Devil in the Details
Only one man knows why Claude Julien was fired as head coach of the New Jersey Devils.
And Lou Lamoriello ain't sayin'.
So when you hear and read these fictionalized accounts of how Lamoriello went to his veteran players, asked them if they felt they could win, and then canned Julien upon hearing a negative response, understand that it's all made-up stuff.
Anybody who has the least familiarity with Lamoriello's modus operandi would understand he never, ever would ask the players their opinion.
He treats them like gold, makes sure every need is taken care of and goes out of his way to minimize all problems and distractions.
Otherwise, they get their marching orders and are expected to do their jobs. Their input is not sought.
For better or worse, it's no democracy in Jersey.
When it comes to coaches, Lamoriello understands that the supply of qualified bench bosses far exceeds the demand. Moreover, who's to say that a team can't have more than one coach in a season? It's a draining job, and given that the saying in hockey is that the playoffs represent a brand new season, is having a new coach for that second season really that crazy?
The speculation will quickly turn to who will succeed Lamoriello after this season, and it will likely centre around two men: John MacLean and Pat Burns.
Burns, it's believed, wants to get back into coaching after fighting a marvellously brave fight against cancer. If he's up to the job, Lamoriello might well want to bring back the man who won the Cup in '03.
MacLean, meanwhile, did most of the hands-on coaching when Lamoriello took over for Larry Robinson last season, and the same will be the case this time around.
By next fall, MacLean should have served his apprenticeship.
Both Domi and the coach of his son's minor hockey team, a gentleman named Lucas Miller, have their versions of what happened last Friday in an altercation between the two men. Not surprisingly, while other media outlets simply bought Domi's bland denials that he verbally attacked Miller, The Star's outstanding minor hockey writer Lois Kalchmann dug a little deeper and found Miller's point-of-view to be quite different.
One doubts whether the GTHL really has the onions to ban Domi from its arenas if the allegations are proven true.
But anyone who dealt with Domi on a regular basis throughout his NHL career, particularly anyone in the media, does not find this latest story hard to believe.
While Domi could be friendly and kind, there's a long list of writers and broadcasters who could testify to have been cursed at and chewed out by Domi over the years, even over the most trivial of stories.
The verbal onslaught would always be loud and profanity-laced, and always carried out in front of as large a crowd as possible so Domi could look intimidating and aggressive in front of his peers.
He was never one to quietly discuss a disagreement in private.
If Miller's accusations are true, Domi is the worst kind of hockey parent, and don't be surprised if more stories surface in the next few days about his arena behavior.
And don't forget, these are 10-year-olds we're talking about.
It will also be interesting to see how his pal Don Cherry, who likes to speak on behalf of hockey parents across the land, handles this one.
Probably pretends it never happens. Or blames the coach.
Well bravo to Lucas Miller for standing up to the bully. One wonders, meanwhile, how much of a political liablity Domi will be for his gal pal Belinda Stronach in the federal election, which is expected to be called soon.
From the municipal computer scandal to a messy and very public divorce to these allegations of rink rage, Domi sure isn't manufacturing a very positive public profile for himself these days after years of building up large amounts of public equity as a very popular member of the Leafs.