Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lightning Gamble on Tochett?

1) In a move that didn't shock the hockey world, Barry Melrose became the second coaching casualty of the relatively young 2008-09 NHL season. Of course we have to send out a Thank You to FR 2 who only 24 hours earlier had predicted that the axe was ready to fall on the man they call' The Mullet'. Referring to Barry's long past out of style hair-do.

2) We tried to contact FR2 to get their reaction, but we're told that they are out of the country.(again!) So we asked around to our sources to see what the reactions/reasons were to this decision. The one thing that was surprising to hear was that Barry apparently took the news very well. One source tells Fauxrumors, that "Barry almost appeared relieved to get fired". The source went on: "He hadn't coached in over a decade, and was living the TV personality life its not a shock that he didn't have the commitment needed to have this work".

3) The players also appeared to not be disappointed with this change. The most happy? Vinny Lecavalier, the team captain. There was NO love lost between the coach and captain. He wouldn't say so publicly, but Vinny's talk with co-owner Oren Koules last week is what 'greased the skids' toward this move. When the star isn't happy, the team isn't going to thrive. Barry must have forgotten that. After all he was the coach to the biggest NHL star, ever, Wayne Gretzky.

4) The biggest surprise is the man who replaces Melrose. Rick Tocchet. Many may recall that Tocchet was suspended by the NHL for gambling allegations. Tocchet partnered with a New Jersey state trooper and another man, became public in February 2006. He was sentenced to two years' probation in August 2007 after pleading guilty in the investigation into the sports betting ring. Tocchet said he never bet on NHL games. (Didn't Pete Rose say something similar?) Tocchet rejoined Phoenix's coaching staff in February 2008 after a two-year absence that included a suspension by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

5) We believe you know someone based upon the company they keep. In that case Tocchet was mixed up with some very bad people who had ties to the Tony Soprano types in Jersey. We are told that Tocchet wasn't clean with respect to gambling LONG before this incident. One source told us then: "How do you think Rick met those 2 troopers?" WE hope for the sake of the game that Rick's proclivity to put a few bucks (and take the bets of others) are done. We wouldn't have ever allowed him back, but hey maybe Gary Bettman is a gambling man? Or put another way, whats the over/under on how long Tocchet lasts? ; )

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