Monday, November 12, 2007


That sound you just heard was of Kingston's terminal do-gooders getting their knickers in a knot (they should really get the pre-knotted kind):

According to the broadcast people, (Marty) McSorley was in the building as he was doing his radio show there. He wanted to come talk to his old buddy Mav. Wasn't he on the short list when (Bruce) Cassidy got hired? -- Fronts Talk
It's worth putting out there since it's not that far-fetched that Kingston Frontenacs GM-for-life Larry Mavety would entertain the notion of McSorley, the former NHL tough guy who comes bearing all that Brashear-incident baggage, taking over as Frontenacs coach. Forget the optics, the possible outcry over the message implied by hiring someone with McSorley's reputation at a time when the Frontenacs are about to move into an arena paid for by taxpayers. Someone will say it sends the message that it is OK for goonism should be government-sponsored.

Remember, when they built the old school, they tore down Mavety's school. Hockey guys of his vintage put loyalty above everything else. There's a kinship with McSorley, who as a tough guy who could play a bit, helped give the Mavety-helmed Belleville Bulls credibility when it joined the OHL in the early 1980s. He also let McSorley skate with the Frontenacs in 2001 when he was trying to make an ultimately short-lived comeback.

The Frontenacs need some buzz as they move into the new downtown arena. Hiring McSorley would be an attention-getter, perhaps both good and bad. It would bring a lot of widespread notice, which from this viewpoint might not be such a bad thing since it would shine some light on the Frontenacs' decrepit hockey operation. It could be Mavety biting off more than he can chew.

From a hockey standpoint, the idea of hiring Marty McSorley only makes sense if you know the Kingston Frontenacs. One of the alleged reasons Bruce Cassidy was axed was that he couldn't adjust to coaching teenagers. So you would go and hire another coach who has no experience coaching a junior team, and even less of a track record in the minors?

There's really no opposition on moral grounds. To a person, McSorley is considered one of hockey's all-time great guys. (Something that's impressive about the man is that after the 2002 Olympics, he went out and started a fundraising golf tournament to help the players on national women's team top up their incomes. Considering most male hockey players scarcely think of the women, that's quite something.) He could probably do a selling job. Not that all of that wouldn't be lost on the knickers-in-a-knot crowd.

Meantime, just in case anyone needed a reminder that Mavety the coach is no match for Mavety the GM, the Frontenacs lost 3-2 in London on Sunday. Who had a goal and an assist to give the Knights their winning margin? Justin Taylor, who part of Kingston's infamous 2005 draft that produced exactly one regular on this season's team.

Taylor, who never reported, was flipped to London at the deadline last season.

In Saturday's 4-2 road victory over the Sarnia Sting, let it be said the Frontenacs did do a good job of putting a Band-aid on a brain tumor patching up the third line when the GM-for-life flipped a roll of tape (a ninth-round draft choice) to Brampton a while ago for grinder Kevin Christmas. The 6-foot-3, 212-pounder, scored the tying and winning goals, the latter with 1:16 to go, in . Rockland native Stephane Chabot scored his first goal with the Fronts, by the way.

If this keeps up, Mavety really will have a lifetime contract. Jesus.


Dennis Prouse said...

Hiring McSorley really isn't much worse than the Kamloops Blazers hiring Greg Hawgood from the Blazers' old boys network.

As someone who spent 12 years coaching teenagers in football, though, let me tell you he is in for a hell of a shock. Remember the scene in Kindergarten Cop when Arnie gets back to the hotel room after the first day with the kids, flops on the bed and announces, "They're HORRRRIBLE"? It'll be like that. :-)

sager said...

Well, it's very flimsy, it was on a message board.

Can't you picture Marty just firing back at one of the players, "It's not a tumah!"

Dennis Prouse said...

Is it just me, or does McSorley seem to get a bit of a pass from the hockey establishment for his violent act on Brashear? McSorley had a longer record than did Bertuzzi when it comes to "supplementary discipline", dating right back to his junior days. (I still remember the spear he delivered to Mike Bullard in the playoffs, and I suspect that Bullard's family jewels still remember it also.)

Due to the fact that Bertuzzi is a rather unlikeable guy in front of the camera, and McSorley comes off a little more contrite and polished, (plus being a Friend of Gretzky), he came out of that ugly stick swinging incident with his reputation far less tarnished than one might have expected. Of course, if the victims' respective fates had been reversed (Moore resumes his career, Brashear forced to retire), the reputations might have changed also.