The case for and against Rod Brind’Amour as the Carolina Hurricanes next head coach

The case for and against Rod Brind’Amour as the Carolina Hurricanes next head coach

With the departure of Bill Peters last Friday and not much for news on the general manager front, attention has recently turned to the Carolina Hurricanes head coaching vacancy. In addition to the myriad of possibilities outside of the organization, two names internally have also been bandied around. Mike Vellucci who is coaching the Charlotte Checkers in the playoffs right now is one name. And franchise hero Rod Brind’Amour is the other. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe considers the pros and cons to Rod Brind’Amour as a potential bench boss.   The time is not now First, to be clear, I am not suggesting that the time is now to hire a coach. Best continues to be to hire a new general manager and have that new general manager play a leading role in hiring the next coach. Hiring a coach first would send a strong message as to where the new general manager sits with regard to authority and leadership and could further complicate the search process. If the current general manager by committee situation becomes longer-term, then obviously the team will need to hire a coach with the current brain trust making the decision.   Where I ultimately land Before I try to balance pros and cons, let me say upfront that despite believing it could work and seeing a decent number of positives, I would prefer a coach with head coaching experience. I am somewhat more open to hiring an up-and-comer who has succeeded at lower levels but not the NHL level, but the idea of hiring someone who has never been a head coach at...

Canes catch up: Charlotte Checkers, Aho/Teravainen, GM options, Martin Necas and more

In addition to the big news of Bill Peters’ resignation on Friday and his fast landing in Calgary on Monday (My article on Peters’ resignation is HERE.), the news wire for the Carolina Hurricanes has been pretty busy otherwise with smaller news too.   Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen join Team Finland for world tourney On Monday, it was announced that Teravainen and Aho would be joining Team Finland. I am in favor of these young players, especially Aho extending their season by a bit. My hope is that Aho gets more time at the center position, and it also should help him to play some games after the regular 82-game slate to season length with playoffs.   The Charlotte Checkers win first two games in their playoff series After what seemed to be a losing effort through two periods in Friday’s series opener, the Checkers stormed back for two goals in the third period and an overtime game-winner to steal game one in the series. The Checkers then followed that up with a 2-0 win on Saturday. The series now moves to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the Checkers just need to win one of three on the road to win the five-game series and advance to the next round of the playoffs. The first win saw Aleksi Saarela finally break the ice in the third period, Valentin Zykov score the tying goal on the power play and Lucas Wallmark score on a tip to win the game in overtime. Haydn Fleury scored early and Josiah Didier scored later to stake the Checkers to a 2-1 lead. Two empty-net tallies resulted...
Carolina Hurricanes Coach Bill Peters resigns (Article finally up)

Carolina Hurricanes Coach Bill Peters resigns (Article finally up)

From the category of ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’, on Friday the Carolina Hurricanes announced that Bill Peters had exercised his contract out and resigned from his coaching role with the Hurricanes. So as I said on Twitter, just like that the Kinetico Water era of Hurricanes history has come to a close. Between a busy end of the week and the need to digest the information and figure out which of seemingly dozens of angles to discuss, I will post an article hopefully sometime on Saturday or Sunday at the latest.   Finally catching up after a busy weekend that was largely scheduled out. Huge thanks to everyone who has already shared their thoughts on Bill Peters’ resignation. Below are my thoughts in quick-hitter format…   Peters’ 2017-18 In simple terms, it was not good enough. Say what you want about the players he had/did not have. In terms of raw talent, one could make a case for the team being about where they landed in the standings, but here is the thing…Teams can and do surprise every year. Seven out of the 16 teams that made the 2018 playoffs were 2017 draft lottery entrants just like the Hurricanes. Not only is it possible for teams to rebound quickly, it is the norm. Was this team definitely a playoff team with another coach? No. But was it possible? Yes.   But the goaltending The one wild card that I struggle with the most is the effect of the team’s goaltending struggles. I very much thing Peters’ made his own bed and then had to lie in...
Canes-centric comments on NHL playoffs thus far

