Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sports Illustrated assumes Hartley, Maurice and Crawford didn't care they were passed up. I say you've gotta be frickin' kidding me.

Jim Kelley is a Hall of Fame hockey writer and person who recently made the sort of lazy move that used to give me chest pains when I was on the PR side. In a recent column on, the former Buffalo News reporter wrote the following sentence on the Islanders:

"It's the kind of place where experienced coaches like Joel Quennvelle, John Tortotella, Bob Hartley, Maurice, Marc Crawford and a slew of other seasoned but currently unemployed coaches don't necessarily object to being passed over."

The laziness has nothing to do with the typos/spelling errors on two big-name NHL coaches. The bigger problem is, does Kelley really know that all of these coaches ho-hummed not getting the Islanders job? Did he ask them? Did he think about checking with them – at least off-the-record – before telling a big audience on Sports Illustrated’s website that they’d rather be unemployed than work for the Islanders?

I really doubt it. The line reads like the kind of throw-away journalism a hockey writer might post from the beach on August 14th. That’s too bad because, beyond the Islanders’ image, Jim may have inadvertently made some respected coaches in need of work look like reckless idiots.

What we do know is that Quenneville gracefully declined an invitation to interview. Tortorella, being paid over a mill by Tampa Bay this year not to coach, came in for a lengthy interview but both parties knew this wasn’t the time or the team.

But what about Bob Hartley? Is Jim Kelley certain he “didn’t necessarily object to being passed over.” How about Paul Maurice? Are we really to believe it was no big whoop to Maurice he didn’t get the gig? You really think Marc Crawford is not the least bit concerned about getting another shot at a head coaching job in the NHL?

Here’s a challenge to my friend Mr. Kelley. The cell numbers of all the coaches he named can be easily obtained by a veteran writer of his stature. Call up Tortorella, Hartley, Maurice and Crawford. Give them the chance (on-the-record only) to share their thoughts on the Islanders’ hiring process. Perhaps they will confirm that they didn’t give much of a hoot about not getting the job.

It’s late August. There aren’t a lot of hockey stories right now. Jim Kelley’s one of the classier men in the business. I have a feeling he’d make a real good column out of his findings.


Chris said...

What a piece of crap article. Jim Kelley may have earned the reputation as a "classier man in the business" because of his work in the past, but that kinds of reputation needs to be earned consistently, it should not be bestowed eternally on someone if they do not deserve it. And, in reading this article, he does NOT deserve it.

Half-assed journalism is unfortunately FAR too common.

7th Woman said...

I hope Mr. Kelly gets an earful from those out-of-work coaches! You're so right. That was a diservice to both the Islanders and those venerable coaches. Beer & boredom induced journalism?

Derek said...

Articles like JK's seem to still give you chest pains. Why don't you do us all a favor and return to your rightful position, Isles VP. It's clear that you're in touch with the fans and know what we want to hear. While I love your one offs, I think we'd all be better served if you worked daily for the Isles. Just my opinion. Good job and keep them coming.

Oh, and one question, what's the chances the Isles get Komisarek next year?

LIJames said...

Wehn it comes to the Isles you know that its easy/lazy for sports people to take shots at. I'm sure the fact that we are in #1 Media market also highlights the failure more often then others. I don't hear the media in the US taking shots at the Oilers...where have they been in the last 25 years, minus that one run 3 years ago? But coaches would be heart broken if they were passed over for that job?

John said...

I enjoy this type of article. It is sad when people can get away with this crap and even get paid for it. Thanks for shedding some light on it.

25yearfan said...

Hack article by Jem Kelly. His mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries.

Add it to the bulletin board & move on.