The Carolina Hurricanes are not only in last place in the NHL, they have scored the fewest goals, (60), allowed the most goals, (97), have a poorly rated powerplay, have the worst rated even strength play, and are a full nine points behind Florida, the team closest to them in their division. While the team has played well in spurts, it's hard to find any statistic which can be praised as being positive.
While some of the other bottom feeders in the league have a decent offense but bad defense, or vice versa, the Canes seem to be doing everything poorly with no end in sight.
If they continue at the current pace, they will end up in last place by a landslide.
So what's next?
You don't want to cut off your face to spite your nose. It's bad business to give away assets, just to make a trade. Players of value with expiring contracts, like Matt Cullen, Joe Corvo, and Ray Whitney will all be very valuable bargaining chips closer to the trade deadline. It would be foolish to move them now unless you get equal return.
Players who are under-performing are nearly impossible to trade. You could put them on waivers and hope they get picked up so you can save salary space, but chances are they do not get claimed, then what?
You could strip Rod Brind`Amour of his captaincy, but then you create more problems than you already have in the dressing room.
Or you do what most teams do when a team is underachieving, you change coaches. That is one thing probably everyone can agree on, this team is tremendously underachieving, especially in relation to their salary structure.
While everyone knows that Peter Laviolette is still under contract and is getting paid by the team, the Hurricanes are in a unique position where they do not necessarily need to spend more money to make a coaching change. They already have several coaches under contract, they could just make them play musical chairs. Give Ron Francis a chance, or Tom Rowe. If neither want the position then go to Tom Barrasso or Jeff Daniels.
It wouldn't be the same as bringing in fresh blood like many fans want, but it would be doing something and it would be cost effective. There is no need to "fire" Paul Maurice. Simply move him to another position upstairs. Call it a "reassignment", and that way everyone saves face.
The organization seems to have been grooming Ron Francis for the head coaching job anyway. How many other "Associate Head Coaches" get introduced before every home game? He may or may not be the answer, but what harm is there in trying now? And doesn't the franchise at least owe him the opportunity before they go elsewhere?
Making a move like this will most likely not save the season, but it might keep a large portion of the fanbase from committing mutiny. It might help sell a few more tickets until they have a chance to move some contracts and bring in some youth next offseason. At least it gives the appearance that they are trying to appease fans.
What do you think should be done?