Our job is to help these guys get better. I mean, it really is. When you’re putting in effort to try to help them be better and some guys don’t seem to value that effort that you’re making because they have their own habits or maybe they don’t need to practice that hard, they think in their minds game day is tomorrow, I’ll turn it on tomorrow. They’re the guys who often kid themselves. Yes, they’ve got great talent, but, you know what? We’ve missed the playoffs two bloody years in a row and five of the last eight, so, at the end of the day, you’ve got to start saying, "Well, wait a minute. Talent is what?" Talent is part of it but we need a bigger package. How do you get the bigger package? Well, you ask people to work.
--Pat Quinn, when asked about Tom Renney shouting at Ales Hemsky during practice Friday.
This was first mentioned by Dan Tencer on Twitter in a since-deleted entry that read: "Would be inappropriate to relay what Renney said to Hemsky during practice; underlying message was: ‘pls work a bit harder’". It's interesting to note that he deleted it quickly as the order obviously came from on high.
Quinn's quote on Ryan Potulny and this take on Ales Hemsky falls in line with what he's been saying about the roster since he stopped ripping into his defense. The skill guys aren't working hard enough, they aren't willing to do the dirty work and they aren't willing to do what it takes to win. He's repeated it in every post-game press conference, he's repeated it in every media session after practice, and he's repeated it during his off-day sessions. He's been complimentary of O'Sullivan who is not likely included in this "skill guys" grouping that he rants about. Add Ales Hemsky to the hit list that already included Nilsson and Cogliano. Gagner may or may not be on Quinn's list right now, as he's been up and down in his public opinion on Gagner.
One major difference from the coach last year to Quinn this year is that Quinn hasn't focused in on a player or two players and blamed them for the shortcomings of the team. Quinn has been brutally honest about everyone's performance and at one time or another has laid into Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Mike Comrie, Ethan Moreau, Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson, Lubomir Visnovsky, Denis Grebeshkov and Tom Gilbert. Where the previous coach would blame Sam Gagner's shortcomings on Kyle Brodziak and Ethan Moreau's terrible play on Dustin Penner, Quinn has called a spade a spade. He's also reserved most of his praise for those that are beating expectations, or that had low expectations to begin with. Quinn's been very high on guys like Ryan Stone, Taylor Chorney, Liam Reddox and Gilbert Brule - he's not going to bag skate Marc Pouliot because others on the team refuse to take their heads out of their collective posterior.
Now, if management would only listen to what Quinn has to say about the shortcomings of this roster...