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51018Re: [hockhist] Dusting off an old Rangers topic

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  • Craig
    Feb 1, 2007
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      Jay,

      I don't have any "first hand" knowledge of what happened when Popein coached the Rangers. From what I have seen in similar instances in business is, when a manger who has a good performing business unit (such as the Rangers of this era) and tends to be a very easy going personality (ie; Francis) is replaced by a "task master" one of two things occurs. Either the business unit really "ramps it up" or the staff tune the new guy out and performance drops. The attitude tends to be "who the hell is this guy to tell us what to do. We have shown we can do the job". It is my experience that the latter is the norm and I bet that is what happened with the Rangers here. Popien probably came in "pissed off" most of the players and they didn't put out for him. Hey I have to say if I was a Ranger and saw him humiliate Eddie Giacomin like that, it would not endear me to him.

      Craig



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: nybos1974
      To: hockhist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 1:08 PM
      Subject: [hockhist] Dusting off an old Rangers topic


      In 1973/74, Larry Popein coached the Rangers to an 18-14-9 record and
      was fired after 41 games with Emile Francis once again taking over
      the team. I know he had a reputation for being a disciplinarian and
      not being very friendly. He benched Rod Gilbert one game for missing
      a meeting, left Ed Giacomin in net for the whole game against Boston
      when he gave up 10 goals and benched other players at times as well.
      Still, many complained that the Rangers needed a firm hand because
      they were overpaid and lacked incentive. So why did the Rangers not
      connect with him or play for him?

      I never bought into the "fat cats" reputation that the Rangers had
      because they were overpaid. That was a media complaint or assumption
      and an easy way out. Hockey players, especially of that era, played
      for the love of the game. There are very few quotes from the players
      in the newspapers or magazines that year other than the generic 'we
      just didn't play well' under Popein. The Rangers had a reputation
      that year for playing well for two periods and collapsing in the
      third. Popein stressed hitting...and they didn't hit.

      Any thoughts? Anyone have some good quotes from a player or two?

      It could be that the players knew Francis was still around, that he
      had come back before to coach after stepping down and were loyal to
      him.

      Jay in Milford





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