Monday, March 12, 2007

What The Hell is Mike Smith Up To?

Interesting fellow, this Mike Smith. Years ago I remember hearing an interview with him, he explained the reason that the Winnipeg Jets went all Russian in the 90s. Apparently they saw the writing on the wall with salary inflation, and felt it would be difficult for them to compete in the future. According to his math at the time, a Russian born player that contributed the same to the team, he earned about two thirds of a comparable non-Russian player. It was at that time that the Winnipeg Jets made the strategic decision to focus on Russian hockey players.

Now I don't know whether Mike Smith is a good judge of talent or not. But anyone who is consciously searching for market inequities in the NHL and developing a concrete plan to exploit them, well they're unique. Ever since I've made an effort to listen to his interviews when I can.

Not your typical hockey executive, buddy has a graduate degree in history if I remember right, is a collector of art, and is pals with Harry Sinden. A strange mix to be sure.

Sinden has a good story about him, apparently Smith was no longer with the Jets, and was in Russia on a scouting trip when he heard that Mats Lindgren and Boris Mironov were traded to Edmonton for Dave Manson (iirc). He called Harry and asked: "Is this right?". Harry replied: "No. But it's true."

He got caught up in that peculiar arrangement with the Leafs. He had traded for Mike Sullivan and Jason Smith, Quinn refused to play either much at all, and these two were the target of a lot of criticism from the coach. Apparently Jason Smith couldn't close the gap on wingers quickly enough to be a bonafide NHLer.

Anyhow, at the press conference when Sather acquired Jason Smith, somebody in the media hoard asked a good question: "Isn't Smith worth more than a 2nd round pick?". Smith's answer was something very, very close to: "Yes. But I shopped him to 29 teams and this is the best offer I got." ... he went on to explain that gator wasn't playing for the Leafs, so it didn't make sense ot NOT trade him.

I think Mike Smith was the first GM to hire outside council for arbitration hearings as well. Though I may have that wrong, "Mike Smith" is not an easy name to google. And for that reason I've had to trsut my memory for this post.

I did find an article through google about a guy named Hornung, who was paralyzed from the neck down. Mike Smith hired him first as an intern, and later as an employee of the Blackhawks. He was equipped with a voice activated computer and amongst other things he reviewed scouting reports for consistency (I imagine the scouts loved that ;) ), and looked for patterns and trends. I have no idea what that last bit is about.

Now, as mc79hockey told us several weeks ago, Mike Smith has formed a company that claims to be able to assist NHL teams by providing them with better means of evaluating players using innovative statistical methods. This Boston Globe article is the only thing I could find that sheds even a smidge of light on this thing. Scroll a bit of the way down page 3 to find the start of the article. His partner, this Richard Coleman fellow, is a difficult guy to find out anything about as well. And my internet search for "Coleman Analytics" turned up nothing useful. Smith's few comments on the subject don't help much, though it appears that he's now into 'clutchness', which is a departure for him. Curious stuff, if anybody has heard anything else about what Smith is doing, do let us know.

26 Comments:

Blogger Black Dog said...

Smith is definitely a different sort of cat, Vic, which of course works against him amongst the free thinkers of the forward looking NHL. Of course he worked with your dinosaur Pat Quinn and then moved on to Chicago (and back to the Jurassic Era) where he had the pleasure of working with franchise killer Bob Pulford.

Interesting results there. He drafted quite a few Europeans (loved the Russians there as well) many of who were highly touted and big producers in the CHL. Radulov and Yakubov are two of the names iirc - both highly skilled and regarded - neither panned out. He may have drafted Tuumo Ruutu as well. His career was derailed by injuries. Couldn't really fault his drafts - wasn't like he was taking flyers. May have taken Calder and Bell too.

He also hired Alpo, the Finnish coach - he was an innovative chap who was into theatre I believe - he did not last - had health issues and didn't last a season.

Smith was definitely an interesting fellow - not at all your typical NHL exec - nerdy and arrogant and very smart all at once. Wasn't liked by the sports media on Chicago - he had no time for the usual bs. His wife died young as well which would be a terrible thing and would change your perspective on everything if you had any sense.

Needless to say the Hawks cut him loose and tried to fuck him out of the monies they owed him. Typical.

