Well this was the least of the possibilities that I considered. However, I don't think this ends things.
Mike Haviland was whacked as assistant coach today. I have no idea what this means. Generally, Haviland was in charge of the penalty kill this season, and it sucked to high heaven. So there's some culpability there. But I've never bought into the "oh this assistant is in charge of that so it's his fault" theory. He's the assistant. He answers to the head coach. If he's doing something the head coach doesn't like, the head coach should change it. If he doesn't know how, then that's on the main guy. But whatever, I don't get the feeling that Haviland was fired today because of the penalty kill's struggle this year.
This is where the intrigue begins. Haviland was not Quenneville's hire. He was here when Q got here. Mike Kitchen, which most of the hockey world agrees is a complete boob, was Quenneville's hire. And he's still here. Haviland is not. Also, the big rumor around the organization was that Haviland was the next one in line whenever Quenneville hit the bricks.
Who pulled the trigger here? Is Q clearing out his successor to once again stake out his territory? Did Stan do this? Did he allow it? Why would he allow Q to make another assistant hire after he pretty much fowled up the first one? Is Stan going to install an assistant? Will Q stand for that? None of what I just wrote makes me feel any better.
What we know about Haviland is that the players loved him, and he seemed like the type of guy you'd love to close down a bar with. Havy will almost certainly land on his feet somewhere, either as an assistant somewhere else or maybe a head coach in the AHL again. What he's leaving behind? It's looking less and less rosy by the minute.