But really, this is the same pattern that we've had since Clouston:
- find some guy who really isn't expected to do well and install him as head coach;
- team performs a miracle because they have nothing to lose, give zero fucks, and none of the other teams take them seriously;
- fete this guy as a miracle worker, watch as he wins a coaching award, and sign him to an extended contract
- the next year (or two) later, the team starts performing back (down) at their actual relevant level;
- the current guy gets fired and some random interim guy is parachuted in to replace him;
- go to step (2).
The problem isn't behind the bench.
Well OK, the only problem isn't behind the bench. The only problem isn't on the bench. The problem is all the way up and down the food chain, and because of that you really have to park ownership of the problem in the owner's suite.
I don't know if Melnyk just let Murray run rampant with his old-school hockey feels, or if the problem in that relationship ran the other way with Melnyk's budget (that wasn't a budget in the end) and/or meddling hamstringing Murray's ability to do anything.
The results are Torontonian-levels of mediocrity.
And frankly, even with the changes of the last few days, I don't have any faith that anything will be different next year.
Or the year after that.