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Old 02-25-2002, 08:10 PM   #1
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props to larry robinson

larry robinson must really love that devils club. going back into the room that got you fired is something else, that would take a lot of courage.
my only question is if the players didn't listen to him 2 months ago, why are they gonna listen to him now. unless robinson is going to strictly adhere to constantine's system, i don't see why anything would change.
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Robinson returns to Devils while Cunniff undergoes cancer treatment

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Recently fired coach Larry Robinson is returning to the New Jersey Devils as an assistant coach while John Cunniff undergoes treatment for a recurrence of throat cancer.

Cunniff, who became an assistant under Kevin Constantine when Robinson was fired on Jan. 28, spent the last two weeks as an assistant coach with the silver-medal U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Devils president Lou Lamoriello said Cunniff was told about the cancer before the Olympics and that he wanted to go Salt Lake City anyway.

"That's the way he is," Lamoriello said. "I have known him for such a long time.

"He's an exceptional person. This is John."

Robinson was to rejoin the Devils on Tuesday, when they resume play following the Olympic break with a game in New York against the Rangers.

Robinson, who has been at his home in Florida, was not immediately available for comment.

Lamoriello said he spoke with Robinson several times during the past week, and Robinson agreed to fill in for Cunniff for the rest of the season.

"I don't know if it's an indication of the relationship and the interests we have," Lamoriello said. "We're all in it to get the best group together and have success."

That was the same business approach that Lamoriello used when he fired the easy-going Robinson in January, less than a season after the Hall of Famer had led the Devils to within one victory of consecutive Stanley Cup titles.

"I still think Larry's an excellent coach," Lamoriello said when he fired Robinson. "Larry did everything and anything he possibly could.

"They (the players) weren't responding on a consistent basis."

Lamoriello said that Robinson would handle the defencemen, the position he played during 20 seasons in the NHL.

"When I spoke to Larry, I said I would understand if this was something he didn't want to do and I told him that no one would ever know we talked," Lamoriello said.

When Robinson was fired on Jan. 28, the Devils had a 21-20-7-3 record and were ninth in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoff picture.

Under Constantine, the Devils are 4-1-2 and have moved into seventh place in the conference with 62 points, one ahead of the Rangers and three up on the Montreal Canadiens.
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Old 02-25-2002, 08:17 PM   #2
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he's simply one of the classiest and most selfless guys in all of sports, I'll say more later when I have time, but as a Devils fan I'm happy to see him back with the organization
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Old 02-25-2002, 08:41 PM   #3
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I dont understand why he would do this. He is better then the DEevils org. If they think a man with his talent is not good enough to be the #1 guy then thats there loss. He should tell them NO.

He would easily get a new coaching job in the new year. He is a class act. But this is a very bad decison on his part!

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Old 02-25-2002, 10:28 PM   #4
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Originally posted by bonoman:
I dont understand why he would do this. He is better then the DEevils org. If they think a man with his talent is not good enough to be the #1 guy then thats there loss. He should tell them NO.
i would really have to disagree. it seems robinson cares about what is best for the team, knowing that he was no longer effective with that group of guys it appears that there was a mutual and admirable split between management and coach. now the team needs him again so he seems to gladly step in for the time being.

the only thing i don't understand is how he'll be more effective, unless a break has healed all the wounds.
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Old 02-25-2002, 10:46 PM   #5
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I don't think there were any wounds to heal, the players liked Robinson, almost too much, they got lazy on him because he wasnt good at tightening things up and ruling with an iron fist, I am still curious as to what would have happened if he had stayed on, I have a feeling the team would have raised their intensity level as the season progressed (remember, this is a team that came within one game of repeating as Cup champs, and it's painfully obvious they are struggling to play with any kind of intensity or passion at all this season, because understandably they know it matter very little what you do in the regular season as long as you make the playoffs), but Lamoriello wasn't willing to sit around and watch his team slip out of contention before they got on track, and I suspect he may be having second thoughts about his decision to fire Robinson in the first place, Robinson really is a brilliant hockey mind who just didnt know how to be a disciplinarian (he was a great player and consumate professional who never had a problem with motivation, unlike many of the star athletes today)

and who says he won't take another head coaching job next season? this has nothing to do with that, in fact it's very admirable he's doing this because this proves once again he cares more about winning than his own ego
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Old 02-25-2002, 11:30 PM   #6
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robinson is a great coach, ive alwyas thought that, even though ive obviously never had him. they have a great team that just isnt playing the way they should, ala the rangers recently, and ofcourse the rangers the past few seasons. i mean seriously, those guys are stacked!

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Old 02-26-2002, 01:04 AM   #7
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I undersand what yous are saying but he shouldnt just come calling for the team as soon as they see fit. When they need him they want him and when things arnt going great they fire him.

I think this is a bad move. He was fired from an orginazation that has become lazy. They are used to winning and getting to the cup. They need this fall in the standing just like team canada needed the loss to the swedes.

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