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Rutherford: no major changes to be made yet

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Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said today that neither a coaching change nor player trades have been planned -- for now.

The Canes have lost six of the past seven games after a 4-0 loss Wednesday to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Carolina is 6-10-3, dropping to 14th place in the Eastern Conference and leading to questions about whether coach Paul Maurice could survive the slow start,

"That was a very bad game," Rutherford said. "I am looking at everything (but) no decisions have been made. I have a lot of ideas in my head but I have not come to any conclusions yet."

Rutherford said he believed there would be "a couple" of player changes today but said that would involve assigning players to the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) and recalling others as replacements. Rutherford did not say who would be sent down or recalled, but said defenseman Justin Faulk was one of those being discussed.

"He's played very well in Charlotte," Rutherford said of the rookie, who made the Canes' roster out of training camp.

Of potential trades, Rutherford said, "There's not anyone out there right now who's available. There might be some who become available. We'll see what we can do."

The Canes face the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night at the RBC Center, then have the Toronto Maple Leafs in the RBC Center on Sunday. They have five home games remaining in the month of November.

"Once we get through the weekend we'll have a better idea of the overall picture and where we're going," Rutherford said.


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Repeating my Comments from another blog...

Ok all you armchair GM's out there, WHO are you going to replace Mo with?  You DO NOT fire your head coach without having his replacement already in place. Remember when Mo was fired the first time - Lavy was already in town and ready to go.  AND when Lavy was given the heave ho - Mo was back in town. I know that Jeff Daniels has been suggested  - a promotion from the Checkers but I think we need some fresh blood

I did a quick internet search and found 15 coaches fired (sure I missed a couple) in the last couple of years.  All but 5 are already employed or have other things going on.  Here is your list in no particular order of available NHL coaches and their LAST NHL gig.

  • Craig Ramsey - Atlanta Thrashers
  • Marc Crawford - Dallas Stars
  • Davis Payne - St. Louis (fired less than 2 weeks ago)
  • Rick Tocchet - Tampa Bay
  • Craig Hartsburg - Ottawa

Now I am sure that Mr. Rutherford has this list sitting on his desk along with a few other names.. question is - do they want to come here and fix this struggling team?

Screaming 'MO MUST GO AGAIN' might make you feel better, but it isn't consturctive if you don't have a replacement already on the hook.


Here is a wild thought

Consider this......Gretzky is reported to be offered some ownership of the Leafs by the American firm who is seeking ownership. It is presume he will have some role in management as well. It would seem logical that PK might also reach out to "The Great One" as a potential Canes minority owner AND perhaps as a replacement for Mo. Now would not that shake the tree locally and with a young team might very well work for at least the 3-5 years a coach has to get it turned around. Intriguing and certainly "out of the box". Stranger things have happened.

But hey, this is just me talking out loud......and what do I know anyway.....


and Karmanos would clash.  PK would never give anyone the control Gretzky would demand.  I doubt the Canes would even Bring in anyone not already in the fold at this point.  Someone interim now would be an improvement until someone becomes available.  I just don't see them changing the coaching status.  If Jr hasn't pulled the trigger by now, He won't.  Maybe after Christmas, when it will once again be too late.


Do you guys remember the results he got in Phoenix?


Increasing Number of Season Ticket Holders??

The current state of the Canes WILL NOT increase the number of folks spending their entertainment dollars on season tickets ... or even single game tickets unless they want to see a train wreck called the Carolina Hurricanes..

If something good doesn't happen soon (new coach, a significant upgrade in players, even playing the prospects (they were touted as being GREAT) ... the Canes will have trouble keeping 3,000 - 4,000 of their existing season ticket holders ... rather than adding an additional 3,000 new season ticket holders.

enough of the "checkers"!oh

enough of the "checkers"!oh the great checkers of charlotte, seems that they are the answer, but name one that has come up and contributed any thing, dwyer got 2 shorties the other night, well how about boy wonder boychuck, hasnt showed me anything in forever,and dwyer has done anything but skate fast,now skinner comes in and automaticly shows you something, that he has nhl capabilities, no one else has ever from the great checkers and evan sutter seems like a flash in the pan, what has he done this season, not much,hard  to compete when you have about 4 nhlers on your team,and no one else shows up.

