Monday, November 17, 2008

Talent Management, NHL Style


Talent management in professional sports doesn't always conform to normal business standards. Sometimes it doesn't conform to any standards.

I went to the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa last week to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League play my hometown Detroit Red Wings, the reigning league champions. Detroit won the game 4-3 after falling behind 2-0 early in the game.

This was my first trip to see the newly revamped Lightning this season. For those who don't follow or are not local, the Lightning are new from the top down. They were purchased this summer by a group called OK Productions which is headed by Orin Kulis, producer of the SAW film franchise.

Kulis and his new management team performed a wholesale revamping of the team, trading away several old favorites and bringing almost an entirely fresh roster of players.

They also made a big splash by hiring the Mullet away from ESPN. The Mullet is Barry Melrose, a former player, and a logtime commetator on ESPN regarding the NHL. Melrose had last coached in the NHL over a decade ago. His hirng was splashed all over the league as being a big "name" even though his only claim to fame as a coach was that he had coached Wayne Gretzky.

Melrose lasted 16 games. WTF? why was he let go?

After a very brief 16 games it was clear things weren't going to work. Local sports radio talk show hosts have hinted that the players rebelled and went to upper management asking that Melrose be removed. The same thing happened last year to John Tortorella, the previous Lightning coach.

According to newly promoted team General Manager Brain Lawton the decision to make a change was due to

Melrose was fired Friday less than five months after he left the television
booth to coach a team that finished with the league's worst record last season.

Lawton said he was concerned with the direction of the team, which is
fourth in the Southeast Division and was not responding to Melrose, who skipped
practice one day this week after admonishing the team for poor play.

"He was not let go because of that," Lawton said, adding it was a
culmination of things.
"It's not about the wins and losses every night. ...
It's certainly part of the equation, but it's not all of it,"

Lawton said. "It has to do with philosophically where we're going, where
we're at today, where we're going tomorrow and where we're going to be in three
months or a year."

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1 comment:

  1. Nice blog dear i have really learn a lot from this blog thanks.


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