Yes yes, the Ducks aren't very good. They're bad. This isn't a news flash to anyone. A change needs to come in order for things to turn around. It's not a question of when it will happen, but of whom it will happen to. We've gone over this before, debated to exhaustion. We've made our speculations, tossed about our fantasy trade ideas and I've even gone as far as to completely dismantle the lines and pairings.
Ultimately we all know it comes down to one question: who is getting the shaft? There are those who want simple changes, like Ryan Getzlaf stripped of his Captaincy, and others who are in favor of moving big names like Bobby Ryan. Then there are the hoards of fans who's interest lie in removing those in charge such as Bob Murray and/or Randy Carlyle. Sign me up for removing Carlyle ASAP. This isn't a new development in my book, I've been ready to give Carlyle his walking papers for years now. I don't know, maybe it had something to do with the continuing history of bad starts followed by early playoff exits.
Recently, Joffrey Lupul spoke out against his former coach with some unsavory words. Many saw it as bitter spewed commentary by the two-time former Duck who is looking fabulous in his new home in Toronto. Quite honestly, I don't give a tiny rats-ass about what Lupul is doing in Toronto. I can't begin to waste energy hating on a trade that is said and done, especially when the team I'm rooting for looks so terribly awful. I don't have time for bitter, I'm too busy being pissed off. But that's what this is all about, right? How bitter and upset Lupul is because he had to move away from sunny Southern California to cold Toronto Canada. So take his harsh commentary on Carlyle as you wish, but I read it as a glorious and simple "point to the argument". Randy Carlyle is a jerk...and I'm paraphrasing that nicely.
Now, for many of us, this isn't news. We've all heard enough in the way of stories from past players or rumors of reasons why players were traded from the team. But Lupul's words were the "facts" that we were all looking for. Sure, they are simply a one sided account of what would come down to a bit of a he-said he-said debate, but ultimately it was something for fans to point to and say, "I KNEW IT!" (yes, I did that.)
And then Aaron Ward happened. Does anyone have that guys phone number? I'd love to give that guy a hug and a good game tap if possible. His words on TSN last night may have been most damaging to any reputation Carlyle may have been holding fast to. Now I understand that coaches aren't everyone's "friend", and by no means do I expect them to be, but to hear a former player say something such as, "he sucked the life and fun out of the game" speaks volumes. When Ward claimed that Carlyle has lost his team, it was all I could do to contain myself from throwing a fist pump into the air. Lost this team?!? No kidding! Carlyle and this "team" haven't been on the same page for a long time now. At the very least in the 2011-12 season. Many of us would point to season starts ever since 2007 as evidence. Somehow the team, with or without Carlyle's assistance, manages to pull through. We turn our focus to a mini playoff run and hope that the next year starts better than the last. It doesn't and the vicious cycle continues.
Finally there are former players speaking out about their ex-coach. They're pointing the fingers we'd all love to point ourselves if we had the solid proof. And this is it! This is the proof. It is CLEAR the life of hockey has been sucked dry from this Anaheim roster, and thanks to both Lupul and Ward, we have proof as to why that is. Randy Carlyle. Bob Murray has an option to allow this to fall on deaf ears, or he can do something about it. The fact of the matter is, we now know better. As an Anaheim fan base, as NHL fans, we all know what the real Carlyle is like behind closed doors.
Consider this, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan have all played under Carlyle for their entire NHL career. They know how he works. They've heard his threats. They know his game. They know how to play their role. If anything, these guys might be the ones to most benefit from a coaching change (aside from the poor younglings who know no better and are already terrified). They need someone with new rules to obey, new threats to consider. These guys are like teenagers who know how to say the right things to get what they need or want. They need new parents with new rules and new regulations. Someone to slap the rebellious teen from their attitudes.
Most importantly, the Ducks team needs a unifier. Someone to bring this group back together under one roof. Because while I'm definitely signed up for team "fire Carlyle" I'm miles away from joining the "trade Bobby Ryan" picket line. No matter what, the storm is brewing in
Oil Country Anaheim, and when it hits the fan, things will fly. Let's just hope no one gets a barstool, unless it's Carlyle that is.