Skip to main content

Bluelines: David Quinn Gets Another Chance

Stan Fischler looks at David Quinn's NHL return, Cam Talbot, the rise of hockey at the Maccabi Games, the Calgary Flames, gives a special shoutout to Philadelphia's longtime PR guru and much more.

THE 'I GET NO RESPECT' AWARDS

Priceless standup comic Rodney Dangerfield made a career out of his "I Get No Respect" act.

And if you've never seen nor heard Rodney in action, here's one of his typical "no respect" lines:

"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me -- he said I was being ridiculous; everyone hasn't met me yet!"

Which brings me to the question, if Rodney Dangerfield was around now, which NHL teams would get his "No Respect Award?"

I have to say that the Dangerfield (or Bobby) first prize has to go to the Flyers.

Has to be.

Even Rear (as in bottom) Admiral Tortorella knows that. About ten seconds after being named new coach of the Philly Failures, Johnny Torts uttered the secret words.

Culture Change.

In other words the Vulture Culture on Broad Street will become The Bluebird of Happiness. And that'll be something to crow about.

Apart from being weak in goal, weak on defense and feeble up front, the Flyers have Torts. But more about my favorite NHL coach later.

For a totally different reason, the Canadian winner of The Rodney is that naive franchise not too far from Edmonton in Alberta.

Calgary Flames, you get the Northern Rodney and you can blame John Gaudreau for that. And while you're at it, add Matthew Tkachuk.

Boy, oh, boy, did Gaudreau ever string you guys along. He said so many nice things about the fair city of Calgary you'd have thought he was running the town's Chamber of Commerce. But he conned you. That's right; he did.

Even I was suckered to swoon over Johnny Hockey's cheery Calgary homilies. And unless I read the wrong screenplay, Brad Treliving could have been warbling "I'll String Along With You" as well.

Let's face it; we could have forgiven Gaudreau had he wanted to skip Canada for something like The Big Apple, The Windy City or even

The Seven Suburbs In Search of a City -- Tinseltown.

But Columbus over Calgary? Nonsense.

That's trading a Jeep for a Jeep. But enough of Johnny Columbus.

Now Treliving has to worry about getting something for Tkachuk who desperately wants to view Calgary in his rearview mirror. What Calgary soon may need is a new World Hockey Association to join

By all rights, Vegas should not be on the Rodney list. The team with the glitziest, most original, jumping, pre-game show owns the hotshot of all NHL pre-game extravaganzas. But enough of that; we're talking hockey; not hokey.

Given a Santa Claus opening frist-year Draft, the Knights ownership acted like it was given the candy store key and then ate themselves sick. These guys -- favored by many to win The 2022 Cup -- couldn't even make the playoffs.

Had Dangerfield been in Vegas at the time, Rodney would have said,

"I looked up my family tree and found out I was the sap."

---

ANOTHER CHANCE FOR DAVID QUINN

I think that the Sharks' new coach, David Quinn, would still be running the Rangers bench if only he hadn't lost two games at the end of the 2000-21 season.

Those two vital homestretch contests against the Islanders were the make-or-break matches for each team. Except for one thing, the Isles were tail spinning and the Blueshirts were right on the Isles' tail.

The playoff berth was there for the Rangers taking.

For reasons I still cannot figure, the Seventh Avenue Skaters played two of the most blah games of their entire campaign.

They lost them both; lost a potential postseason run and Quinn lost his job. It seemed to me that David got the gate not merely for missing the playoffs but also because he couldn't get his skaters to perform more intensely when the chips really were down.

His challenge in San Jose will be no less daunting. The Sharks, who turned San Jose into a terrific hockey town over the years, are undergoing a tremulous period of change under rookie GM Mike Grier.

They've missed the playoffs for three straight years during which some high-profile, highly-paid performers have disappointed fans and management alike.

Quinn has the savvy and energy to turn the team around. The hope is that he's learned from his Rangers experience, especially those last two traumatic games that proved disastrous to the New York franchise and David Quinn!

OWNERS SHOULD NOT KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT

Dallas Stars owner Tom Gagliardi is paying good money to his aces and has a right to expect receipt of his money's worth.

That's why it's refreshing to hear Gagliardi open up to TSN.

"We have too many players underperforming offensively," Tom declared. "We need some things to change." Then came the best part: he named names. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.

One might argue that Gagliardi is stepping on the toes of his new coach Peter DeBoer. And, to that, I say, so what? The Man wants results and is paying good money for it.

I'm so glad Tom put the underperformers on the spot.

---

THE PERFECT SQUELCH

Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion has been lauded all over the place for his many positive moves. To which Lucky Pierre shot back:

"No one's bought me a case of beer yet!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I'M JUST SAYIN'

* There's serious talk about the Senators getting the green light to build a new arena in Ottawa at the LeBreton Flats.

* Not coincidentally, this coincides with the franchise's renaissance under the astute Dorion. Making the arena happen is another story.

* The Denver Post's Mike Chambers is impatient for his Avs to win another Stanley Cup.

* Already, he's got Denver's favorite hockey team as "The Team To Beat." Hey, Mike, at least wait 'til the trade deadline.

* TSN's crease-savvy Marty Biron says the Leafs "have the worst goaltending in Canada."

* By next April, Marty might extend that geographic limit to all of North America!

