Well, after the rumors of Coyle leaving were pretty widely dismissed (including by me), the story has now been confirmed by just about everyone, with USCHO, CHN, USHR, and others reporting it. The Boston Hockey Blog (part of the Daily Free Press, BU’s student newspaper) called Coyle who was boarding a plane to the World Junior Tournament, who told them he was staying with BU. However, once Coyle got off the plane, he told The Pipeline Show (a prominent internet site about NHL prospects) he was indeed going to Quebec and Major Juniors. Real classy move by Coyle, who could at the very least have given a scoop to his school paper before leaving.
Now, this poses a number of problems for BU. First off, Coyle was a 1st round draft pick, tied for 3rd on the team in scoring, and their 2nd line center. Having already lost their first line center, where do they go? Cason Hohmann, their 3rd line center could probably move up, and maybe you move a guy like Chiasson to play center, but somewhere here you’re having to fit 3rd or 4th line guys into 1st or 2nd line positions. BU has lost 22% of its scoring between Coyle and Trivino, can it regain that easily? I think they’ll struggle as a result of this until they can recoup those losses.
Secondly, this is going to hurt recruiting-wise. How many parents are going to be psyched to see their kid go to a school where they have people charged with pretty serious crimes, others who can’t handle the academics and cut out midway, and players who have been facing a lot of suspensions. Not to mention if you’re an NHL team you’ve just seen a 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 7th round pick all leave the team in the past 2 and a half years.
Finally, the USHR article mentions players unhappy with how open Parker has been with Trivino’s. Between that issue and Coyle’s departure the mood of the team can’t be good, and that may hurt them overall. If Parker is losing this team it’ll be hard for him to whip them into shape to deal with the tough months ahead.