Thursday, December 15, 2005

Coach Ed Olczyk and Assistants FIRED!

Sidney Crosby isn't even half way into his first season and already has to go through his first coaching/regime change.

From John Beale of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Penguins today named Michel Therrien to replace Eddie Olczyk as coach.

Michel Therrien, left, and Craig Patrick head toward this morning's news conference.

In addition to Olczyk, assistant coaches Randy Hillier and Joe Mullen, goaltending coach Shane Clifford and strength and conditioning coach John Welday were fired.

Therrien, formerly the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens from November 200 to February 2003, has been coach of the Penguins American Hockey League farm team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the past three years.

Olczyk leaves the Penguins with a record of 31-68-14 in nearly 1 1/2 seasons behind the bench.

With all of the money the Penguins invested into (questionable) free agents like John LeClair, Mark Recchi, and Sergei Gonchar, why did they hand the reigns to an overmatched and inexperienced coach? Coaching is such an important aspect of any hockey club, and it's obvious that Olczyk wasn't the man for the job (Unless you want to lose games). Therrien has experience, and some worts, but should give the Penguins a big shot in the arm and help kick-start their Power Play.

As for Sidney, I wouldn't expect anything to change in terms of his ice time.

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