Wednesday’s Notes

The Carolina Hurricanes made a coaching change. They ditched Peter Laviolette, the winningest American born coach in NHL history, and the man who led Carolina to a Stanley Cup win. He was there for five mostly solid years, but they have missed the playoffs two years in a row and were barely holding on to a spot this year. In his place they have hired Paul Maurice. This a case of total deja vu – Maurice was the coach who was fired in Carolina to make way for Laviolette. The two men are the only two coaches the team has ever had. The other part of the move is that Ron Francis, the assistant GM and the all time scoring leader for the Hurricanes, moves behind the bench as associate coach. The move makes some sense. Laviolette is a good coach, but the team wasn’t going anywhere, so a change is good. Few players are still around from the first Maurice era,¬† so he is as good as a fresh voice, especially when paired with Francis. The two will bring new energy to a team that desperately needs it. Maurice will also be hungry for redemption after a rough year in Toronto last year. I expect a decent bounce in the short term as a result of this move.

Mike Leach has apparently met with Washington about their coaching vacancy. While I wish Leach would stay in Texas Tech, Washington would be a good spot for him. They are a team with absolutely nothing good going on, so he can start from scratch and build what he wants. Texas Tech is in a very tough spot in the Big 12 South, and Leach will struggle there to do much more than he did this year. The Pac-10 is wide open behind USC, so it is ready for a new power. It would be a great challenge for Leach, and a leap in profile as well. I just wish a coach like Leach had been their earlier for Jake Locker. He’s a very talented player who has been totally wasted by Ty Willingham. Leach could have worked magic with him if he had him from the start.

Plaxico Burress has been suspended for the year by the Giants. At least some things in this world make sense.

Charlie Weis will return to Notre Dame next year. So much for things in this world making sense.

The Pacers put together a huge fourth quarter rally to beat the Lakers last night. Impressive, though completely surprising. The biggest thing to come out of the game was the play of Danny Granger. This  guy is ridiculously hot right now. More importantly, though, he is just plain good.

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