In PDB's case, before I could think about canning him, I'd have to see what else is out there. Laviolette? He's got a solid record from a pure wins and losses standpoint, and led a team to a Cup, though the league was so screwed up in that first season back after the strike that I really don't make that much of that Cup win. I guess you can make an argument for giving Laviolette a shot, but I don't know how much of a difference he'd ultimately make. It would feel like change for change's sake. Like you say, the one thing you can say in PDB's defense is his team does TRY..they may not always look good doing it, but it does look like they're trying to me.
Re: Lou...the two main arguments you can make for him being fired are that maybe he's simply been here too long and now it's time for a change, and that a new GM coming in here without loyalties to any of the current players might be more willing to truly shake things up. The fact that some people do want him canned is actually a testament to how long this team has been competitive. Missing the playoffs in potentially three out of four seasons is a major shock to a lot of Devils fans' systems, and this is Lou's first real down period in over 25 years on the job. How GMs last even 10 years in their positions, let alone 20+?
On one hand, you look at a guy who has Lou's insanely overall terrific track record and say "He should get a chance to turn this around." But I'd be lying through my teeth if I said I felt 100% confident that Lou can turn this around. I honestly don't know. It's going to take some serious creativity to change and improve this roster, especially since there's a fair number of forwards here that don't exactly have loads of trade value. I really hope Marty is not back next year...nothing against him, but I think his presence is becoming more overwhelming by the day, and not in a good way. If Lou brings him back, then I think he's truly stuck in the past. I've said that Lou keeping Marty around would be his equivalent to jumping the shark, and if that happens, I don't really know how much I can believe in him anymore.
I also can't say that the idea of the post-Lou Devils doesn't intrigue me. It does. It will be such upheaval...Jesus, for just about every Devil fan, Lou practically IS the Devils! As much as I can't imagine him not being the GM, I'm still curious about what his not being around could potentially mean. Better? Worse? I'm not as afraid or saddened by the idea of chance as I am curious.
So basically, I won't be angry if they're both back next season, but I won't be saddened if they're both gone either. Like Tom McVie once said when he asked about being an interim coach: "It's always on an interim basis." Same for GMs I guess. It's so weird to even think that Lou won't be here someday...I don't even really know how to process the idea.
This. I'm starting to be concerned about Lou. I don't blame him at all for losing Parise or Kovy, or for failing to replace them, but I'm concerned how sentimental the Devils have gotten. When they had no young talent, I was fine with them riding the vets, for better or worse, but Volch or Sal should have been amnestied, or traded for nothing, to free up spots for the young d. If that wasn't an option, they should have traded Fayne to break up the logjam, but instead, they have good kids sitting when IMHO they need to learn to skate with the big boys. I think Lou deserves another season or two to rebuild post Kovy, but if he makes a sentimental move for Marty, he's done. Also, if we have to blame someone, and I don't know if we do, it should be Lou over PDB. I don't agree with everything DeBo's done by a long shot, but he's had a terrible group of forwards, and is still managing to win more games than he should.
Finally, it's weird seeing guys who were larger than life start to get older. It's obviously true with Marty and I'm starting to get afraid it's true with Lou. It may very well be time for both of them to go, but, much as I've liked what I've seen from Schneids, there is no way this franchise is as good with a new goalie and GM as it was with Lou and Marty in their primes. We were lucky enough to watch 2 of the all time greats, possibly the best ever at their respective jobs, work for a very long time. No matter what the future holds, we're going to be telling our grandkids about watching the Devils of Lou and Marty.