The Carolina Hurricanes leadership is a tight knit trio. Photo, taken during a preseason scrimmage 9/21/11, via Jamie Kellner [All rights reserved]
UPDATED 6:30pm with afternoon links
An exclusive interview with Jim Rutherford - from the guest on Brian's podcast this afternoon: Rutherford considers changes - Kurt Dusterberg, HurricanesBeat.com The quote below on the kind of player he is seeking by trade, plus a ton more regarding the GM's thoughts about Maurice as a coach. ★★★★★
"Over the years, we had Ray Whitney, and when things got tough, he was a guy that could stand up (in the dressing room)," Rutherford said. "We also had Rod Brind'Amour and Cory Stillman. We do have a very quiet team. Without question, we are missing that piece in the room."
AUDIO: Paul Maurice post practice [5:12] - To hear the original source for the next three links.
"As miserable as it was in Montreal, today’s a new day and you’ve got to prepare yourself for Buffalo," goaltender Cam Ward said. "We have to work at just righting the ship. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s the way you’ve got to approach it. You’ve got to be strong mentally, and this is a challenge for ourselves."
Canes try to focus only on Sabres game - Canes Now How tough will it be with each game now feeling like a referendum on his coaching and job security?
"I'm not sure that that game-by-game started in early November 1995," Maurice said. "This the grind that you learn to survive and deal with it as a man, deal with your players, rally your troops, have direct and honest conversations with players that need to have those. And make sure that when you're standing behind the bench you show that confidence in your team. And you just do it every day, night after night."
Dalpe headed back to Charlotte - goCheckers.com The Carolina Hurricanes will reassign forward Zac Dalpe to the Checkers, coach Paul Maurice told the Raleigh media on Thursday.
The Hockey News: Art of early-season trades - Lyle Richardson The trade market is again expected to heat up between Nov. 24 (American Thanksgiving) and the NHL’s holiday roster freeze, which kicks in Dec. 19. But there’s no guarantee we'll see notable, higher-salaried talent on the move, let alone multi-player deals.
[original post - with morning links follows the jump]
It's hard to get a bead on what is happening at Edwards Mill Road.
On the one hand we've seen the debacle on the ice almost nightly, with growing concern from even the most measured of local media who have followed the team closely for many years.
On the other, we have one of the longest tenured GM's in the League, a former goaltender at that, sounding very much like he's not about to panic and is going to wait until the right solution presents itself. Preaching Patience.
Finally, with last night's game getting the klieg light treatment that goes with being the only hockey game on TSN, the national media is pouncing all over the situation with more attention than Raleigh has seen on the puckwebz since the hoopla that was the All Star Game took over the Triangle 10 months ago.
Here ya go:
Stories since the loss last night:
- Rutherford: no major changes to be made yet - Canes Now 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." ★★★★★
- Canes facing moment of decision - Chip Alexander, CanesNow Time to decide on the coaching staff. Time to decide on players. Time to decide if a trade or some trades need to be made. ★★★★★
- It’s time for Paul Maurice to exit the Hurricanes - Puck Daddy Fire Paul Maurice. The time is right, with seven of the next nine games at home. If you don't think a different voice behind the bench and a stretch of home games can't turn your season around, then you haven't been watching the St. Louis Blues, apparently. ★★★★★ (FYI: the Blues are 3-0-1 under Ken Hitchcock, having surrendered just 3 goals in those 4 games)
- Jim Rutherford should feel the heat in Carolina, too | James O'Brien, ProHockeyTalk Beyond getting a great draft steal in Jeff Skinner, Rutherford’s recent moves have either been minimal or damaging. Once you get past Staal, Skinner and Ward, the Hurricanes are an Island of Misfit Hockey Toys. ★★★★★
More national focus on what ails the Carolina franchise:
- Daily Debate: Big gamble in Chicago and free fall in Carolina - Craig Custance and Pierre LeBrun, Cross Checks Blog - ESPN Rutherford won’t sit on his hands while this slide continues. My sense is that a trade is more likely to come before a coaching change. Perhaps a trade can buy Paul Maurice some time behind the bench, but if the losses continue to pile up, he might be in trouble as well. ★★★