* Moritz Seider is so good that even Avigail, my 13-year-old grand-daughter -- a defenseman -- watches and studies his videos.

* Sam Carchidi of Philly Hockey Now did a fabulous interview with my favorite coach, John Tortorella.

* Who else but Torts would tell his interviewer that he's looking for a farm for "my four pit bulls and three horses."

* Torts may need another kind of farm -- as in the AHL -- for some of his Flyers.

---

CALGARY GETS A BREAK -- WE HOPE

Forget about Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, my fine, upstanding Calgarians. No point fretting about runaway hockey players. (Dare I say vastly overpaid, perhaps spoiled stars.)

Focus on the good news; Calgary Flames arena talks are back on track. They'll resume in September with the team's ownership and city officials due to meet with a mediator.

Flames owners have been pushing city elected officials to fund a building for years. This time around there appears to be cause for optimism, especially with a neutral third-party mediator involved.

---

CAN AN NHL STAR EMERGE FROM THE MACCABI GAMES?

The Maccabi Games -- Jewish Olympics -- wind down in Jerusalem tomorrow with a hockey Gold Medal game between Team Canada and Team USA. A few of the stars so far include Josh Mori, Ethan Rosenoff and Jacob Steinman.

Defenseman Mori plays for the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. Rosenoff, a forward, skates for Langley in the British

Columbia Hockey League while goalie Steinman will be moving up to a team in the Quebec Major Junior League next fall.

It should be noted that Zach Hyman was catapulted to fame after appearing in a pre-Pandemic Maccabi Games in Israel for Team Canada.

This much is certain; hockey in Israel is now COOL. The Maccabi stickhandlers played all their games at the cavernous Pals Arena, normally reserved for basketball.

The Israeli basketeers have been pushed into a 3,000-seat building for their final. Meanwhile, tomorrow night's hockey Gold Medal game between Canada and Team USA is not only a sellout (about 12,000) but will be on national Israeli tv.

This proves that hockey in The Holy Land has come in from the desert. Until 2014, all Maccabi hockey games had been limited to the tiny -- although Olympic size ice -- much smaller Canada Centre in the northern town of Metula. The ice game's growth in Israel has taken place in a very short time.

---

MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF CAM TALBOT, RIGHT OR WRONG?

The Cam Talbot-Minnesota Wild divorce started innocently enough.

Bill Guerin did what managers are supposed to do -- fortify his team. To do so, he hired a future Hall of Fame goalie named Marc-Andre Fleury.

That meant that His Majesty Cam Talbot took it as an affront instead of being a team player, realizing that a two-solid-goalie-tandem gives Talbot a shot at a Stanley Cup he never lifted.

And since Guerin was paying him good money, you'd think this once-unknown would be grateful.

Not on your life.

His Majesty Talbot huffed and puffed and blew himself right out of Minnesota.

What fascinates me is that there are media types who believe that Talbot's reaction is perfectly normal and all right. Here's one of Cam's defenders, author Sean Mccaffrey:

"What's not being said," Mccffrey insists, "is that if you're 33 on the last year of a three-year contract that pays the soon-to-be-ten-year veteran $3,666,667 annually -- you want to be a starting goalie this coming season. To play second-fiddle to Fleury would have hurt his potential earning power come the summer of 2023."

---

YAYS AND BOOS:

YAY TO THE STAAL BROTHERS, Marc and Eric, for trying to make it with the Panthers. They both know it's a long shot. "It's an opportunity to rekindle their careers," says our Al Greenberg. "If either sticks with the team, he'll provide experience and depth."

BOO TO ED OLCZYK for leaving the Blackhawks' broadcasting team for Seattle. Eddie, a Chicago institution, says he wanted to stay and the Hawks wanted him to stay. You mean to tell me that they couldn't work something out? Logic is defied once again.

---

WHO SAID IT?

"If you keep the opposition on their asses, they don't score goals."

(ANSWER BELOW:)

---

FAREWELL TO A PR MAN WHO FARED BETTER THAN WELL

In the more than two decades that Zack Hill handled PR for the Flyers, I can say without fear of contradiction that I never dealt with a better NHL press agent. Few publicists can make you feel that they're at your service in the likable manner of a Zach Hill.

He's well deserving of the latest Dick Dillman Award as Best In NHL P.R. Show. Hill followed in the amiable and competent steps of the Flyers' original publicity ace, Joltin' Joe Kadlec, the man who re-invented modern NHL p.r.

---

ANSWER TO WHO SAID IT? Fred (The Fog) Shero when coaching the Philadelphia Flyers.

TOP HEADLINES

CA1_5399

World Junior Roundup: Sweden Crushes Austria, Slovakia Scores Important Win

Sweden had no issue handling Austria, while Slovakia got the extra point in a big contest against Latvia on a quieter day at the World Junior Championship.

Ivan Fedotov

Screen Shots: Vegas' Goalie Problem, Hockey Quebec and Flyers Prospects Stuck in Russia

Adam Proteau returns with Screen Shots to talk about where the Vegas Golden Knights go now to address their goalie situation, Hockey Quebec's investigation into racism accusations and the latest surrounding two Flyers prospects in Russia.

Colorado Avalanche
Play

NHL Hot Seat Radar: Colorado Avalanche

There's always pressure to repeat as champions in the NHL, but the Colorado Avalanche will have to do it with a shakeup in the crease.