Monday, August 24, 2009

Tort's Reforms - how to re-make the Rangers - part 2 - Accountability

In beer they talk about Drinkability. In hockey it's Accountability. In both cases (Editor - stop with the beer puns) it is a word that we hear all the time without knowing exactly what it means.

I'll leave the beer terminology to Nugman, who is too busy downing lager and watching his beloved New York Yankees to get his butt over to his own website site - and I'll focus on the NHL word.

Accountability, in hockey terms means that a player's performance on the ice - his hustle - his work ethic - his results - are the determining factor in his ice time. It means that a player who plays poorly, who doesn't go the extra ice-mile, sits and watches his more determined teammates.

Because if instead of accountability you do the opposite and award ice time to players based on (1) the size of their contract, (2) their popularity, or (3) achievements in season's past - you send a very bad message to your players. You are telling them how they play doesn't matter to you.

Think of it this way. If your boss told you that your performance this year would have no effect on your compensation - wouldn't you find it easier to slack off some days and not give it your full effort? Especially when you co-workers were doing the same?

That unfortunate downward spiral is exactly what happened to your New York Rangers during those horrific seven no-playoffs years.

Here's what Tortorella says about accountability:

"Every player will be held accountable. I believe so strongly in the team concept. Players will get time through merit and they will need to understand what 'merit' is right away."

It sounds like a man with a plan. And it sounds like a coach who knows what accountability is.

Now if only someone could explain drinkability to me. Excuse me while I do some independent research on that one - all in the name of science of course.

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