Blake’s Takes: Coaches and GMs Ousted

Last week wasn’t kind to coaches and GMs around the league, as two of them are out of a job. I’ll share my thoughts on those two vacancies. More importantly, I’ll shed some light on two of my favorite positive storylines around the NHL and share a video that should provide you all with some laughs.

Happy Monday!

1. Blackhawks Fire Jeremy Colliton


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The Blackhawks are having a rough month. They started the season 1-9-2 and are still dealing with the fallout of a sexual assault incident that’s more than a decade old. Last weekend, they fired their coach Jeremy Colliton. Derek King — who was the coach of the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs — replaced Colliton on an interim basis. 

Colliton was in his fourth season with the Hawks. He finished his tenure in Chicago with an 87-92-26 record. The Blackhawks made the playoffs only once while he was behind the bench.

The Blackhawks are riding a three-game win streak under their new interim head coach. 

I’m sure Colliton will be fine. He’s 36-years-old, he’ll have other chances. Unfortunately for him, the Hawks aren’t trying to be basement dwellers anymore. Jonathan Toews is back and they traded for Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury. The team’s performance was unacceptable. Considering the Blackhawks have looked much better since Colliton was fired, it seems like the decision was successful. It’s a long season, we’ll have plenty of time to judge that.

2. Ducks’ GM Resigns


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In perhaps the biggest news of the week, Anaheim Ducks’ executive vice president and GM Bob Murray resigned due to allegations of abuse. He was placed on administrative leave by the Ducks and immediately announced he would seek treatment for alcohol abuse. Assistant GM Jeff Solomon will replace him as the interim GM. Murray served as the Ducks’ GM since 2008 and was the third-longest serving GM in the NHL. Murray was awarded the GM of the year award in 2014.

Before I share my thoughts on the matter I want to be clear that alcohol abuse is an addiction and addiction is a disease. If Murray is suffering from addiction, it’s something we should keep in mind and hope he overcomes his addictions.

That being said, it’s worrisome that the third-longest serving GM in the NHL was serving as a franchise’s top hockey decision-maker and was verbally abusive to those around him. If he has been abusive for his entire tenure, that means he could have been abusing others for the last 13 years. What’s scarier is that after so many coaches and GMs were called out over the last few seasons for being abusive, no one threw Murray’s name out there. That makes me think people were too scared to implicate him.

It’s good that Murray is seeking the help he needs and that he’s out of the Ducks’ organization. There’s no place in hockey for someone who abuses others and I hope he’s the last domino to fall and we don’t see any more reports of abuse within NHL organizations.

3. Blue Jackets Announce Rick Nash Number Retirement


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On a positive note, the Blue Jackets announced they will retire the first number in team history. Rick Nash’s number 61 will hang in the rafters of Nationwide Arena starting on March 5, 2022.

The team surprised Nash when they announced his jersey would be retired. You can see that video here.

Rick Nash is undoubtedly the best player in Columbus Blue Jackets history. Nash was picked first overall in the 2002 draft. He quickly became a star, the team’s first, scoring 41 goals in his age-19 season, his second in the NHL. He finished his Blue Jacket career with a line of 289-258-547. Nash is first in Blue Jackets history in the following statistical categories: goals, assists, points, power-play goals, game-winning goals, and shots.

Nash was also named the team’s captain before the 2008-09 season. He was traded to the New York Rangers before the 2012-13 season. He played a half-season with the Bruins before he retired.

Hats of to Rick Nash on a fantastic career. He was one of my favorite players to watch and I’m happy he’ll receive this honor.

4. Bruins and Oilers Honor Colby Cave


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Thursday night was a special night in the NHL. Colby Cave, who tragically passed away due to a brain bleed at the age of 25, was honored in Boston before a game against his two old teams, the Bruins and Edmonton Oilers.

A video tribute was played and Cave’s wife performed the pregame puck drop.

Cave played 67 NHL games, scoring four goals and adding another five assists. Cave’s death reminds us that life is short and we should cherish it every day.

Kudos to both teams for working together to find a way to honor the life of a former player that passed away too soon.

5. Red Wings Host a Block Party

This happened a few weeks ago, but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve seen. On October 29, the Red Wings took on the Panthers in Detroit, a game they lost in OT 3-2. What stood out about the game was that Detroit blocked like seven shots on one shift.

The reason I’m writing about it is that I saw this video created by one of my favorite YouTubers, Jomboy Media. Jomboy mostly creates baseball content. That’s the reason this video is funny, it’s because you can tell he’s not too familiar with hockey. He provides his thoughts on the Wings’ attempt to prevent a goal against the Panthers. 

I’ll leave you with the video. ■

Blake Isaacs is a die-hard Red Wings fan that doesn’t go to as many games as he should. He is also a big fan of 7-Eleven Slurpeees, Chipotle, and all things Michigan State. Follow him on Twitter @bisaacs1995.

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