Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fronts: He's crossing the Ottawa River; they're up a creek

Jérôme Dupont wanted to coach the Kingston Frontenacs. They didn't want him.

Dupont is good enough for a Québec Major Junior Hockey League franchise that has been to the Memorial Cup three times since the last time a team coached by Larry Mavety won a playoff series. The few, the proud, the frustrated at Fronts Talk certainly noticed that Dupont has been hired to coach the Gatineau Olympiques.

The 'Piques are on a 10-game losing skid. A ten-game losing skid? How about 10 years and well on the way to 11 after tonight's 7-4 loss to the Sudbury Wolves?

It has been only 18 games -- just past the quarter-pole -- but the Frontenacs have the 55th-best record out of 60 teams in Canadian Hockey League. They're dead last in the OHL in power-play and penalty-killing efficiency. They're also dead last in the CHL on the PP and 56th out of 60 on the penalty kill. It's a near reprise of last season, except it is with a younger team.

It is never as bad as it seems whe it is going bad and it's never as good as it seems when it's going going, as we learned while studying the Tao of Don McGillivray back in Portage la Prairie. But it's bad and Frontenacs owner Doug Springer, who now has a forty-three-million-dollar downtown arena, doesn't seem willing or able to take decisive action. The one Internet meme that has become gospel is that GM-for-life/permanent interim coach Larry Mavety must have an ownership stake or that he must have family members on the team payroll.

This is not a commentary on whether Jérôme Dupont would be a good OHL coach. The point is that Gatineau is a well-run franchise and it did something about its situation instead of sticking with the tired and true. That is not a typo. A team which has been near or at the top of the QMJHL for several years thinks enough of him to bring him in as a coach.

A top organization in the QMJHL wants him; the Frontenacs did not. Why are we dancing around the obvious? The Q must just be a terrible league. It could not be anything else. Yeesh!


Jordie Dwyer said...

Now why on earth would you put The Don in the last paragraph as the people determined to ruin major junior in Kingston?
At least the Don did something, granted they fell apart in Weyburn, but at least they got there.

sager said...

Honestly, Jords, I meant no respect to the other two.

Don said that one night and I took it to heart. It was spin, but it was a great piece of advice too.

Jordie Dwyer said...

Don was great at that...Kind of like a few other hockey people (cough Lowe) I have bumped into recently.