Monday, May 11, 2009

Hurricanes decision blows

Wow. That's all I could say when my Global Sports colleague John Sexsmith broke the news to me about Roy Stasiuk being let go in Lethbridge. I was on the golf course at Sturgeon Valley all day and zipped straight to a charity bowling function where John told me. I've had some time to digest it and read some comments from the organization and now I feel like spewing my opinion.

The guy on the left might summarize it with this. "Worst decision ever."

First of all I think this is a big mistake, and the board is blowing smoke up you know where with some of their comments.

“We had very high expectations going into this season,” Lethbridge president Brian McNaughton told the gathering. “We believed we had a very strong group of 1989-born players and coming off of last season our expectations were quite high. Those expectations were not met."

This is a team that started the season without 2008 first round draft picks Zack Boychuk (Carolina 14th overall) and Luca Sbisa (Philadelphia 19th overall) and while both came back Boychuk was still getting over a wrist injury while Sbisa played only 18 regular season games. How did the team not meet expectations??? After Stasiuk made a ballsy deal to bring in Kyle Beach, the poster child for bad reputations notched 33 points in 24 games. He did struggle with offence and discipline in the post season, but he was reportedly good in the dressing room. The Canes also knocked off the 2nd ranked Saskatoon Blades, then lost to Calgary who didn't lose a game until the WHL final. So to me the board is full of BS with those comments.
"We’ve gone through an extensive evaluation period here for the last several weeks and came to this decision in the middle of last week.”
Brilliant comment here. Why then did you let Roy tie the can to Michael Dyck? And why would you let him run your bantam draft? This is just my opinion, but I think something happened from the time Dyck was cut loose and today. Maybe it was how out spoken Stasiuk was, maybe it was a "backroom deal" he spoke about after getting fired. But I don't think the board is being honest about when they made this decision.

One thing I'm sure of, Rodeo Roy will get back in the saddle again. He was a key cog in building the Kootenay Ice when they were winning league and Memorial Cup titles, and has a great eye for talent. He also took the Hurricanes to the WHL final just last year, so the 'Canes decision today could be very premature and might come back to bite them in the....

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