3/12/2007 9:10 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Larry Hornung was a pretty solid defenseman who had a solid WHA career (and played some in the NHL but not much) and his son is the Hornung in your article. Quoting an article dated July 15, 2002 from NHL.com:

The computer allows him to read the reports that about a dozen scouts file,” Smith said. “Billy uses him to make sure the reports are consistent. If a scout says something about a player in October, is he still saying it later in the season?

“Brad’s involved in record-keeping and keeping lists. He’ll become more involved over time. We hired him two years ago on a student internship. He read all the hockey clippings and once or twice a week he would file reports to me. It’s pretty fascinating, reading all the hockey stories in all the NHL cities.”

“I get game reports from scouts and I read through them, looking for information to give Bill. I look for patterns and trends,” Hornung said. “I go to about 30-35 games every year at Regina. I recently went to the prospects’ game, so I see quite a few of the players.”

“I use voice-activated software with my computer,” Hornung said. “It’s great for me. It allows me to use a computer like anyone else.”


I honestly don’t know how to post the link, but if you google “Larry Hornung’s Son” it’ll show up near the top.

3/12/2007 9:38 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Pat:

I have a friend who is a diehard Hawks fan and he just flat out hated Smith. Your opinion is definitely mellower.

I really don't have a strong opinion on his abilities as a hockey executive, other than the fact that he's clearly outside the box with a lot of things.

LT: Thanks, and ya, that would be the article I read today and forgot to bookmark. :) I can't place his father, granted I would have been pretty young when he played. The name Hornung seems really familiar though.

And have you ever read Mike Smith's book "Life After Hockey"? Until today I hadn't realized that he had written a book.

3/12/2007 9:56 pm  
Blogger Lowetide said...

Vic: You might be thinking of Paul Hornung, who was famous for Green Bay Packers in the 60s and I think Notre Dame in college (I don't know much about the NFL).

Larry Hornung wasn't a big time player or anything. Best D on the Jets in the WHA was a guy named Lars Erik Sjoberg who was a helluva player.

I haven't read the Smith book but love hockey books so will look for it. I remember when he was in Toronto the camera flashed to him in the management box and he looked a mess. Wrinkled shirt, stuff hanging out of his mouth as he was eating. Seriously. I liked him from then on. :-)

I believe he was GM in Winnipeg when they took Selanne and Tkachuk, which is a pretty nice run.

3/12/2007 10:27 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I don't follow the NFL either, but that could be it.

...

"I believe he was GM in Winnipeg when they took Selanne and Tkachuk, which is a pretty nice run."

Yeah, I've read somewhere that he was in charge of the Jets draft table through the 80s. Some mixed results in there, but picking Selanne and Tkachuk in back to back years probably did more to help his career than anything else.

The comment about targeting Russian players because they would play for less ... that floored me when I heard it first, and still impresses me.

3/12/2007 10:35 pm  
Blogger Hawerchuk said...

Smith didn't become GM until Dec 1988, so Selanne belongs to John Ferguson.

Ferguson traded away all his draft picks and made everyone hate him when he dumped Dave Babych for nothing.

But Smith came off even worse for his penchant for Russians - while he was perceived to be riding Stu Barnes, Aaron Ward and Kris Draper out of the system.

I look back at Smith's drafts, and they seem high-risk with all those Russians. Teams still didn't know whether Jagr scoring 8 billion points in the Czech league was worth anything. Unfortunately, Smith got a bunch of ECHL and CHL players for his efforts.

3/12/2007 11:09 pm  
Blogger Chris! said...

I remember Brad Hornung. He was a defenceman for the Pats back when I lived in Regina in the late '80s. Broke his neck sliding head-first into the boards, didn't he?

I hadn't heard about his role on the Hawks until now. Fascinating stuff.

3/12/2007 11:46 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

hawerchuk:

What was Mike Smith's role on the team before he became GM? For some reason I was under thought that he was head of scouting, or director of player personnel, something like that.

One day I'll have a scroll through hockeydb.com and check out the Russians that Smith's regime drafted and the ones that they skipped on. Whether the plan was good or not, from what Jets fans say ... the execution doesn't seem to have been there.

3/13/2007 12:15 am  
Blogger Julian said...

Roy Macgregor's book Home Team has a chapter on the Hornung family and what they went through in the late 80's with that accident.

I knew I recognized the name from somewhere as well....

