View Full Version : No time to stick the coach

03-24-2005, 04:14 PM
The storm clouds gathering over Kelly Kisio's thinning thatch grow darker, scrappier, more angry by the day.

And the Western Hockey League playoffs haven't even started yet.

"Obviously, I'm upset by it,'' Kisio admits, leaning somewhat forlornly on his stick on the way out to practice Wednesday. "Nobody likes to have their family subjected to all this speculation.

"But that's hockey. You guys need to fill pages. The TV guys need to fill time between commercials. Fill. Fill. Fill. Whatever.

"We've talked about this with our players. It's not their concern. It's mine. We just have to be as prepared as we possibly can when the series starts Friday.

"If the worst happens, I'll live.

"If they don't want me here, I'll go do something else.''

Brilliant. Could you find anywhere a more uplifting, inspirational, Knute Rockne-style, 'Win One for the Kisser!' run-in to a series? How does anyone expect a bunch of impressionable teenagers to go to the wall for a coach who's being pictured as already up against that wall, hands in the air?

Frankly, the timing of the gossip couldn't be worse. It's out there. An issue. A distraction. What it does is pick up speed, mushroom, take on a life of its own and shift focus, expectation and accountability from where it rightly belongs -- the Calgary Hitmen's key players, who, by the way, have a helluva lot more say in what happens on the ice than Kelly Kisio.

It's a ready-made 'out' for the core of this team should the series go badly.

Lose, and Kisio's the culprit. The fall guy. Ready-made, even before they drop the puck. We should be talking about Ryan Getzlaf and Justin Pogge and Jeff Schultz and Andrew Ladd right now. Not Kelly Kisio. He should be concerned with beating the Lethbridge Hurricanes, not the rap.

Compounding matters, Kisio hasn't exactly been giving a ringing endorsement by his employers. No one upstairs at the Pengrowth Saddledome has jumped up in anger or astonishment to publicly defend his honour, integrity and job security. All of which only serves to undermine Kisio's authority and gives that faction inside the dressing room not so enamoured of him -- an occupational hazard for any coach, any sport -- more reason to bail if they so choose.

Thanks. Loads.

From George Johnson. (http://www.canada.com/calgary/calgaryherald/news/sports/story.html?id=2d16b2b6-e136-4dff-b2f6-e6c384e21982)

I don't know what games Johnson has been watching, but I think everyone is fed up with Kisio's antics. I actually don't see why anyone is so surprised by this move?? For years, he has been screwing the pooch on a lot of moved and it has to stop for the long term success of the team.