SUN Hockey Pool

Coaches still on firing line

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

Who's next? Pittsburgh Penguins' Ed Olczyk may have been the first to fall, but there are several other NHL coaches hanging on by a thread.

"That's usually the way it happens. One guy gets fired and then you see other guys go," said Senators coach Bryan Murray.

"It's always easier for a team to decide that you can't get rid of the whole team so you decide to get rid of the coach."

Olczyk won't be alone on the unemployment line for long. Look for others to follow:

- A change is looming in Boston. Coach Mike Sullivan, also in the final year of his contract, is in way over his head. His players consider him to be arrogant and there are indications GM Mike O'Connell has been asked to fire him, but has so far refused. The possibility exists that both could soon be out of work. Ray Bourque's name keeps popping up as a replacement.

- The Blues got rid of goalie Patrick Lalime this week and coach Mike Kitchen could be the next one out the door, maybe along with GM Larry Pleau. All that's probably saving both of these guys is the fact the team is up for sale.

- The Blue Jackets haven't won under coach Gerard Gallant. There's a perception that GM Doug MacLean is pulling the strings and will fire Gallant to save his own job. At that point, MacLean might be forced to go behind the bench again.

WATCHING CANADA: Dallas G Marty Turco will be keeping a close eye on the announcement of the Team Canada roster next Wednesday in Vancouver. Turco said he'd be thrilled to be part of the team put together by GM Wayne Gretzky and he'll go in any role. "It doesn't matter to me if they send me as the No. 1, the No. 2 or the No. 3. I just want to be part of it," said Turco, who had a 2.61 goals-against-average going into last night's game against the Senators. "I'll do anything. If they want me to take faceoffs, I'll do that. I'll even go just to carry the sticks. Anytime you have the chance to step up for your country, you want that chance." Along with Florida's Roberto Luongo, Montreal's Jose Theodore, Phoenix' Curtis Joseph and Toronto's Ed Belfour, Turco is in the mix for a backup job to No. 1 goalie Martin Brodeur. Dallas winger Bill Guerin, who is expected to be named to the American team, said he'd take Turco if he was picking the team. "He kind of struggled at the start of the season, but he's been excellent. I think he should be there and he'd be a great choice," said Guerin. Turco said he understands he doesn't get the notoriety because the Stars aren't playing in the Eastern Conference. "I know that people aren't really talking about me because there are a lot of big hockey markets in the East," said Turco. "That's fine with me ... it's not the media who makes the decisions and I know the people who make the decisions are pretty smart. I know (Gretzky) and (assistant) Kevin Lowe are both in the Western Conference, so they get to see enough of me to make a decision. I just want it to work out. If it doesn't happen, then I'm not going to let it ruin my Christmas or anything."

SPEZZA RETURNS: Senators C Jason Spezza, who took the morning skate, has recovered from a hip flexor injury that forced him to miss Monday's game at Colorado and played last night against the Stars. "It's feeling a lot better than it was," said Spezza. His return means either RW Patrick Eaves or RW Brandon Bochenski has to be returned to the club's AHL affiliate in Binghamton -- possibly today. Both are here on emergency recalls. It was tough guy Brian McGrattan who was a healthy scratch last night.


Videos

Photos