Canes-centric comments on NHL playoffs thus far

The closest Canes fans will get to playoff hockey for the 2017-18 season starts tonight when the Charlotte Checkers kick off their playoff series at home. If you missed it, please also check out my Canes-centric Charlotte Checkers playoff preview from yesterday. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a few quick-hitters from the NHL playoffs thus far.   Offense wins The playoffs have historically featured close-checking hockey with tamped down scoring, but that has not been the case thus far for the 2018 playoffs. Of the seven teams who have either already advanced or are up 3-1 in their respective series, five of those teams are above or very close to four goals per game. Vegas advanced behind stingy defense and goaltending, and Winnipeg has not been quite as lights out offensively, but the other five teams have mostly won by scoring in bunches. Where will the Hurricanes find more offense this summer?   What might have been with Marc-Andre Fleury? One has to wonder if the Hurricanes could have had Marc-Andre Fleury this past summer. The Penguins were going to lose a goalie and were committed to keeping young Matt Murray which meant Fleury was leaving. Could the Hurricanes have brokered a trade directly with Pittsburgh before the expansion draft? Or if Rutherford would not have been willing to deal him within the division, might Vegas have given him up during their early wheeling and dealing phase? And what difference might Fleury have made in a Hurricanes uniform in 2017-18?   Star power carries the day in the Eastern Conference thus far Time and time again playoff games...
Canes-centric preview for the Charlotte Checkers playoff series

Canes-centric preview for the Charlotte Checkers playoff series

We will have to wait at least another year before we see playoff hockey in Raleigh, but for the second season in a row, the Charlotte Checkers have provided live playoff hockey to the contingent of Canes fans willing to make the 2 1/2-ish hour drive down I-40 to Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte. The schedule lines up absolutely wonderfully for a road trip with the series starting in Charlotte at 7pm on Friday and then continuing with game 2 at 6pm on Saturday. I will not be able to make the trip but am 100 percent jealous of what should be a sizable group that does for one or both of the games.   Charlotte Checkers vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins series basics The Checkers are actually the lower seed in the #2 versus #3 match up but start at home by virtue of the AHL’s 2-3 format that minimizes travel. The Checkers won three of four games against the Penguins during the regular season and maybe more significantly enter the playoffs red hot with seven straight wins and points in their last 10 games. As long as the four days off does not slow them down, the Checkers should enter the series with a head of steam. As long as the playoffs do not suck the offense out of it, the series has the potential to be an exciting and entertaining one. The Checkers led the entire AHL in scoring with 262 goals, and the Penguins were not far behind with 252. For more details on the Penguins side of the series and great coverage in general, I highly recommend...
Is the grass really greener?

Is the grass really greener?

With 16 teams competing in the NHL playoffs (I guess actually five with Los Angeles’ early ouster), there are plenty of reasons to be envious of other teams right now. And no doubt, the Canes fun meter continues to hover near all-time lows with nine consecutive playoff misses that represent the longest streak in the NHL right now. And certainly there are teams with multiple recent Cup wins whose fan bases are in a better place right now. But when one looks objectively at the lot of the other 30 teams in the NHL, how many would a Canes fan rightfully trade places with right now when looking at an extended history that reaches back behind the Hurricanes current down times? I do not think it as close to 30 teams as some might think. For every Pittsburgh Penguins there are a couple teams who have had it as bad or worse than the Carolina Hurricanes.   Columbus Blue Jackets No doubt, the Blue Jackets are in a better place right now with a 2-1 lead in their series with the Washington Capitals. But that franchise has truly had a tough go of it in terms of post-season success. In 18 years of existence, the team has yet to win a playoff series. The team has played in only four series counting their current one, and with their loss at home on Tuesday night, fans through the years have seen only two home playoff wins in eight tries. One could debate whether the Blue Jackets’ future looks better than the Hurricanes right now, but there is no way I...