Ray Shero need look no further than Dan Rooney and the Pittsburgh Steelers if he is wondering whether or not to fire Michel Therrien.? The Penguins are 1 point out of a playoff spot, the poor play of late has had many hockey analysts suggesting that Shero is searching for a replacement for Therrien.?
In the late 90’s Bill Cowher’s feuding with head of football operations Tom Donahoe had come to a boil.? Dan Rooney had to make a choice between the two and soon Donahoe ended up forfeiting his position.? Later at the end of the nineties Cowher had missed the playoffs twice and once again people wanted and were waiting for Rooney to dismiss Cowher.? That never happened.? What did happen was that players?learned that management had full respect for the coach and that the coach’s word was final.? Basically it was Cowhers way or the highway.? This made the players follow the system the coach put in whether they liked it or not.? There was no griping because they knew who was in control.? The?players played like a team and?for the team.
What Rooney did know, is that he had a coach that could take the team to the superbowl.? By all accounts with a 32 team league the team should make it to the Superbowl once every 16 years.? Here was a coach that had taken the team to the Superbowl in four years, keep in mind there are still 6 teams that have never played in a superbowl.
Let’s apply this thinking to today’s Penguins.? Michel Therrien is having a bad time of it right now,? but one thing is for sure, he has led a team to the Stanley Cup finals in his first four years of coaching.? There are thirty teams in the NHL so once every 15 years you should make it to the finals.? There are a bunch of teams that have never been to the Stanley Cup Finals, in fact the Columbus Bluejackets?have never even made it to the playoffs.? The Penguins were loaded with talent last year and we lost a lot of that talent this year, another reason Therrien’s team is not playing so well.
Let’s use the 1992/93 Penguin team as an example of a team that was loaded with talent and did not make the finals.? The problem being that the players took over the team and did what they wanted because of?lack of?respect for the coach. This continued through the late nineties pretty much right up until Therrien.??The Rooney’s have bucked league norm and it has payed huge dividends.? It is suprising that more teams have not tried the approach.? Shero needs to stand behind coach Therrien at all cost and start a controlled dynasty like the Rooney’s have.