Robinson hire not what you think

July 9, 2012, 5:08 pm
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We know what youre thinking. We always know what youre thinking, but thats another story.Specifically, we know what youre thinking about Larry Robinson that he was brought in to silently squeeze Todd McLellans shoes and to take over for him when McLellan gets fired by Doug Wilson.REWIND: Report -- Sharks hire Larry Robinson as assistant
Well, we suspect youre already barking up the wrong tree on that one, for one very compelling reason:Robinson probably doesnt want it.He quit his last coaching job, in New Jersey, in 2005 because of headaches caused by stress. And he had only taken that job because Pat Burns had been diagnosed with cancer.Robinson has been rumored for coaching jobs since, and certainly would have been given one or two or five of them if he wanted them. In short, he looks like he was hired specifically to fix the Sharks penalty kill as advertised, and actually looks less like a candidate for McLellans gig than some of you might want.The time it took for the Sharks to announce this deal suggests that it wasnt an easy sell for Robinson, although it is sometimes dangerous to apply public relations issues to Doug Wilsons thinking. It certainly explains why nothing happened during the playoffs, as Robinson was busy helping the Devils get to Game 6 of the Cup Final.In any event, he comes from the best penalty killing team in the league to one of the worst, hoping to repair a segment of the Sharks that failed part because of scheme and in part because of personnel. Robinson wont have a lot of input on the latter, so hell have to effect his changes tactically. Whatever changes result will be correctly ascribed to those tactics, then, rather than talent, because the talent doesnt look like its going to change a lot.Yes, yes, we know you still lust after Rick Nash, but Columbus asking price hasnt changed and San Joses disinterest in paying it hasnt waned. And as CBA negotiations continue, player movement is likely to ossify after a brief flurry of meth-addict spending.Thus, for the foreseeable future Larry Robinson will have to satisfy the fan bases lust for change. And no, not in the way they might think. Todd McLellan remains safe as houses, on a team that has had fewer head coaching changes in the last 15 years than all but two teams in the National Hockey League.But if a time comes for McLellan to be fired, Larry Robinson probably wont be that answer, unless he changes his position on stress.Ray Ratto is a columnist for