The Rochester Americans season has been over for almost two weeks now and it’s pretty obvious that people are still surprised by the first round loss. A Hershey Bears fan recently read a Hockey News article about Graham Mink being scratched for game 7 and was amazed. The debate about the fate of Benoit Groulx also continues, I was at my sons baseball game last week when someone brought it up out of nowhere.
It’s interesting that the team had what many consider a wasted season and there’s only one person that everyone seems to point the finger to. Typically when a sports team makes an early exit from the playoffs the media and fans start pointing fingers at players who did not perform up to expectations.
Kevin Oklobzija wrote a blog entry today about the Groulx debate and brought up some more points and also had a few quotes from Randy Sexton as well. Here’s one that stands out:
Sexton said he’s well aware of complaints. He heard the fans (who didn’t). He also heard and/or read what some players had to say about Groulx.
But player complaints not made directly to Sexton have little credibility, he said. When the players “hide behind the media or their agents, Sexton said, there is “no honor, no validity and therefore there’s no issue.”
No issue? Really? Interesting. Sexton also told Kevin that he gets a report about every minute spent working with the players and that he saw younger players improve. If that’s the case he should have more than enough evidence that a change is needed, unless some numbers were faked.
He has a good point that players probably should not hide behind the media, but when they spend the majority of a season unhappy and miserable and nothing is done what should they do? Was there not any internal discussions all season between the players and the Panthers GM? The time they had together at the end of the season also had Groulx in the same room, I don’t think that many of us would really put everything on the table with our boss and their boss in the same room.
Randy Sexton was put in a tough spot this season having to work with a lot of players and personnel that he did not have a hand in bringing to the organization. He’s saying the right things right now as a professional, even though fans would love to hear him say that they’re not happy with the job that was performed and will be making a decision soon.
All signs point to a new coach coming to the Rochester Americans, anything short of that happening will probably result in the Amerks ownership and fans counting down the days until this affiliation is over. Randy Sexton also has an opportunity to really turn things around and help add to the winning culture fans expect in Rochester and improve the affiliation.