They don't get that much of

They don't get that much of a chance playing maybe 7 or 8 minutes on the fourth line

Good Points

A lot of good points already made, so not a whole lot to add.  I do believe that JR is very good at what he does, and so does the rest of the NHL.  He's been voted GM of the year on two occasions.  That being said, he doesn't set the budget, and the big boss has turned the Canes into a discount team.  It is obvious for all to see, and I can blame no one for staying home as things stand now. 

But what disturbs me more than the talent disparity is the effort disparity.  I can handle losing, at least for awhile, if the team puts forth effort.  And effort is one thing that each Cane player can bring to the rink.  But that is not happening.  However, right now I continue to hear a variety of excuses and explanations as to why the team doesn't have any jump.  It is up to the leadership of the team, coaches, captain and alternates to make sure the team comes ready to play.  If they can't do it, replace them with somebody else.  It's just that simple. 

And there will be no change

And there will be no change in the amount of money I have budgeted to go to hockey games this year. It is currently none and will stay there until there is a coaching change. Mo is a nice guy but he is not an NHL caliber coach.

JR put this team together -

JR put this team together - just like he put together the last 2 teams that failed. he said this team could compete for the Cup. clearly, his judgement has been proven wrong (again).

he can shuffle 4th line guys all he wants - he can even fire Maurice (again) - but that won't fix the underlying problem: this team just doesn't have the talent to compete.

Think You're Right

With the multiplicity of problems this team has there probably is no single solution. So what to do? Simple question!

Simple questions don't always have simple answers. But...

It is a management perogrative to solve problems but our absentee ownership and home-based management seem to hold no magic beans .Management is paid to solve problems. What;s the holdup?

With some 14M under the allowed cap it is unrealistic to believe we can compete against teams such as the Caps, Flyers, Penguins, etc. Mr. Karmanos wants another 5,000 STH, not realizing that money goes where money is...that if he came up with $$$ the turnstyles would hum..but don't expect that.

As for changes, Mr. Rutherford is going nowhere. He wears dual hats now,  one as GM and one as part owner which solidifies his position.

We are stuck with at least one ill conceived contract of a highly paid non-performing player we will not be unable to unload; we have (by NHL standards) low paid players, nice guys, but it is questionable if some could even win a birth on another team; managenment brings in retreads  and palms them off as NHL caliber players; our coaches and players are obviously downcast and behave like whipped puppies; etc. etc. etc.

We will probably see some perfunctory changes of the scapegoat nature,  but nothing pro-active that will move the needle forward. Any changes will probably be eye wash to soothe the ire of an already exasperated fan base.

Even the Montreal announcer said last night "this is the worst performance I've seen' and "this team is a mess."

The l9th centurey Frenchman was right when he said "The more things change the more they remain the same." That should give David Tanabe and Anson Carter hope. Don't laugh, historically that's the kind of move our management has made....Retread! I'm afraid this time band aids won't stop the leaks.




And what of Rutherford's boss?

If Karmanos can't provide the funding necessary for the payroll to be anywhere close to just league average, we'll NEVER have a chance to compete on a regular basis.  Scraping for talent on a cap floor budget is not a formula to get it done.

Check out the PuckDaddy

Check out the PuckDaddy Column on Maurice on Yahoo Sports.

I love the quote of Rutherford ""Now, if we're talking again in a six- or-seven game losing streak, I'll probably be in a different frame of mind and answer those (coaching) questions differently" 

Here we are now at 6 of 7 and 7 of 9, but I guess its not technically a losing streak so all is well.  Personally, it wouldn't matter to me if it was six straight or not.  Any combination of wins and losses that results in records like that, to me are no different than just losing them straight.

