During the first week of April after the Carolina Hurricanes were eliminated from the playoffs, General Manager Jim Rutherford had a press conference in which he indicated that he was not going to meet with Hurricanes Coach, Peter Laviolette until after "emotions had settled down", because he didn't want to do anything rash without giving it thought.
A couple of days later, he practically threw the coach under the bus by mentioning a few things that he was unhappy about, which apparently he blamed Laviolette for. Things like- Playing injured players before they were ready. Disrupting chemistry on the team by inserting said injured players during crucial games. Playing too much of a wide open game, even when the score was tied late in contests. Allowing the team to have a poor work ethic and play uninspired hockey during the months of November and December, which eventually cost the team a spot in the playoffs.
Apparently, Rutherford's emotions remain volatile. On Wednesday, Lord Stanley's Blog reported that the Canes GM had still not made a decision regarding Laviolette. This, even after the coach has received tons of support from fans.
One thing is for sure, there is much more going on here than meets the eye. Jim Rutherford has never struck me as an overly emotional man. For instance, his idea of wild celebrating after winning the Stanley Cup was to smile and give a thumbs up. He was back to work just a couple days afterwards re-signing players. (But as one of my readers pointed out, perhaps then is when he should have taken more time to think things out.)
It's very odd that even 3 weeks later, not only won't he give his coach a simple vote of confidence, he won't even say that the coach still has a job next year. That just doesn't seem right.
Joe Ovies at 850 The Buzz has his own take on things. Could Rutherford be waiting because he has the Toronto job on his mind?
Something is certainly going on here. Could Laviolette be considering some type of buyout? Could Rutherford be waiting for some type of offer from the Leafs? It's impossible for me to believe that neither coach or GM has had any communication with each other since April 3rd.
While Hurricanes ownership remains in Detroit attending to business there, some Caniacs are getting nervous because there is a bit of an unsettled feeling here in Raleigh. Is the GM staying or leaving? Is the Coach staying or leaving? What the heck is going on here?
Season ticketholders will be receiving their bills for next season in the coming weeks. They deserve some answers, as do the rest of the fans here.
If Jim Rutherford is going to remain the Carolina General Manager, then it would be nice if he said so and officially removed his name from consideration for the Toronto job, like Brian Burke did recently in Anaheim. If it is possible that he will take that position, then perhaps he should consider stepping aside until he makes his final decision.
Isn't it a conflict of interest for him to be re-signing people, making decisions regarding the coaching staff, and performing other tasks which will affect this franchise for years to come, if he is a legitimate candidate for another job?
Just a thought.