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Old 10-16-2001, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Winless Penguins fire Hlinka, name Kehoe coach

Anyone hear about this and have thoughts? It seems rather abrupt to fire a guy after only four games, but it happened. What are your thoughts?

Story via Sportsline:
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Winless Penguins fire Hlinka, name Kehoe coach

PITTSBURGH - So much for the Pittsburgh Penguins' European Experiment.

The Penguins fired coach Ivan Hlinka on Monday after an 0-4 start and replaced him with assistant Rick Kehoe, the team's best player before the Mario Lemieux era.

Hlinka, who coached the Czech Republic to the 1998 Olympic gold medal, led Pittsburgh to the Eastern Conference finals in his only full season. But his limited command of English made it difficult for him to communicate with players, and there were questions even last season if he would return.

With the Penguins off to their worst start in 18 years and Hlinka still largely distant from his players, general manager Craig Patrick decided to make a change following a 4-1 loss Sunday in Buffalo.

"We're 0-4, and we can't afford to be 0-5 or 0-6," Patrick said. "We've got a number of young guys who need to learn the game in the NHL and if there's any kind of communication problem, it's going to slow down their progress. At 0-4, we can't afford that, we've got to be at the top of our game as soon as we can."

Lemieux, the Penguins' player-owner, agreed with Patrick a change was necessary.
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Old 10-16-2001, 07:36 PM   #2
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Default new coach

Yes, he did get fired. But on the other hand, why would it be abrupt? The GM did what he had to do and he fired him. Yes, his communication wasn't very good. He is a good coach but Lemieux was pretty much doing everything last season. Maybe Lemieux didn't like something that he did at the game against Buffalo and he told the GM to get him out of there. That's pretty much the story IMO.
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Old 10-17-2001, 09:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by SC-Lee in the Final Predictions thread.
FIRST COACH FIRED: Ivan Hlinka(PIT)
(yyyaaaawwwwwnnn) It's all too easy for me.... I mean, first I predict, in the October before the season starts, the Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup.... then, I go 3-1 in predicting the winners of the ALDS and NLDS, including the only person the SCMB to predict the Yanks to overcome the A's..... and then I predict Ivan Hlinka to be the first coach to be fired this year in the NHL.


It was 4 games into the season not only because the Pens started 0-4, but because the MAJOR reason was that the Pens told Hlinka that he had to take English courses so that he could better communicate with the players instead of having the assistant coaches run the practices and communicate with the players... but he didn't, so he got canned.
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Old 10-19-2001, 01:39 AM   #4
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After firing Hlinka, the Pens are 2-0 as goalie Johan Hedberg picked up his first two wins of the year, including a 3-0 shutout versus Ottawa, in Ottawa, tonight.
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