John Tortorella won’t be returning to coach the Tampa Bay Lightning next season, news that didn’t surprise me but still disappointed me. Tampa Bay’s website tiptoed around making a decisive statement if he quit or was fired, sketchily stating he “won’t return”, which is a nice way of saying he was axed.
The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004, and finished dead last this past season. How in the hell does a hockey team plummet into the toilet so fast? It takes more than a coach to suck that much. CBS Sports said, “Tampa Bay finished last in the 30-team league this season with a record of 31-42-9, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002, despite a roster that includes stars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.” Yes, let’s talk about these shining stars…Marty was essentially useless this season (sorry, man, you know I still love you, little guy), and Vinny could rack up stats that were impressive on NHL.com but didn’t seem to make much difference in the nitty-gritty of a game.
A lot of things went wrong, and a lot of things were not working, obviously. I agree with making changes in the pursuit of improvement. I just hope this isn’t a case of scapegoating and getting rid of the coach so that other problems, like disappointing star players, don’t need to be addressed.
Rumors are flying that the replacement coach may be Barry Melrose. Just between you and me…and keep this on the downlow, please…I have been in talks with my boy Feaster about a whole new ballgame next season! Picture this: purple and black uniforms, a name change to the Tampa Bay Smirking Cats, an awesome new mascot in the form of a black cat, and lo and behold, yours truly at the bench, giving the gang hell and winning some games!
Like I said, this is just between you and me. Being meek and humble, I don’t want a lot of attention just yet for this bold career move.
My first act as new head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning/Tampa Bay Smirking Cats? Platform skates for Marty. He needs to project a more foreboding presence, don’t you think?