Tuesday morning, Adam Oates announced that goalie Jaroslav Halak wouldn’t start against his old team in St. Louis. Why? Via Katie Carrera:
For the contrary position, here’s Alan May, on ESPN 980’s The Drive.
“First of all, I don’t think it should be made public, at all,” May said Tuesday afternoon. “I just think the coach is supposed to name the starters without complicating things. And we’re not privy to the entire conversation. I just don’t think that players should be put in positions to have to answer and defend these situations. Because we don’t have a microphone; there’s not cameras in there to see the entire conversation. And it really shouldn’t be something that we’re able to talk about.”
So how could Oates have avoided this?
“You name your starter,” May said. “You tell the goalie you’re playing, and that’s it. I just don’t think it’s good that this stuff is happening right now. I’ve seen coaches who won’t play a goaltender because they’re playing their old team, and they don’t even have the conversation. They just tell them, you know what, Braden, you’re playing….It’s just a lot of little nitpicking going on here and there, and I just can’t believe that we’re actually talking about this right now.”
Steve Czaban then asked May to assumed that Halak really had begged out of the game, wondering how then to assess the player’s actions.
“You know what, I don’t think you guys are getting what I’m saying,” May said. “I don’t think we’re privy to the entire conversation. I don’t think it’s that black and white. Was he baited by the coaches? Was he not? If you asked me, if I was playing against one of my former teams — are you nervous about tonight? — I’d say yeah, a little bit. I want to make sure I play good against my old team. There’s a lot of different ways that different people answer those questions.”
And then May was asked why Oates would have made public his conversation with Halak.
“I have no idea,” May answered. “There’s just a lot of things that have been baffling lately. And this falls in line with the things that have been going on. I’m not sure. Maybe the coach has run out of answers. It’s just right now, I think the number one thing is guys should be ready to play. Guys go in the lineup, guys get sat out, goalies start, goalies don’t start, goalies back up, and you put your team on the ice.”