Saturday, May 17, 2008

minnesota coaching issues

About a month ago, Mike Guentzel resigned as an assistant coach of the gophers. Who could blame the guy? Normally I wouldn't even bring this up, but I came upon an interesting article by Pat Reusse of the Star Tribune that is definitely worth mentioning.

The article basically states the Guentzel was forced out by Don Lucia following a very sub par season, someone had to take the fall. There is no concrete evidence of this of course, but Reusse paints a pretty good picture of the whole thing. Guentzel has a son at Notre Dame playing hockey and another recently committed to Colorado College. Funny that a spot was found on minnesota's roster for Tony Lucia, who in my opinion wouldn't be good enough to play 4th line for the Badgers.

What I really found interesting about the article was on the 2nd page, Reusse rumors that perhaps Mark Osiecki would be a good replacement in the Twin Cities and states that:

"Those same WCHA circles that are certain Guentzel was run off say that the amped-up, hard-nosed Eaves makes him harder to work for than Lucia."

I've heard that Eaves is task master of sorts, but why would Osiecki think of leaving? I've heard that he hopes to stick around to take the reins of the program when Eaves moves on or retires. He is doing great things w/ the Wisconsin Dmen here, and by now is recognized by NHL teams as shaping NHL caliber talent. I think next season's Dman roster, along w/ the recruits lined up, are a testament to that. Good NHL caliber Dmen want to come to Wisconsin.

Reusse further conjectures that Patrick is frantically trying to get out of town to escape Eaves:

"One Wisconsin assistant, Kevin Patrick, has tried twice in two years to become the head coach at Alaska-Fairbanks (St. John's is a better job than that), and Osiecki might have had all a person can take of Eaves."

Perhaps Patrick instead is trying to find a good D-I coaching job to advance his career?

Personally I couldn't understand why anyone, especially a UW assistant, would want to leave for a job at minnesota. Even when Wisconsin is not doing so well, the fans still love you, especially Osiecki as an alumni. If you don't score 7 goals a night, the fans in minnesota don't even get out of their seats to cheer you.

As an aside, I have been up North on construction for a few weeks, and on tuesday I took a drive over to Grantsburg, WI to gather information on some hiking trails. As I'm driving down State Highway 70, I realize that there is nowhere to turn around until I cross the St. Croix River into minnesota. Crossing the river was similar to having an allergy to a bee sting, I couldn't breath due to the poison that emanates from the very land, and my condition did not relent until I was once again safely w/ in the borders of Wisconsin.

I find the whole article quite humorous. I think a good replacement for Guentzel would be FSN doormat Kevin Gorg.