- THE STAR -
Carlyle did give an example, saying a “defenceman” who played like a “rover” this year felt he was on a shorter leash, while management felt otherwise. The player often butted heads with the coaching staff, comparing himself to other players.
The player was not named, but was obviously Jake Gardiner.
“Just a defenceman that’s a young defenceman that’s playing a rover type of hockey early in the season versus more of a condensed style ...
The leash he was afforded . . . It’s like the chicken before the egg,” Carlyle said. “Who he compared himself with in the league. I was kind of shocked.
“We’re not any different as far as a coaching staff,” Carlyle added.
“We’re not asking players to do something they haven’t done before . . . You have to play and you have to compete on the defensive side of the puck with will and commitment. And we didn’t want to do that on a regular basis.
“We’ve talked about being a puck possession team and less of a rush team . . . We just didn’t do it consistently. There’s going to be an evaluation done at every level of our hockey club.”