3/13/2007 12:43 am  
Blogger Bill Needle said...

I'm almost certain it was Mikhail Smith who's responsible (to blame??) for bringing Igor Ulanov to the NHL.

3/13/2007 1:00 am  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Vic - well, I think at that point I had given up on the Hawks so that probably explains my indifference

He had mixed results I believe - some good drafts, some did not pan out - not like the Hawks are a stable org. and once he was shown the door the Pulford buried a couple of the young Russians - Jurassic remember?

I believe he brought in Karpotsev who was a disaster and he may have traded JP Dumont and Gilmour for Michael Grosek - that was an awful trade.

I can't keep track. The only guy who made a difference in the last twenty years as GM was Keenan. I don't even know who the GM was before Tallon.

Bob Murray was in there too - he may have drafted Calder and Bell.

Who knows? Who cares?

3/13/2007 11:05 am  
Blogger Hawerchuk said...

1992 was the year Smith went all out, with 9 out of 12 picks Russians. (He also drafted Teppo Numminen's brother). There were some good Russians available through the end of the 2nd round, and he did ok picking up Mironov. (Khabibulin that late is also great, though I'm reluctant to credit any GM from 15 years ago with goalie development.) I think the North American talent turned out to be much stronger than the Russian talent in '92.

1992
17 D Sergei Bautin
27 D Boris Mironov
132 D Alexander Alexeev
155 D Artur Oktyabrev
156 C Andrei Raisky
204 G Nikolai Khabibulin
228 Evgeny Garanin
252 Andrei Karpovtsev
254 R Ivan Vologjaninov

2 Ottawa Alexei Yashin C Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 792 319 412 731 357
5 NY Islanders Darius Kasparaitis D Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 839 25 134 159 1349
10 San Jose Andrei Nazarov L Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 571 53 71 124 1409
12 Chicago Sergei Krivokrasov R CSKA Moscow (Russia) 450 86 109 195 288
14 Washington Sergei Gonchar D Chelyabinsk Traktor (Russia) 744 160 323 483 629
17 Winnipeg Sergei Bautin D Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 132 5 25 30 176
27 Winnipeg Boris Mironov D CSKA Moscow (Russia) 716 76 231 307 891
31 Philadelphia Denis Metlyuk L Tolyatti Lada (Russia)
38 St. Louis Igor Korolev C Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 795 119 227 346 330
41 Chicago Sergei Klimovich C Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 1 0 0 0 2
42 New Jersey Sergei Brylin C CSKA Moscow (Russia) 601 107 145 252 218
47 Hartford Andrei Nikolishin C Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 628 93 187 280 270
51 San Jose Alexander Cherbayev R Voskresensk Khimik (Russia)
55 Boston Sergei Zholtok C Riga (CIS) 588 111 147 258 166
62 St. Louis Vitali Karamnov L Moscow Dynamo (Russia) 92 12 20 32 65
64 St. Louis Vitali Prokhorov L Moscow Spartak (Russia) 83 19 11 30 35
77 Toronto Nikolai Borschevsky R Moscow Spartak (Russia) 162 49 74 123 44
90 New Jersey Vitali Tomilin Krylja Sovetov (Russia)
103 Philadelphia Vladislav Boulin D Penza Dizelist (Russia)
108 Buffalo Yuri Khmylev L Krylja Sovetov (Russia) 263 64 88 152 133
120 NY Rangers Dmitri Starostenko R CSKA Moscow (Russia)
126 Calgary Ravil Yakubov D Moscow Dynamo (Russia)
127 Philadelphia Roman Zolotov D Moscow Dynamo (Russia)
132 Winnipeg Alexander Alexeev D Kiev Sokol (Russia)
136 Boston Grigori Panteleev L Riga (CIS) 54 8 6 14 12
139 Pittsburgh Artem Kopot Chelyabinsk Traktor (Russia)
152 NY Islanders Vladimir Gratchev R Moscow Dynamo (Russia)
155 Winnipeg Artur Oktyabrev D CSKA Moscow (Russia)
156 Winnipeg Andrei Raisky C Ust Kamengorsk (CIS)
177 Hartford Konstantin Korotkov C Spartak (CIS)
180 St. Louis Igor Boldin C Moscow Spartak (Russia)
204 Winnipeg Nikolai Khabibulin G CSKA Moscow (Russia) 526 0 14 14 98
219 San Jose Alex Kholomeyev R SKA Leningrad (CIS)
221 Toronto Sergei Simonov Kristall Saratov (CIS)
228 Winnipeg Evgeny Garanin Voskresensk Khimik (Russia)
230 St. Louis Yuri Gunko Kiev Sokol (Russia)
240 NY Rangers Vladimir Vorobiev R Mettalurg (CIS) 33 9 7 16 14
243 San Jose Victor Ignatjev D Riga (CIS) 11 0 1 1 6
246 Calgary Andrei Potaichuk R Krylja Sovetov (Russia)
248 NY Islanders Andrei Vasilyev L CSKA Moscow (Russia) 16 2 5 7 6
252 Winnipeg Andrei Karpovtsev Moscow Dynamo (Russia)
254 Winnipeg Ivan Vologjaninov R Kiev Sokol (Russia)
256 Boston Denis Chervyakov D Riga (CIS) 2 0 0 0 2
257 Boston Eugene Pavlov R SKA Leningrad (CIS)
258 New Jersey Vladislav Yakovenko Spartak (CIS)

