It’s not every day you have to fire an old college roommate, but this week Brian Burke, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, did just that.
After a six game losing streak, Burke made a tough decision. To remove Leafs coach Ron Wilson, a friend of Burke’s for nearly 40 years, and replace him with Randy Carlyle.
Burke has also known and worked with Carlyle before. In fact, Burke and Carlyle won a Stanley Cup together in 2007 when they both worked for the Anaheim Ducks hockey team. (The Stanley Cup is hockey’s championship trophy.)
Burke decided to make the coaching switch to give the Leafs a better chance to obtain a spot in the playoffs.
Two and a half weeks ago, the Leafs were sitting in the eighth spot which, had they stayed there, would have assured them a spot in the playoffs. Then the team took a nose-dive, losing nine of the next 11 games.
Burke says he also felt some pressure from Leafs fans, who chanted, “Fire Wilson!” at a recent game in the Air Canada Centre. Burke told The Globe and Mail that he didn’t want to put his friend through any more of that kind of abuse from fans. “It was hard to listen to, it was hard to watch,” the Globe reports.
The first game the Leafs played with their new coach was against the Habs (The Montreal Canadiens), an old rival. The Leafs won, 3-1; It was their first win in seven games.
They now sit three points behind the Winnipeg Jets, the team they need to pull ahead of in order to secure a play-off spot.
By Jonathan Tilly
Getting a new coach is very similar to getting a new teacher. How can having a new coach make an athlete more successful? How can having a new teacher make a student more successful?
Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
What do you think are important characteristics of a good coach? Have you had a good coach before? What did he / she do that motivated you?
Primary & Junior
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own
knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and
insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Grammar Feature: Canadians vs. Canadiens
Have you ever wondered why the name of the Montreal hockey team is spelled “Canadiens” and not “Canadians”? The answer is because the name of the team is French. The full name of the team is Le Club de Hockey Canadiens. Translated to English, this means The Canadian Hockey Club.
Do you know any other words that are spelled similarly in both English and French?