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Monday debate: what now?

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When pro teams are losing, the coach usually is the first to go. Paul Maurice knows that. He has been fired by the Canes before.

UPDATE: The Washington Capitals today fired Bruce Boudreau and hired Dale Hunter as their new head coach.

But here's the question: if the Canes were to make a coaching change, would it be enough to right this season? Or would it take more than bringing in a new coach?

The Canes now are 8-13-4. They're 4-9-1 in November after the 4-3 loss in Ottawa. Clearly something has to change, but is a new coach the answer?

The floor is open.




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Do you initially type up an article [for example right after a late game] then take it down and re-submit a new article thereby removing comments?

Does anyone here realize how scripted this Cane coverage is? Ignorance is bliss.

Fire the upper management. There in lies the problem along with ignorant reporters of hockey in this market. Go back to your golf and ACC coverage. BTW who pays for the N&O anymore?  Answer: Candy Canes.

Maurice Fired

At least he was available to the media and was not afraid to speak his mind.


MO'S GONE WAHOO!...Welome to RALEIGH Kirk Muller.

What now?

This is the easiest question all year.  Fire Maurice!  Now!  If he isn't gone by the end of the day, it will be the most convincing sign yet that JR has no intention of building a competitive team here!  Mo is definitely not the only problem, but he is a big part of the problem, and the easiest to fix. 

The season is over.  Make changes now and start gearing up for next year.  No more "lip service" about how we are rebuilding, going young, and about how talented the CLT guys are.  If they are so talented and so promising, bring them up and give them a legitimate chance to shine.  I think all of us would rather lose games knowing that we are at least assessing what we have building for the future.

Last but not least, this decision should be made just to appease the fan base at this point.  Canes fans are embarrassed, disgruntled, and ready to give up.  C'mon JR, do something and do it NOW!

No Easy Solutions

There is no single solution to this team's multiple problems.

Ownership won't loosen the purse strings; management continues to pad the front office with cronies instead of putting that money toward better players; our love affair with taking Maple Leaf has beens is a disaster; our team is demoralized; our captain's pouting countenance demonstrates no leadership; coaches have no answers; we continually bring up and send down young players from Charlotte, never giving them a real chance; we can only lean on Cam Ward for so long .

Stewart ,Joslin and others are not getting a chance to play very much and we really don't know how good they might be. They are surely as good or better than those who are getting ice time in their stead.

Our puck management is atrocious with just flinging the puck around the arena without pourpose or intent...just dumping it. In fact, one might think that the Hurricanes own the East Coast distribution rights to dump and chase since they do it so often...the team seemingly taking more dumps than a herd of elephants on Ex Lax.

The question management/ownership willing to take decisive steps that solve problems instead of just covering them with band aid fixes? If not, it may be too late for this team to resurrect Lazarus this season. 

Come own ownership/management... try producing some of those folding green dead presidents to bring in some new playing talent...

Don't expect miracles

Mo must go, and the team needs a trade or two in addition. Don't expect miracles, however. 

Hard to imagine that any GM would take Kaberle. Unless he has an undisclosed injury, he appears to be buyout material. 

If it's 95% likely that the Canes will miss the playoffs, JR should use the year to develop his talent. I'd like to see all the young Ds (McBain, Joslin, Faulk, and Murphy when healthy) get ice time. Similarly I'd like to see a trade that opens ice time for Boychuk and Dalpe. 

Seems to me that the candidates for trades are LaRose, Stewart, Ponikarovsky, Allen, Tlusty, Gleason, and Ruutu (who will be an expensive free agent at the end of the season). Personally I'd keep Dwyer. 

I can assure you LaRose will

I can assure you LaRose will not be traded as long as Jim Rutherford is GM, which he apparently will be for life now that he is a part owner (Even Mommar Khadaffi thought JR has stayed too long). I'm pretty sure all of the other guys you mentioned are or will be on the table at some point this season. Like you said though, don't expect miracles no matter who comes in to coach the team. The blame for this mess is with Karmanos and Rutherford and a new coach will only be able to do but so much with limited talent.

Some great comments this morning!

Bravo to the posters this morning with some insightful comments on the sad state of affairs in Canesland.  What next?  Ask Rutterfart, he has no answers, this season is lost, the theme from management was MO was on a very short leash this season...what a line of BS that was eh?  I agree with some earlier posts that said the overall philosophy has to change, and the only way that can change is with a new coach and new direction ushering in a change of thinking and a new approach.  The kids have to play a more prominent role now!  The special teams and overall style of play has to change.  The Canes are simply put, far too easy to play against, they have no identity.  They get pushed around, they are dreadful on the PP, they are neither big nor fast, they have a hodge podge of parts but nothing that gels together as a team.  It's broken Jimmy, fix it, that's supposed to be your job, do your job!!!

Bruce Boudreau!

Heck at this point....anybody.  PLEASE!!!!

Boudreau is available!

Maybe a change in "colorful" vocabulary might wake some folks up!

Boudreau has been fired by the Caps

Promote Mo to the front office and go get him, JR!!!!  He turned the Caps around taking over mid-season and might well do the same here.  


And, Doug, I can kinda see your reasoning but keeping Mo isn't going to do anything for the confidence of the players or the fans and will result in more empty seats and likely a large reduction in season tickets sales for next year,

Change the philosophy

Change the philosophy and begin at the top.  The owner.  There are now those local investors that Mr. Karmanos was seeking, so the excuse of $ shouldn't be as prevailant. Now, the trickledown effect kicks in.  Jim can go and sign better quality players without having to sorry about the bottom line.  He doesn't necessarily have to be penny wise, pound foolish, but at least try to lure some better players.  Then, it's coaching. That's where the biggest change can take place.  To me it's not the "style," but the philosophy and the unwillingness to play the Dalpe's, Boychuk's, etc.  Change can only beging at the top and the sooner the better.