I am torn

Is JR even capable of making a positive coaching change?  On the one hand he brought us Lavi and shortly thereafter a cup, on the other hand he replaced PK's whipping boy with Mo part 2.  I don't know of any experienced coaches out there that I would want who are available. I like the idea of Daniels but I don't want him to look bad with all the discount players we have right now but I agree we need a change. Lewis on a interim basis would be the best possible outcome based on what we have to work with but not so sure how much of a change or upgrade that would be. The best we may have to hope for now is another stellar draft pick...

sad days

Yes, Maurice has to go first and foremost.  If you fired someone before for not doing the job why the hell do you bring them back.  Karmanos and Rutherford and management are to blame alot for overpaying/acquiring old outdated players, acquiring unknown unproductive players and not opening their purse strings to get some talent.  I would have no problem paying a extra for talent to see a close competetive game win or lose.  The problem for Staal is the lack of a very good quality puck handler and passer next to him.  He has to chase the puck, move it and score all by himself on his line.  The closest we to a decent puck handler is Jokinen.  They should have kept Whitney at least.  Look no farther than the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The owners failed to spend money on talent and was the laughing stock for many years.  We are on that road.

Must be Dalpe's fault.  The

Must be Dalpe's fault.  The only move today after last night's fiasco is Dalpe gets shipped back down to Charlotte...sigh!

This org has quickly become the laughing stock of the NHL in no time flat.  How in the hell do you go from January's ASG weekend to this in a matter of 9 months flat?

Weekend action

Well.....come Monday sometime we should know more or something will have already happened. Changing coaches takes time to assemble and put in place, especially if no work has been done to this point. If JR makes a coaching change I would much prefer an experienced and proven coach and not an "experiment".   Making trades depends on other teams and takes even more time. I can understand that his work on trades will continue both now and thru the weekend and (his words) ""Once we get through the weekend we'll have a better idea of the overall picture and where we're going," I would MUCH prefer that JR not knee jerk his way toward other mistakes. If it takes him and staff a couple of days to get the right thing done, so be it.  The fact that he is acknowledging activity is enough. I for one will see what he comes up with and then judge. I view the Checkers/Checkers thing as the only thing that can be done now to instill a bit of energy in the room and that is a good thing. 

But hey, this is just me talking out loud......and what do I know anyway.



I have no doubt JR is working the phones for some sort of trade right now. Hopefully for a coach as well.

Bench some guys, and bring up and put together an entire line of forwards from charlotte. As much time as maurice wastes with line combos, use Daniels lines and give them minutes..double digit minutes..but thats right, we all know nothing about hockey. I guess when I was a kid and seen Gump Worsley play his last game in NY and took his mask off for the third, fans like us know nothing. Oh yeah, that was around the time Rutherford was a goalie for the Penguins. Back when there was no advertising on the boards.

truly pathetic.

truly pathetic.

Yep JR, it's the young

Yep JR, it's the young players getting three minutes or less of playing time a night who are the problem. Let's bring up some more that the coach won't give any playing time to. What is it with this organization? After the crushing loss in the last game of the 08 season he couldn't wait to hold his end of season press conference and tell anyone who would listen that he was thinking about firing Laviolette. After the crushing loss in the last game of the 11 season he doesn't hold his press conference until over a month later (probably because he knew fans were upset at Maurice and wanted to let the furor die down) and then says Maurice is doing a good job and would be retained.  Karmanos ranted about Laviolette and how missing the playoffs cost him a lot of money, yet just weeks ago he praises Maurice who has steered the ship out of the playoffs the last two years and all but cemented missing them for a third. Well done JR and PK, well done!

Swap Checkers with Checkers

Swap Checkers with Checkers to play 5 minutes.  That'll fix us!

I need a nepotism job too.

Unbelievable. Face Palm.


Face Palm.

Sadly, it's all too

Sadly, it's all too believable.  :-(

I can tell you right now

I can tell you right now where we'll be after the weekend - with two more losses. 


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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.