Monday, November 28, 2011

One Half Of The Purge Is Done

He had to know that this was coming!
This season has been an embarrassment for us fans of the Carolina Hurricanes.  It started in the off-season when the team couldn't figure out what they wanted to do.  Joni Pitkanen was gone and then suddenly resigned to multiple years.  Erik Cole was a priority for the team to resign and then left for a good deal in Montreal.  Then the regular season started.  We did sign Tomas Kaberle and he has been a disappointment, with 5 assists and sitting at a -10.  Eric Staal has been stuck in neutral all year, the defense has been playing the 'Ole option all year long allowing shots to rain down on Cam Ward.  The Canes are converting on the power play at a 12.2% clip.  Good enough for 29th in the league.  The penalty killing unit is barely over 80%.  So something had to happen.  And it did Monday.

Paul Maurice was fired.  As the Head Coach, he is going to take the heat from the front office and he did.  However, he had proven in his head coaching career, that he wasn't the guy to get the most out of his team.  He didn't do it in his first stint with the Canes, finishing with a record under .500 and that is with a year that the team went to the Stanley Cup finals.  He definitely didn't do it with the Toronto Maple Leafs.  They didn't get into the playoffs during his stint there.  So after it was decided that Peter Laviolette was fired in December of 2008, that Paul Maurice would come back.  Cam Ward stood on his head that season and got the Canes back to the Eastern Conference finals that year after barely qualifying for the playoffs.  Then for the 2009-2010 season, with high expectations, the team crashed and burned and didn't come close to the playoffs.  For the 2010-2011 season, nothing special was expected for the team.  They went into the last game of the season needing a win to qualify for the playoffs.  They were blitzed by the Lightning 6-2 and finished 9th in the East.  This year, we have a losing season with 20 points accumulated.  We are the 14th out of the 15th best team in the East.  Only the Islanders have fewer points.  In fact, we are just 5 points ahead of Columbus.  The Blue Jackets are considered by almost everybody as the worst team in the league. The firing was justified and I am glad that it happened.

However, there needs to be another head to roll.  And that is the President/GM Jim Rutherford.  Look at the results of the Hurricanes since they won the Cup in 2006.  2007 - Missed Playoffs.  2008 - Qualified for the playoffs in 7th place.  2009 - Missed Playoffs.  2010 - Missed Playoffs.  2011 - Currently in 14th Place in the East.  Two coaching changes have taken place.  Look at the lines for the Hurricanes:

Top Line:  Skinner-Staal-Ruutu
2nd Line:  Ponikarovski-Jokinen-LaRose
3rd Line:  Tlusty-Brandon Sutter-Dwyer
4th Line:  Stewart-Brent-Brett Sutter

Defensemen:

Gleason
Faulk
Pitkanen
McBain
Allen
Joslin
Harrison
Kaberle

Goalies:

Ward
Boucher

Now be honest here.  Is there more than 3 or 4 players listed here that you want on your team?  For myself, I like 3 of the Centers, 1 of the Left Wingers, 2 of the Defensemen, and the Starting Goalie.  That is 7 of the 20 players that I am happy to have on the team.  The other 13?  If they leave, I am like hopefully there is someone better coming in to play.  And while I do really appreciate the skill side of the game, the Hurricanes are like the Buffalo Sabres.  Soft.  Where in hell are the players that have some skill and are willing to goon it up with the teams like the Bruins, Rangers, and others when the situation requires it?  The makeup of this team is flawed and has been flawed for the past 5 years.  The defense is soft, there isn't enough high end talent on the team, there is no rough and physical presence, and the GM is always talking about how he can't compete in the finances.  I call BS.  It is time for Jim Rutherford to be "promoted" to full time President of Hockey Operations.  He is a minority owner in the hockey team, so let's boot his happy ass upstairs and bring in a GM that will start to figure out how to get this team back to a competitive status and start becoming the team that us fans know should be the top team in the Southeast.  Our franchise is better than the Panthers, Lightning, and Capitals.  Us fans know that in our hearts.  And it is time for the owner, Peter Karmanos, to get the organization back to becoming one of those franchises that prove that they should be taken seriously every year.  And the first step is to bring in a General Manager who is only the General Manager.

4 comments:

Zebster said...

I like your talent more than I like your team, which is essentially what you're saying. In this league today 7 out of 20 isn't all that bad. It has to do with how well those other 13 fit with the 7 you really want, which sounds like your problem. It's a chemistry problem. And sometimes that's a bitch to fix because the organization has to know what they want to be before they can put it together on the ice. I hate to use my Bs as an example but it is the best example. How many guys on the Bs current roster would you really die to have? 3? 4?
So your GM/owner handcuffs you, for sure, and needs to get out of the personnel position. And then the new GM and coach need to be in lockstep. Good luck.

R.J. said...

Whoever signed all those ex-Leafs should have been canned. There's a good reason why the Leafs haven't made the playoffs since '04 and a lot has to do with the overvalue of guys like Ponikarovsky and Kaberle.

Zebster said...

Maybe this is the time for you to go "all in" with the Winnipeg Jets?

Brent said...

The Winnipeg Jets crack is blasphemy! I have been a Whalers/Hurricanes fan for almost 30 years!