- Struggling Hurricane Eric Staal hopes move to wing ends scoring slump - NHL.com "It's been a tough go here. That doesn't mean there aren't other parts of my game I haven't liked, but everyone looks at the numbers, the plus-minus and those things. But there are a lot of games left and I can still improve my game and feel more comfortable with who I'm playing with. The bottom line is to help the team get wins." ★★★★
- TSN Radio 990: Rod Brind’Amour - this is 13 minutes video/phone call in with Assistant Coach Rod Brind`Amour and covers quite a bit, but I just don't hear a the voice of somebody prepared to become an NHL head coach here. ★★★★
Learning from the mistakes of others (or: "The broader view")
- On why changing coaches every 2 or 3 years is not the answer: What does every team understand except the Islanders? - View from my Seats The problem [with a total re-build] is that it’s hard and it’s time consuming. As the years pass, the pressure to win and rush young players becomes greater and greater as fans starve for any semblance of hope. But if the organization really wants to set the team up to succeed for the long-haul, they’re going to need to realize that they need some stability at the head coaching position. ★★★★★
- Setting expectations: Is there a Truly Great General Manager in the NHL? - Arctic Ice Hockey Has any general manager truly "figured it out"? And by "figured it out", I mean has anyone consistently built one the top three or four teams in the league without benefiting either from his predecessor's drafting or from multiple high draft picks and without spending to the salary cap? ★★★★
- Good news/Bad news: The Hockey News: Top 10: Free agent flops We count down the biggest free agent disappointments so far this season, including familiar names like Anton Babchuk, Erik Cole, and Tomas Kaberle:
- Self-recognition in this very funny post from (of all places!) a Montreal blogger: How to know if you’re cheering for a bubble team " The Active Stick It’s that time of the year when we forget that less than a quarter of the games in the NHL season have been played and decide to form our opinions on how the season is going to turn out, which means the term "bubble team" is being thrown around a lot. ★★★★★
3. Tomas Kaberle - Fans of the Bruins and Leafs could tell you how much Kaberle’s game has slipped in recent years, but that didn’t stop the Hurricanes from signing the 33-year-old D-man to a three-year, $12.75 million deal. What have they gotten for $4.25 million so far? Four assists in 18 games and a minus-5 rating. Yikes.
- Cole adjusts in Montreal - NewsObserver.com "My answer is that everyone needs to relax," Cole said. "Eric is the type who puts a lot of pressure on himself at the start of each year and wants to come out the gate really, really hard and be the guy to carry the team... ★★★★
- Figure skating gives Calder winner an edge - Montreal Gazette - a Q&A with Jeff Skinner from the Montreal paper: ★★★★
Q What it's like not being able to go into a bar legally in some cities on the road?
A "It's all right. You can't really complain too much about being a teenager and playing hockey as a job. So there are not too many drawbacks to what we get to do. It's a privilege and something to be really grateful for."
- Doctor gives Rangers’ Marc Staal OK to begin light physical activity - Larry Brooks, NYPOST.com Marc Staal has been given approval to begin light physical activity following his examination by concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu in Boston on Tuesday. ★★★
- Another goalie prospect is thriving. Having a 'whale' of a Time: Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers Know Where They've Been, Know Where They're Going - Yahoo! Canada Sports As of early November, Matt Mahalak, 18, led the league with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. ★★★
Another hockey team in North Carolina has a nice stretch of home games ahead - if you need a break from the pressure at the RBC...
- Shaya's10 Thoughts: November 17 - GoCheckers.com Rockford comes into town on Friday having the worst record in the Midwest Division and they are tied for the most goals allowed in the Conference at 49. They’ve only won three games in their past 10. I think it’s fair to say that the Checkers would like all four points out of Friday and Sunday’s games against the IceHogs. ★★★
Life goes on
- Save the date: Skate With the Canes, Casino Night and Wine Tasting Tickets Available on Nov. 22 - Carolina Hurricanes News The annual Kids ‘N Community Foundation fundraisers are set for Feb. 5 and Feb. 26, respectively.