3/13/2007 12:10 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

The guy always looked like he just rolled out of bed, that's how I remember his persona.

Of course Mike Smith the man, then I think back to an old globe piece I read about his wife's death and how they'd just opened an antique store, I believe, on I think Nantucket?

3/13/2007 1:00 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

bill needle:
Ya, according to hockeydb the Jets drafted Ulanov in the 10th round in 1991. Though any time a 10th rounder plays over 700 NHL games, I think it's safe to say he covered the bet.

hawerchuk:
Damn, that is a whack of Russians that he drafted. Having said that he only had two picks in the top 100, so he at least had some sort of excuse for not getting the good ones. Sergei Bautin was clearly a swing and a miss.

3/13/2007 2:11 pm  
Blogger robert cleave said...

IIRC, Smith was assistant GM to Ferguson in Winnipeg.

Here's a couple of tales from the Jets' days. When Hawerchuk was traded, Smith did a local radio interview. He was asked if the Jets had any players that smoked, and Smith said, more or less, "not anymore". He was quite smug about it.

When they drafted Bautin, I was watching the proceedings. You should have seen the scrambling the TSN guys were doing trying to find any info. They actually thought the Jets drafted Sergei Brylin, which would have been a lot better than Bautin the pylon.

3/13/2007 7:46 pm  
Blogger Bill Needle said...

I remember seeing Bautin and Ulanov on the same defence pairing — whoa it was bad. It looked a lot like the Oilers' defence shifts these days.

Yes, 700 games for Ulanov is something to be proud of... if any of those games were played well. What really is impressive is that he played 700 NHL games as the seventh defenceman on the depth chart (at best) for so many seasons.

3/13/2007 7:54 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

Yes, 700 games for Ulanov is something to be proud of... if any of those games were played well.

I think Ulanov had some luck in 03/04 and surely he didn't play many tough minutes but +32/-14 at 5V5 is pretty damn good. If he was as bad as you say he was, I'd like to know how he posted those numbers.

3/13/2007 11:55 pm  
Blogger Hawerchuk said...

Vic wrote: "Damn, that is a whack of Russians that he drafted. Having said that he only had two picks in the top 100, so he at least had some sort of excuse for not getting the good ones. Sergei Bautin was clearly a swing and a miss."

Sorry, my bad. I left out the two other picks he had in the top 100: Mark Visheau and Jeremey Stevenson. I just wanted to list the Russians...

3/13/2007 11:57 pm  
Blogger PhillyM said...

I just did a little research on him and he was in Toronto in 1998(Antropov). From what I can tell he also drafted one of your favorites, Seabrook, when he went over to the Blackhawks in 2000. He was definetly a candid interview all business and no filler.

"For the first time," Smith said, "this team will have a pro scouting department, and I guarantee you it will be the best scouting department in the league. We had to steal it (assistant general manager Nick Beverley and director of pro scouting Joe Yannetti) from Toronto, but when I was in Toronto, we turned that team around in one year, going from a non-playoff team to the final four."
"We're supposed to stand up here and dance and tell you we're going to win the Stanley Cup in 2004?" Smith said. "I'm not going to do that because that's nothing but bull. We're trying to build an organization."

