Coaching changes are in the air; Cassidy Poll results
When tanking became the goal, Ted Nolan’s fate was sealed. There was no doubt the Sabres were in for a coaching change. The surprising part was just how swift and harsh Nolan’s ousting was. Just hours after the Sabres season ended GM Tim Murray sent Nolan packing and left little doubt he was blaming Nolan for the Sabres last place finish. What transpired between the two may never come to light but a few facts are clear. Nolan wasn’t Murray’s guy and he wasn’t the right guy for the job. Nolan’s a fine coach, but he’s not a development coach. To Murray, Nolan was little more than an expendable asset on the way to the TANK of all tanks. So following the final puck drop of the season, Murray dropped the hatchet and cut Nolan loose. What followed was all a show for an angry NHL. Let’s face it, the tank was all Murray. Murray can blame Nolan for the abysmal season all he wants…the fix was in all season long.
Now, with just a few games remaining in the Amerks season, Chadd Cassidy (and all of the Amerks coaching staff) have to be concerned about their futures. The Amerks did not make the playoffs. They have a losing record. Fans are angry. The truth is Cassidy didn’t have much to work with this season. The second half of the season was the who’s who of the PTO and ECHL world. Sabres injuries, resulting recalls, and fire-sales eviscerated the Amerks Roster. That being said, Cassidy’s roster wasn’t always weak. Cassidy started the season with what was an arguably strong team and they played awful. There were, however, some challenges. Goaltending started out pitifully weak. There were a few early injuries and recalls. Adam was traded. D’Amigo was slow to start. So how do you evaluate Cassidy? That’s the question that’s likely haunting Murray right this second. There’s not enough evidence to support the theory that he’s unqualified. He did reasonably well with a mostly amateur roster. He was handed an endless string of recalls and turnover but still managed to put an occasionally competitive product on the ice. Personally, I look to an unquantifiable element. Emotion. I’m old-school. I like my coaches rough around the edges and in your face. I want to see my coach lose his cool once in a while. Not to the level of Roy’s or Tortorella’s nuclear meltdown, but when the calls are bad and the hockey is worse I need to see an angry coach erupt from the bench. Cassidy only gave us that level of emotion once, and it was far too long in the making. I would argue that his relative emotional detachment throughout the season coupled with the lack of a winning record when he had a mostly intact roster is enough to send him walking.
Fully aware that my opinion is NOT the only one that matters, I posted a poll asking the Amerks fanbase for their opinion on Cassidy’s future with the organization. So what did you have to say? Roughly 34% of the respondents want Cassidy to stay as head coach, 12% would like to see him return as an assistant coach, and 54% think Cassidy should be terminated.
Check out the complete results below.