Monday, November 7, 2011

DBJ's "If you were a tree..." open mike post

Sometimes stuff comes along that you just can't make up.  But maybe someone else made it up, and that's their problem.

If you were a tree, prospective pro hockey coach,
what kind of tree would YOU be?
Columbus Blue Jackets fan tweeter Puckeye found this gem from SportsNet's Jeff Marek, listed under "Things I learned this week":
While they were interviewing for the head coaching position (ultimately won by Scott Arniel), one of the questions the Columbus Blue Jackets asked each candidate was, "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?"
One can't let this rich vein go unmined, especially when the team is 2-11-1 and there is next to nothing worthwhile to report.

(Oh, I'm sorry.  Jared Boll is back from injury and Jeff Carter is skating in practice.  As I was saying...)

So let's have some fun.  Howson interviewed five candidates for the head coaching job in the summer or 2010. They were:
  1. Claude Noel (the then-interim head coach, now Winnipeg coach)
  2. Paul MacLean (then-Detroit assistant, now Ottawa coach)
  3. Guy Boucher (then-AHL coach, now Tampa coach)
  4. Kevin Dineen (then-AHL coach, now Florida coach)
  5. Scott Arniel (then-AHL coach, now CBJ coach)
What do you think these guys said in response to that question?

Permit me to take a stab at hypothetical answers.  All in jest, of course.

Dineen was portrayed as an old time hockey guy.  I bet he listened to that question and said, "WTF type of question is that?"  And, with that answer, he bombed his first interview.  

Noel came across as pretty much willing to do whatever it took to keep the job that he held by a thread.  So I bet he said something like, "What do you want it to be, Scott?  Just tell me..."

Boucher was the motivational guy, so his seems pretty easy.  "What tree motivates you, Scott?  Now see that tree in your head.  BE THAT TREE."

MacLean, the long-time assistant who was desperate for a club of his own, could have come up with something like, "Maple.  It's the symbol of Canada, home of hockey. You like that? it all together.  Babcock liked that clever stuff."

Arniel, of course, had to play the exotic card for, as we've learned, he employs a scheme that works on the out-there premise that defense is strictly optional in today's National Hockey League.  I bet he said, "Birch," and then engaged in a staredown with Howson.  HIRED!

OK, troops, don't let me down.  Take my poor attempts at humor and one-up me.  

The microphone is open.  Have it it.  What do you think these five coaching candidates said?


  1. Boy, you don't mind throwin' down the gloves do you DBJ.

    Dineen - No way I can beat your interpretation.

    Boucher - This one is dead easy. His answer was 'deciduous, because I'm gonna leave'.

    Noel - 'its a willow Scott, because I can bend with the viscitudes of the season, and yet be strong with joy!'

    MacLean - Ya, I'm good with that answer too.

    Arniel - 'Spruce - 'cause I'm gonna come in here and spruce up your Ohffensive attack so much that we won't even need to play that nasty D-word' And thus he got the job!

  2. Not a bad question? Its a great way to describe your self, your fortitude, and image you think you portray. To play along...

    Dineen - Any hardwood because they make the best paper which the Dispatch uses to print Portzline articles about how great of a coach I would be.

    Boucher - Palm Tree, there is something about those Florida trees.

    Noel - Conifer, soft wood, fresh smell, everyone likes during Dec., and wants to throw out by March

    Hitch - ACACIA - Thrives in barron lands, and thorny.

    Arniel - Toomer Oak. I'm gonna kill this organization from within. Roll Damn Tide.

  3. The questions aren't important. It's the answers that make or break the man.

    I'm from Montreal, currently living in Vancouver, and I grew up watching the Canadiens waste everything in sight... I watched in 76 as they won every home game except one. But it's a new league. We won't go back to that kind of lopsidedness any time soon. The fact is, any team can win in this era, but it has to be built on a smart foundation, from the back to the front.

    If you can establish a focus in today's NHL you can win. But you need the grit and determination, it's as simple as that. Look at the Jets' start. In a word: awesome. Here is this ex-Atlanta team, flying up to Winnipeg, and they grind out of the gates like a bunch of hungry animals. They're sitting at 5-7 versus 2-11 for the Jackets. Both are losing records.

    So what's the real difference? Sure, both are losing records, and both teams will likely finish 10th or worse in their respective conference, but in the case of the Jets, they appear to simply NOT CARE. They play like that isn't an issue. They will continue to grind on and push and fight and bleed for every single point.

    The problem with the Jackets doesn't come from behind the bench. It comes from on the ice. There's no reason why the players can't pull their own socks up and get the show on the road. True motivation comes from the inside out. From the guts out to the ice! Who wants to finish the year behind the Jets? NO ONE SHOULD ACCEPT THAT.

    Seriously, as some have wisely mentioned, you build a hockey team from the goalie to the D to the O. From the back to the front. That's a valid point in hockey, but esp. in the case of the Jackets as they sit in their current situation. If you have to trade your goalie, do it. Do it, and move on, but do it soon.

    Then you take that aforementioned - Goalie to D to O - and apply that as a template to the building of your playmaking strategy... From your zone, pass, head-man, pass, GRIND, get in front of that net and SHOOT.

    Oh ffs just give the puck to Clistome ;)

    good luck

    Habs/Canucks Joe

  4. Sorry, typo, I meant Clitsome.

    Seriously, I like that guy. He's gonna prop your D up in a serious way.


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