Each Friday throughout the season, I'll provide you with my predictions on whose stock is on the rise and whose is failing miserably like an American bank. It's a neat little segment entitled Buys and Sells. There are a few teams/players/issues to buy and a few to sell.
It's Friday again. How about that? It's pretty neat how that happens every seven days or so. Sorry. I tend to be amused by simple things and shiny objects. Oooohhh, look! A mini flashlight! Sorry! Sorry. Anyway, Friday means one thing here at FanHouse and that's Buys and Sells. This week we're going to take a look at the coaching hot seats around the National Hockey League. As the Blackhawks proved earlier in the year, NHL coaches can get fired at any moment. It's like whack-a-mole. You never know when and where the next one will get whacked.
Sell: John Stevens and the Underachieving Flyers. Based on the opinions of some of the folks in Philadelphia, the Flyers were supposed to contend for the Atlantic division title this season. It's still early, but right now it looks as if they are more likely to be competing with the Islanders for the bottom of the division. Through 12 games the Flyers are 4-5-3 and sitting in 12th place in the East. They're by no means out of it, but they're giving up far too many goals and Marty Biron isn't the Marty Biron we're used to. It's hard to lay the blame on him -- let's face it, the defense is lacking and an injured Danny Briere doesn't help -- but his GAA is hovering around 1.2 points higher than it was last season. Now it's time to cue all the angry responses from Flyer fans. It's OK, I'm used to it.
Click on dear reader, for there are more coaching conundrums after the jump!
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Buy: Barry Melrose's future in Tampa. After a shaky 1-3-3 start to the season, the flashiest hiring of the off-season has taken a turn for the safe side of the coaching ranks. Besides the fact that it would make the new owners look downright silly by firing their own hire early in the season, the Bolts have turned things around a bit by going 3-1-1 in their last five. Melrose should get through the season with his job in tact, assuming the bottom doesn't completely fall out. And it would have to fall far.
Sell: Dave Tippet and his time in Dallas. Tippet has been the Stars coach since May 2002, but it's not to hard to imagine that his time may be running short. Despite making it to the Conference Finals and losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champs, the Stars had a less than stellar end to the 2007-08 regular season. Despite the playoff run, things are still not working out too well. The Stars have 10 points in 12 games and are already 12 points behind the division leading San Jose Sharks. And then there's that whole thing about Mike Modano and mounting locker room frustrations. That's a recipe for disaster in my book.
Generally Confused: Wayne Gretzky. Time and time again we have to ask the question 'how can you possibly fire the Great One?' And there's no easy answer. But, at some point, his tenure in Phoenix will likely end. I'm not even going to bother to speculate one way or another because if this was any other coach, he likely would have been gone by now. But this is the Great One and given that, the rules are understandably different. In three years at the helm he is 107-122-17 and the 'Yotes have never finished higher than fourth in a five team division. They have 10 points in 11 games and have only scored 25 goals (2.27 per game) this season.