a great coach in the AHL, and I would be delighted to leave him on the coaching staff. However, a strong willed big-time coach is exactly what this team needs to turn it around in the long-run. We've played <.500 hockey for five seasons, and a major shakeup is the only thing that is going to work. Columbus is emerging as a major hockey market- we have the fans, the players, the arena, and the money to make this team work. All we need is a solid coach to put some W's up on the board.

If I were on the decision making body (and I should be), I would lean towards Pat Quinn. His record of recent success in another major market would make him a solid addition to the team. Hitchcock would also be an improvement, but has a history of having a questionably frank personality that is hit & miss with players. The last thing we need to do is lock in another coach who is buddies with MacLean. We've done this with MacLean himself, then Gallant, and now Agnew, who is now 0-3 behind the CBJ bench. (Photo from Dispatch online)

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