PK sold some of his equity in the Canes ... the money for the sale went into PK's bank account, not into the coffers of Gale Force Holdings.

Are the new minority owners having second thoughts?

Today's the day...

I predict that today will be the day that many of you get your wish.  

Chip's tweet about "no practice" is a message.


The Blues fired their coach when they were 6-7-0 and since then have gone 7-1-2 under Ken Hitchcock. They salvaged their season. The Oilers put a bunch of kids on the ice last season and gave them an entire year to build chemistry. This year, those same kids are 12-9-2 and right in the thick of it. The Canes are beyond salvaging their season, but to condemn us to 28 more games of Paul Maurice hockey is pure torture. Fire Mo and put a new system on the ice. Bring up a bunch of kids and let them build their identity. Make a deal or two for some veteran presence the kids can actually look up to and a forward to play with Staal. Most of all, put a product on the ice that's entertaining and fun to watch.


I suppose sometime today JR will spew some kind of sugar coated Blah, Blah, Blah.  What management HAS to understand is this will not work with the fanbase any longer.  What a greedy, stubborn, egotistical bunch  management and ownership have become.  Also, no gonads.  We are supposed to be treated to Big Time NHL Hockey.  I don't know what this is.  It is so clear that the players have no confidence in Mo.  He has lost this team with his knee jerk reactions with constant line changes and It looks as if he has just given up on a power play.  Even the look of Cam Ward has changed. A look of frustration and it is not good when Your ace in the hole looks as if He has had enough of being hung out to dry.  The Canes are on the verge of a full blown revolt from  the fans and players.  I agree, it will not take major player changes, probably 3, but it has got to start at the top and it has to start now!

Trying to Salvage the Year

  The Hurricanes now have a 97.9% chance of missing the playoffs.

  Firing Maurice may make some fans feel better about what they perceive as a wasted season; but it won't solve the flaws with the team.  There is plenty of blame to go around; and it isn't merely a matter of Maurice's coaching decisions.  Peter Karmanos, Jr. did not provide a deep enough budget.  Jim Rutherford elected to sign Kaberle rather than making a trade for a young, but experienced forward such as Neal or Voracek.  He also chose to re-sign both LaRose and Dwyer when their best skills were matched for one roster spot either on the third or fourth line.  Jim Rutherford is an excellent GM, and has made excellent choice after excellent choice.  Every GM is human and it's to be expected that for every Skinner or Faulk there will be a Kaberle.  It's all part of the business of trying to predict the development of 18 year old kids.  The real test is how to fix the Kaberle decisions or the decision not to find a right wing for Staal's line.

   Kaberle has been a total disaster.  The overslotting of LaRose in the top six has been a highly unsuccessful experiment as well.  Firing Maurice does not solve these problems per se.  The Hurricanes have a talent gap at present.  At the forward position other teams have more talent at scoring as compared with the Hurricanes top six, as played by Maurice.  One more elite forward, such as Yakupov or Grigorenko changes the dynamic dramatically. 

   In my view, Maurice has mismanaged the forward lines.  He did not give either Dalpe or Boychuk enough time on scoring lines.  He did not give Stewart anywhere close to enough time in the top six or top nine.  He has overslotted LaRose and contributed to Staal's horrendous start.  He broke up the Skinner/Ruutu/Jokinen line for no good reason.  He then started in on the "defense first" mantra that struck a raw chord with some fans who remember, and not fondly at all, Maurice I. 

   To salvage the  year, Jim Rutherford needs to make some surgical changes to the roster; but it would be a travesty to blow up the team.  He needs to leave Maurice in place until the end of the season.  If the Hurricanes fall within the 97.9% chance of missing the playoffs, Maurice should not be re-signed. 

  Who to trade is much more difficult an issue.  All the present players other than Kaberle are fine NHL quality players; but something has to be done.  It's a root canal analogy.  It's no fun; but there is no choice other than to do the surgery.  I'd trade or waive Kaberle.  He does not fit with where the Hurricanes are going.  I'd either trade Gleason or Allen; and my inclination would be to trade Gleason - again not because Gleason deserves to be traded but instead because something major has to be done to shake up the team.  I'd trade LaRose or Dwyer to open a roster spot.  I personally think Dwyer is a superior hockey player to LaRose although LaRose  has amazing intangibles, including leadership.  There's only room for one on the team. 

  I would bring up Dalpe and Boychuk and I'd put them in the top six.  They are either top six forwards or they aren't.  The time is now to find out rather than during a season when the playoffs are on the line.  In all likelihood the Hurricanes will wind up between 26th and 30th.  They will have access to an elite player in the draft.  The team will have had 75% of the season to create an identity.  It's not ideal, but being in 26th place overall and 29th on the power play is far less than ideal.  It's hard to increase season ticket sales with a team that is floundering this badly; so at minimum create interest by having a young, fun, enthusiastic team to watch. 

  None of these trades or changes are fun.  They are necessary if the Hurricanes are going to be a contending team. 

I disagree...

Your observation: " In my view, Maurice has mismanaged the forward lines." Is an understatement. Reading the column from Scott Burnside at answers it all for me.

This team just needs a new leader behind the bench. What could it hurt? We can only go up at this point. Yes, trading for other players would obviously help but only after a new coach gets settled in and can see what he needs to ask for if JR and PK will listen. Right now, the best thing as far as players is to bring some back up and play them. I say waive Kaberle, period. If nothing else, a new coach may help light a fire and maybe start a winning streak. I hope they have a new coach when I sit in my seat at the game Thursday night.

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.