Monday, May 5, 2008

Negative Canada.

The San Jose Sharks were bounced from the NHL playoffs last night, falling in quadruple overtime in Dallas. A very impressive comeback after being down 3-0 in the series, they did not give up and nearly became only the third team in NHL history to come back from 3-0 to win a series.

Now that it is over, what if anything will become of Sharks head coach Ron Wilson. There was speculation prior to the playoffs starting that his job was on the line if the Sharks didn’t go deep into the post season. Is the 2nd round deep enough? That will be an interesting situation to watch as most hockey observers put San Jose and Ottawa in the same boat. Both have so much talent on paper, but for some reason can’t get over the hump.

What happens if Wilson is fired? There is no question he will get another coaching job, but he may have reduced the marketplace for himself by six teams.

As I am sure you have seen or heard his little snit fit while doing an in-game interview with TSN reporter Jermain Franklin, who asked Wilson last Sunday whether he needed more out of his captain Patrick Marleau. Wilson’s face was blank and then he said, no, and then walked away, muttering: "It's always freaking negative. That's TSN, that's Canada."

Poor Jermain has been skewered by almost everyone for his question which Don Cherry called “stupid”. I would not go that far, but rarely will a coach respond when you are essentially asking him to criticize his player during a playoff series. So Jermain learned a lesson and Wilson confirmed what many people in the business believe about him. That he is arrogant and has nothing but disdain for the media and especially the Canadian media.

I do not know Ron Wilson other than the few times I have been on hand for media scrums and interviews. I have never had a one-on-one conversation with him nor have I covered the team on a daily basis the way the San Jose reporters do, as few of them as there are. But when you have listened to others who talk about Wilson and then see a display like this, it does make you wonder if the rumors are true. I have had coaches tell me that Wilson is the type of guy who believes he invented hockey or at least re-invented it.

So why does Wilson believe TSN and in fact all of the Canadian media are negative? Could it be that as a control freak he hates the fact he can not manipulate them the way he does some others? Is it because he lives in a world where very little media, especially national media, covers his team thus he believes anything that is not complimentary is automatically negative reporting? Maybe Ron just thinks everyone is dumb compared to him.

I watch TSN everyday as I am sure you do also. They do some of the best sports programming in the world and the talent and resources they put into hockey are second to none. I do not find TSN to be constantly negative but rather constantly opinionated and some of those opinions are not positive. I believe viewers want to hear those opinions thus TSN is servicing its client base even if Ron Wilson isn’t one of them. But clearly he is. You have to watch something more than once or twice to believe that as a broadcaster they are negative across the board.

If Coach Wilson is fired and is looking for another job, it will have to be in his own country. If he cant handle TSN’s, and in fact our national negativity, while in the hockey cocoon in San Jose, just imagine what he would say each day being questioned by dozens of reporters in a Canadian city.

This also means the rumors about Wilson can not be true. He could not have invented hockey or even re-invented it. If he had, the game would have no media, no TSN and no Canada. Oh, hold on a minute there, if none of those things existed there wouldn’t be an NHL and there would be no Sharks, and they wouldn’t need a coach and Ron would be….well….I don’t know where he would be, but where ever it is, he would be the smartest guy there.

See you at the rink.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Love your take and the way you always speak your mind. It is refreshing to hear someone who is as knowledgeable as you are to 'shoot from the hip'. Good on you Dean and keep up the good work and I love your blog.