Are the 'Canes building a franchise where players are not challenged nor fear for their job? You heard Timmay talk about how late in the season players finally were on board with what they were supposed to be doing on the ice; GOOD LORD, why weren't they held accountable the rest of the season?!?!? Veterans regularly take less money to stay here; why? They don't consistently get a chance to challenge for the Cup. Is it so great to live here in Raleigh that the benefits of the community outweigh the opportunity to play for the sport's ultimate prize?
Not sure exactly how to phrase it, hence using the term "country club" in the title. The point is...the season ends in a whimper. We lose two H-U-G-E games at home. Miss the playoffs a second straight season. Correctable issues with the team -- powerplay, defensive coverage -- go uncorrected all season long. Floundering veterans are allowed to continue to eat up ice time, while talented youngsters wither on the vine. You never hear the coach talking about losing being unacceptable, or talking about players needing to step it up, or otherwise creating an environment where losing -- especially at home -- is not tolerated. Management? Silent. Players? During post-season interviews, a handful talk about being disappointed in not making the playoffs, but otherwise seem as if to say "oh, well" and they're done with it. Which leads to my point...
Or is it because they know that they have a players' coach, a GM with low expectations, rabid fans who support the team no matter what, a small media market that is downright uninterested at times and definitely not critical of poor effort and play, and overall a nice, comfortable, cozy existence?
Low pressure. Low expectations. Is this what the 'Canes have become?
Personally, I would like to see a commitment from the top-down on getting back to the "Whatever It Takes" mentality that won the Cup just a few short years ago. How did we fall so far away from that?