Sunday, March 2, 2008

Paddock reflects on Rayzor-gate

John Paddock spoke with the media today, notably about how he would have handled the whole Ray Emery situation differently.

''I should have pulled him off the ice in some of those practices where he wasn't working.''

Emery's work ethic has often been questionned. But more importantly, when he came back from his wrist injury, Ray Emery expected to be handed the number one job right away. That's when the shit hit the fan, if you will, for Emery, the team and Paddock's job.

As Mike Milbury said repeatedly during TSN's trade deadline coverage, part of a head coach's job is to keep his players' focus in check. The Emery situation became a distraction for the team, and Paddock quite simply couldn't handle it.

It's nice of Paddock to admit to his mistake, even though it's too late, obviously. It further proves to me that the right move would have been to go with one of Martin Gerber or Ray Emery and run.

Apparently, Bryan Murray was very close to dealing for Nikolai Khabibulin, but the Russian keeper's back problems put a stop to talks. Maybe it would have been a good move to put Emery on waivers, the way Brian Burke did with Ilya Bryzgalov.
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