January 9, 1998 |
The slumping Mighty Ducks held a players-only meeting Thursday, a day after defenseman Bobby Dollas and winger Warren Rychel sounded off about being scratched for the second time in three games. "It was a private meeting," captain Paul Kariya said. "I think it's a natural thing [to be upset about being benched]. Let's not fly off the handle. Guys are mad because they're not playing. That's natural. If you're not unhappy about not playing, then you need your heart checked."
November 20, 1997 |
Coach Pierre Page vowed Wednesday to make sweeping changes if the Mighty Ducks continue to stumble around the rink as they did in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. "What you see on the ice, in my opinion, is a reflection of what some guys have been doing in practice, in the gym and in their preparation," Page said after the Ducks' winless streak reached six games (0-5-1) in front of 16,641 at the Pond. "I don't know what it is. Maybe too many distractions?
November 7, 1997 |
The afternoon was gray and dreary and the forecast called for snow, but Mighty Duck Coach Pierre Page still had a cheerful homecoming here Thursday. He has no hard feelings for the city, its people or its hockey team. "I'm going back to a city I love," he said earlier this week. "I started my career there. My daughter was born there. I have a lot of good friends there." Page spent two seasons coaching the Calgary Flames, squeezing the most from the least. They weren't easy years.
October 2, 1997 |
Pierre Page set the ground rules right from the start. He demanded three things from the Mighty Ducks: grit, drive and speed. Oh, he would make allowances if a player displayed speed, grit and drive. Drive, grit and speed were OK too. But any other method of operation would result in a swift trip to the minor leagues. Or a trade to another team. Other than his daily sermons on grit, drive and speed, Page made it clear from the first day of training camp that predictability would take a beating.
September 20, 1997
Hey, let's check up on the Mighty Ducks' "Chemistry Team" (Jack Ferreira, Tony Tavares) and see what they did this summer. In May they let Ron Wilson go. It wasn't a wins-and-losses thing, he was just a bad fit. He garnered too much attention by guiding the Ducks into the second round of the playoffs. Then they hired Pierre Page to be coach. Had to spend a draft choice to get him. Although his team didn't make the playoffs, Jack and Tony like him. Trades made? No? Free agents signed?
September 4, 1997 |
Pierre Page spent his first month as Mighty Duck coach keeping detailed notes on his new team. He jotted down possible line combinations, defense pairings, game plans and most anything else of value. Now, with less than a week until training camp opens, it's time to set his scribblings aside and simply wing it.
August 16, 1997
Three facts scare me after reading your stories on Pierre Page: First, he holds a lifetime losing record, having posted only one winning season in his seven years of NHL coaching. Second, General Manager Jack Ferreira, who has proven to be a complete imbecile, says he and Page "think alike." And, last, Page disrupted the Nordiques' morale by publicly scolding star Mats Sundin. I can just imagine Page yelling at Paul Kariya or Teemu Selanne, causing the Mighty Ducks to fall apart, or worse, causing one of those two invaluable players to demand to be traded.
August 10, 1997 |
On or around Pierre Page's 50th birthday, on the last day of April next year, the Mighty Ducks should be right in the middle of a do-or-die NHL Stanley Cup playoff series. By then, the following already will have happened to Pierre and his Ducks L'Orange County: * Two games in Japan (Oct. 3-4). * A six-game trip to St. Louis, Chicago, Carolina, Washington, Tampa Bay and Florida (Dec. 27-Jan. 4). (Try packing the proper winter clothing for that one.
August 10, 1997 |
He's been called a workaholic, bright, innovative, demanding, a straight shooter and too emotional for his own good. Pierre Page denies none of it. He is what he is. In many ways the Mighty Ducks' new coach sounds a great deal like their old one. There is one substantial difference, however. Page, unlike Ron Wilson, is one of General Manager Jack Ferreira's closest friends.
August 9, 1997 |
The long wait is over for the Mighty Ducks. They will introduce Pierre Page as their new coach today at noon, bringing closure to an often mind-boggling episode in franchise history that began when Ron Wilson was let go May 20. Page, 49, has been the Ducks' top choice since he resigned June 18 after two seasons as coach of the Calgary Flames.