Once again, Mr. McClure and his handsome visage and I debate a topic of the day. We've made reference, especially lately, to what we perceive to be a disconnect between Stan Bowman and Coach Q. We have scant actual evidence of this. All I can recall is Quenneville not having much of an idea why Jeremy Morin and Ryan Potulny were sent down before the New Jersey game, not clear if it were a financial decision or a hockey one (though neither make a whole lot of sense). But there have been some curious decisions on both sides -- Jordan Hendry on the 2nd line, eh? -- and something appears up. The Feather, Chris Block, and we have all hinted at this. On the one hand, I don't know what Stan Bowman can do. His hands are a bit tied with the Hawks and everyone else being up against the cap. Yet, John Scott and Nick Boynton are still here. But Coach Q keep throwing them on the ice. So, Matthais, are we making stuff up here or do you think there's something going on? What are the solutions you'd like to see?
I think that there's something to this, but obviously because we're not privvy to all of the internal machinations of the front office, we're left only to speculate (YOU GUYS NEED A PRESS PASS!). However, I think we would project a hell of a lot less of this were there any kind of consistency to how the decisions of these two work with one another. Q has basically told Stan and us both that he doesn't trust Jordan Hendry on defense as much as he does Nick Boynton or Jassen Cullimore, but he trusts him on the second line more than Jeremy Morin. From the outside in, this looks spiteful and passive-aggressive toward Bowman. It all points toward Quenneville points chasing, wanting only to win the next shift, period, or game at the expense of his young talent. While injuries have exacerbated this situation, I don't think that Stan Bowman is putting players through the Rockford Shuffle just for the sake of looking smart. He's doing the best with the rules and limitations in place, micromanaging as it might seem.
Whatever the case might be, it's fairly clear that the two aren't entirely on the same page. Most good GM's are loath to issue mandates to their coaches regarding playing time, and coaches are even more vehemently opposed to taking those suggestions. So I don't think a decree from Bowman that Jack Skille must get 13 minutes of ice a night is coming any time soon. What is painfully clear is Quenneville feels handcuffed by his roster as evidenced by the manner in which he rides his top-end talent, and he and Bowman had better sort out what exactly Quenneville feels he needs sooner rather than later as the season approaches the midway point. Whether or not Bowman can provide him that either from within the system or via trade given the restrictions of the salary cap is quite another story.