Saturday, March 03, 2012
Where Will Wilson Land??
With his firing, Ron Wilson becomes the belle of the coaching ball and there's plenty of upcoming suitors that will be going after his services. Yet the big onus could be on putting him into the right position in order to have success with any team. Even with that, the playoff success is one that is another question-- especially for a team who may or may not want to actually want to advance further than they have. Wilson has been to the Cup Finals once and Conference Finals once, but other than that-- if his team makes the playoffs, it all ends after round two; which for some teams, won't be enough.
One place that has been under fire for coaching has been the Washington Capitals, a team that Wilson has coached before and took to the Stanley Cup. While Dale Hunter is still learning the ropes as a NHL coach, the demand from the fans and upper management may not fit what Hunter has to offer-- even if given a full off-season to get a game plan going. I tweeted a tongue-in-cheek line about the Caps bringing an old coach back; but apparently-- a buddy of mine at the 5-0 Caps loss to the Devils, said that there was a "We Want Wilson" chant in the Verizon Center.
Now, I don't know if it was in frustration or in jest from the many fans who remember Wilson's tenure-- or just hatred of Hunter's tenure-- but a return to Washington may not be a bad idea in the front, but the playoff issues are of a concern. That said, if Wilson would let the stars of the team be as free-wheeling as they were before the huge system change under Bruce Boudreau-- the odds of being successful could very well be fantastic for the Caps. However, that also buries Hunter and his legacy in DC, making everyone in the situation look horrible.
If not DC, then the other option would possibly be Columbus and the Blue Jackets. While Todd Richards has done a respectable job in the interim as coach, the ability to seize someone like Wilson and help him guide a team like the Blue Jackets may be fantastic for the organization and possible coax Rick Nash to want to stay. Though, Columbus may not be the best fit for Wilson and he may not want to actually be in that market with so many question attached to their future and ability to get players onto the team via free agency.
Two Canadian teams that could go after Wilson may be Montreal and Edmonton. The thing that hinders Wilson for the Canadiens is his possible lack of French, which would make people rise-up in an uproar, despite being the best candidate for the job. Edmonton may be a little more realistic, as Tom Renney could be on his last legs there. The fact that Wilson would inherit a great young core of forwards, he may fit in well with the pick-up of some defensive assets. One final destination could be the New York Islanders, but it seems Charles Wang and Garth Snow could be keen on keeping Jack Capuano behind the bench for the long-term.
While the reality of the situation is that maybe two of these teams would be very interested in having Wilson as a coach, odds are he may not be out on the open market for long. With his coaching abilities and decent track record overall, added to his technological advances behind the bench-- it could be great for a younger team that is on the cusp. Yet, with his inability to get the Maple Leafs over the hump could show that a once great coach could have let the game pass him by and he may not be a fit for any team, regardless of the history that he has.