I'm not sure but I think he got fired before he ever got to 2004.

3/14/2007 12:50 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Thanks phillym, cool stuff. Though I may have misrepresented, Seabrooke isn't one of my personal faves (I like defensemen older and angrier, but that's just me).

Personally, I think that the perfect number of under-25 Dmen on an NHL team is exactly zero.

3/14/2007 8:25 pm  
Blogger MikeSmith said...

This column was e-mailed to me. Interesting. Since this group of readers are into history, my first job was in 1976 with NY Rangers. I was an assistant coach in charge of practices and conditioning (Rangers were first NHL team to have a year round conditioning program implemented) and a scout in charge of US College (check our college drafts for '77 ans '78, best day was watching Northern Michigane once and we drafted Steve Weeks (who played 2 and 1/2 minutes in warmup) and Tom Laidlaw (who got hurt late in second period). All this about drafting, Jets had T.Selanne, K. Tkachuk. and A. Zhamnov all rookies the same year ('92-93). Of these three, I never saw Zhamnov play until after we drafted him, did see Tkachuk play (remember we moved down to 18th or so in the Hawerchuk trade ,confident we'd still get Keith there ), I was the only one in the organization to see Teemu play his draft year. N. Khaibulin, a 9th pick, came soon after, even though I was long gone from Winnipeg by the time he joined the team. We were quite radical in Winnpeg to think that Europeans could play in the NHL. Toronto was a great stop, '98-99 season was an exceptional experience. Highlight in Chicago was 96 points and in the playoffs our second year. You'd have to talk to them about what happened after that. We've kept Coleman Analytics quiet for nearly a full year, something that is nearly impossible in the hockey world. At the outset we knew our information was a generational step forward. Did not, still do not, want all the clubs to be clients. Current clubs (clients) firmly believe we give them a competitive advantage on and off the ice, but do not want opponents to know they use it. Why did clubs who did not sign up keep quiet about it? A couple of GMs have told us they do not want their owners to know we are out there and they are not part of it. Whatever. Be careful with new information that might help make better decisions.

3/17/2007 10:07 am  
Blogger mc79hockey said...

This column was e-mailed to me.

Well that's interesting on a number of levels, assuming that this is in fact the Mike Smith who's the subject of the post.

I'll assume that you can't say anything about who your clients are and aren't, although I'd assume that if the data you're producing is good, the Columbus Blue Jackets are obviously into it.

Anything you can tell us about the kinds of metrics that you guys are developing or the things that you're interested in? Nothing proprietary of course, just the sort of stuff you're digging into. I'd be interested to know what sort of leagues you're covering as well and what you're using for data. If you poke around this site and some of the others about the Oilers that are linked on the side, you can see that this whole topic is one of interest to the people who hang around here.

3/17/2007 9:05 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

mc79hockey said...

I'll assume that you can't say anything about who your clients are and aren't, although I'd assume that if the data you're producing is good, the Columbus Blue Jackets are obviously into it.


Oh boy, that's rich. I hope Mike (assuming this is Mike Smith) took that as it was intended.

I echo the request for info on current metrics of interest. That is a huge topic of interest on this site.

I'd also like to know your take on how player development has changed with this new CBA. It seems to me that maximizing return on a player development investment requires proper usage of the 20-27 years that count towards UFA eligibility. Since players are drafted at 18, that means you've got two years to develop a player, preferably without wasting years of service in the NHL. I'm wondering then, if you're an NHL GM and you've drafted a CHL-trained European player, would you consider sending him to a European Elite League for his 19yr old season?

3/19/2007 1:04 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Checked on the '78 draft on hockeydb.com, crazy stuff. The Habs GM at the time must have been hanging around with the janitor by the end of it. Picking players the 21st round all on his own for Christmas sakes, long after everyone else had packed up their marbles and gone home.

He did nab Chris Nilan after hours though. Damn, that guy was an animal, I never would have pegged him for a college man.

Some good coaches, MacTavish and Contantine, were picked up late in that draft from the NCAA as well. And Don Waddell was drafted out of college that year.

I remember Weeks as a Whaler, obviously he covered the bet given the draft position, but why draft him if you've only seen him play a couple of minutes in warmup?

