The Flint Firebirds are a mess and the Detroit Red Wings can’t let that negatively impact highly touted prospect Vili Saarijarvi. A move is necessary.
It’s a story that goes back to November when Firebirds owner Rolf Nilsen fired the coaching staff for the first time.
The players were so outraged about this that they dropped their jerseys in the team’s front office. After that protest Nilsen brought the coaching staff back.
The alleged reason why Coach Gruden was fired the first time was because he wasn’t giving enough playing time to the owners son. Now, both sides denied that was the reason.
Fast forward to now and the coaching staff has been fired again. But this time the ownership can use the Firebirds dismal record as the reason for these firings. The Firebirds are currently second to last in the Western Conference and are winless in eight of their last ten games.
With all this turmoil going on with the Firebirds the Red Wings need to step in an remove prospect Vili Saarijarvi from this mess. The Red Wings as of right now are saying he’s going to remain with Flint.
The OHL has now suspended Nilsen, the management team and the new coaches of the Firebirds. The OHL’s statement:
From the OHL via Yahoo:
"The Ontario League takes the health and well being of our players very seriously. The recent actions by the owner of the Flint Firebirds Rolf Nilsen and his representatives on the management team and coaching staff is of great concern as they pose a serious threat to our commitment to our players and their families.The league announces the following sanctions effective immediately:Mr Nilsen and his appointees on the management and coaching staff including Sergei Kharin are suspended from Flint Firebirds’ hockey operations until further notice;The Flint Firebirds at their cost, under the direction of the League, shall provide counselling services for players;Rolf Nilsen and representatives of the Flint Firebirds shall co-operate with the Commissioner and the League in investigations into the conduct and actions of the Flint Firebirds and its representatives, employees, officers and directors;In addition, the League will continue to investigate the actions of Rolf Nilsen and other representatives of the Flint Firebirds and will take any action and impose any sanctions that are deemed appropriate by the Commissioner.Later today, the League will be meeting with the players in Flint to further discuss the situation, and to ensure that they are provided the appropriate supports. These discussions and supports will be ongoing for the players and their families."
Yikes, as you can see this situation is way too toxic for any prospect to be in so it is imparative that the Red Wings make a smart decision and remove Saarijarvi from the Firebirds ASAP.