With Thursday’s disappointing loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the Hurricanes have fallen back to .500 and are trending in the wrong direction with a 3-5-2 record in their last nine games.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look back at the team’s summer work and suggests that a couple unfinished projects could be significant in the team’s current struggles.
Hiring Rod Brind’Amour as the head coach
The current down trend offers some support for those who might say that hiring the inexperienced Brind’Amour was a poor decision. No doubt, he is experiencing some growing pains, but I still have a slightly bias for Brind’Amour and am in wait and see mode in general.
But where I think the team missed with regard to Brind’Amour and previously Bill Peters was in not supporting them with more NHL head coaching experience. Though it might have been challenging to land a good former head coach in an assistant’s role to a rookie, I still think the should have found a way to bring in someone else with head coaching experience to support Brind’Amour during challenging times like now.
The missing trade
During the summer, I mapped out a series of moves that I thought made sense for the Hurricanes. The net of those moves included trading Skinner and Faulk. I correctly said that Skinner would be traded for prospects and expected that Faulk would be traded to back fill Skinner’s spot in the lineup. But when a reasonable trade market for Faulk did not emerge, the team decided to keep him. Faulk is playing his best hockey in a few years and has been part of a solid top 4 pairing with Calvin de Haan which is a positive. But the team is also struggling to score goals such that converting Faulk into a scoring forward could be a huge boost for the team right now.
With Faulk off to a strong start, I think the best course of action is to sell high on him in a trade versus deviating from what I believe was the original plan based on a couple months of better play.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Do you agree that both of the items discussed were missteps during the offseason?
2) The team has only played 33 games with Brind’Amour as the head coach, but what is your assessment of him including strengths and weaknesses so far?
3) Do you think the team erred in trading Skinner? Or do you think this this was a necessary move and that the error was just not in adding an additional scorer?