A lot of good players ended up coming from the NCAA in that era, but far more future coaches and GMs. Just a couple of years previous Brian Burke and Ron Wilson were roommates on the team that Lou Lamouriello coached in Rhode Island. That's plenty strange. Dave Taylor from Clarkson of course. A whack of others.

Along this line ... I know that the WHL is a big tradition out here, but Jesus, maybe it's time for a rethink. Free labour is great and all, but these are just kids. I mean when a guy steps back and looks at it ... the whole CHL thing is a strange business indeed. It would take a lot to convince me that these young players wouldn't be better off staying with their parents until they were 17 and then being sent to college. And that includes the handful that actually make it.

3/19/2007 6:43 pm  
Blogger Eric said...

Try doing a search of Michael A. Smith, he's a graudate of Clarkson University and has written hockey books. (you'll come upon some stuff, like an alumni page shortly before he got fired by the Hawks).

I apologize for commenting months later, just found the site and was looking at old postings.

As a Hawk fan (yes, I'm still proud to admit I am one), Mike Smith's tenure is best forgotten.

Smith succeeded Bob Murray as GM after Murray was fired. Bell and Calder were Murray picks (or maybe Pully, one never really knows with the Hawks).

Pulford "filled" in, in his usual and almost nauseating reappearing/disappearing act. At the time Smith was doing consulting work for the Hawks. Pulford named Smith the GM, and to be honest most Hawk fans were grateful, if only because it gave the appearance that Pully would go back into the shadows and let Smith run things.

What's the saying, "Be careful what you wish for?"

The media never warmed up to Smith in Chicago (some writers apparently developed grudges with the guy that were never resolved, at least publicly). Smith for his part, tried to steal the Toronto scouting department, and basically hired them after some public comments about the need to improve Hawk scouting. Smith proceeded to draft lots of European players. I think this was around the year 2000, if my memory is correct.

Smith hired Alpo Suhonen as mentioned, but the Suhonen tenure was an odd time. He wasn't the best soundbyte and that probably didn't help him or Smith when they used a "free-flowing" (I believe that's what they called it, but I could be wrong) offensive system. With the personnel in place, the Hawks just weren't going to shock and awe the opposition. The Hawk's new system was derided a bit as being "hokey."

Smith made some bad deals, specifically in free agency. He passed on offensive players that would've immediately helped the Hawks (maybe the purse strings were tied, who knows?), and he signed a lot of mid-tier types: Berezin, Korolev, Zelepukin, etc, all the while selling them as "difference makers." I'll never forget when Jon Klemm got signed and he was sold to the fans as a number 1 d-man. (Sighs).

I give Smith some credit though, he did start a "town hall" type meeting where Hawk fans were allowed to vent at Smith over the state of the Hawks.

The 2002 playoff season was an aberration really.

It always seemed like Smith would make 1 decent move, and then 4 or 5 bad ones. (e.g. He claimed Steve Sullivan off waivers from Toronto, but he traded Gilmour (plus the Hawks agreed to pay his salary)/ J.P Dumont to Buffalo for the "immortal" Michael Grosek.) There are many more moves like this. His drafting wasn't horrific, although it wasn't anything to write home about.

When Smith got fired and the Hawks refused pay, they claimed he had broken his contract somehow. Eventually it went to court or an arbitor of some sort (and I believe Smith got his money, but he had to sign an agreement where he wouldn't discuss the details or something like that). It was quintessential Wirtz!

What I really remember most though, is how Smith (using the media that he didn't get along with) basically degraded Tony Amonte in the papers and forced Amonte out of here. It was sad, even if Amonte wanted more money than he was worth at the time, there was no need to disparage the one guy that had become the face of the franchise after Chelios was traded away.

Anyhow, Tallon served (a quasi-pseudo apprenticeship under Pully after Smith got fired, it couldn't have been more than a few months in the season before the lockout). Then Tallon got the gig (Pully reluctantly it seemed handed over the reigns) and Tallon fired Brian Sutter (who Smith brought in after Alpo). Sutter was replaced by Trent Yawney (who had coached, by himself, without assistants at Norfolk for the Hawks). Yawney got canned early last season, and now Denis Savard must lead the Hawks back to the promiseland.

{Sorry about the length)

8/20/2007 3:37 am  
Blogger Stan said...

Here's the answer to the question in the title:

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=f09789da-d4f0-4fe0-9bc7-144400f3463c

10/09/2007 9:04 am  

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