Today’s Daily Cup of Joe addresses a short list of organizational topics.
A couple weeks ago, the Florida Everbladed announced that they would no longer be an affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes. The team was Karmanos-owned, so the ownership changeover seemingly prompted a reevaluation of their Hurricanes relationship.
I think this has the potential to be a huge positive if the Hurricanes can land an ECHL affiliate that is closer to home. The obvious candidate is the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. Adding Greenville as an ECHL affiliate could have multiple positive effects. First, at just a two hour drive to Charlotte and a four-hour drive to Raleigh, such a move could extend the team’s reach and add another satellite fan base that is within driving distance of PNC Arena for a weekend of games. The move could have significant benefit development-wise too. The two-hour distance from Charlotte to Greenville could make it possible for development coaches to spend more time with the few Canes prospects who are playing at the ECHL level.
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Having an ECHL affiliate is not an absolute requirement. The possibility exists that the team could do without an ECHL affiliate and just loan out the couple of those players to whoever needs the help.
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes announced that goalie coach Mike Bales had resigned. Shortly thereafter, Elliotte Friedman from TSN suggested that Bales could be headed to Buffalo.
At a minimum, the move is a curious one. Coming off a winning season with a young team, one would figure the Hurricanes as a rising team and one that a coach would choose to stay a part of. In addition, the prospect of working with a promising young goalie like Alex Nedeljkovic would seem to be a positive. Yet Bales resigned.
The possible reasons are infinite. Ideally, one of the journalists who cover the team will be able to get something on the ‘why’, but who knows if that will happen.
It could be personal reasons. It could be the prospect of more money. Though it seems unlikely, it could be some friction with head coach Rod Brind’Amour. It could have to do with the team’s plans in net next season.
Regardless, the move is at least worth noting to see if it is a one-off or if it instead becomes a trend.
The other coaching situation to watch closely in the coming weeks is Mike Vellucci. Fresh off an impressive season and Calder Cup Championship, Vellucci’s stock has to be rising right now. Keeping Vellucci in Charlotte to continue developing the prospects would be an ongoing win for the Hurricanes. But if Vellucci has bigger or just different aspirations to coach at the NHL level, I would think he could find such an opportunity right now. Here is hoping that Vellucci likes his standing in the organization and his role as an AHL coach for the time being.
What say you Canes fans?
1) What do you think of Greenville as a destination for an ECHL affiliate? Do you have a different preference?
2) What, if anything, do you make of the Mike Bales situation? How much credit does he deserve for the team’s improved goaltending in 2018-19?
3) What are the chances that the Hurricanes can keep Mike Vellucci?