Great Hal Gill interview
Really insightful read.
Oooooo... tasty stuff.
Especially this one:
The prevailing sentiment is that the Canadiens have turned an important corner in their rebuilding with the hiring of Marc Bergevin as general manager to replace Pierre Gauthier. The Gauthier era was confounding, to say the least. What was your take on it?
(Almost 15 minutes of Gill’s reply was off the record. What follows was on the record.)
My thoughts going into last season:
Montreal is the one team that I speculated would do much worse this past year then most others. In fact, I downgraded Price on most of my goalie lists simply because of the Montreal system in front of him (and not so much as a reflection of Price's own skills).
I've also speculated that Hal Gill probably didn't really enjoy playing with PK.
Gill is a professional and the "on-the-record" comments about PK will be very... uh... PC.
But when a guy says "P.K. is P.K. You don’t fix him."... well, you might as well say "This kid can't be coached". And that is not good.
I disagree. You need to let your big guns play their game. Erik Karlsson was a great example of this in Ottawa. PK gets a bad rap. He's just an immature kid with a ton of hockey talent. He just needs some mentoring and he'll be fine.
Loved this piece. Read it a while back. Good on ya for posting it for those who aren't regulars on hockeyinsideout
Everybody needs to be coached & everybody needs to buy into the team's strategy/coaching/philosophy.
Kovalchuk in Atlanta... Green/Semin/Ovechkin in Washington... and Karlsson had a great year - but that doesn't mean that a run-n-gun Karlsson can lead Ottawa to the promised land.
Look no further than Steve Yzerman.
When Scotty Bowman took over as coach in 1993, Yzerman initially chafed under Bowman's stern coaching style. Bowman, for his part, felt that Yzerman was not concentrating enough on defense; Bowman had long expected his forwards to be good back-checkers as well. Relations between the two became so strained that at one point, the Red Wings seriously considered trading him to the then-moribund Ottawa Senators. However, Yzerman gradually became a better defender, and is now considered one of the best two-way forwards in the history of the game.
Look around the league this year - Nashville, Phoenix, the Rangers, LA, NJ... these teams are all pretty much playing very cohesive system without somebody out running around and "doing their own thing". Even Kovalchuk has pulled himself back and more into the NJ system.
Montreal is going nowhere if they just let PK "play his game".
He has to play the Montreal game... whatever the coach tells him to do.
The coach has to find that middle-ground between player & team to form a system.
But just letting "your big guns play their game" is a pretty foolish statement when considering the overall success of team building.
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