Per the same included in the game recap post:

Hey all, Tuesday’s horribly disappointing loss arguably represents the greatest opportunity to be frustrated since the Canes and Coffee comments picked up steam. What a day to be alive at Canes and Coffee, am I right? ? With that comes to opportunity for readers and fellow Canes fans to be nasty to each other or instead have great debates in a true ‘we are in this together even if we disagree on things’ neighborhood coffee shop kind of way. Let’s stay on the right side of being respectful to each other.

In addition, there is not a need to candy coat a player or team management’s performance. It is fine to say that they did poorly, that they should be traded or whatever else. That falls under evaluating and offering an opinion on their performance which is for better or worse within the realm of their jobs. That said, it is never okay to take shots at players or staff personnel personally. Please, let’s stay on the right side of that line on a day when no doubt there will be tough evaluations of individual performances and suggestions for changes in personnel.


For obvious reasons, I took a different approach for my game recap/notes after Tuesday’s 6-4 loss. The recap is largely the introduction for what follows, so I encourage everyone to read that first if you have not already.

I finished that article by saying that the team is broken. The question then is how to fix that or at least take the right steps in that direction especially with 12 games remaining on the 2017-18 schedule.

I spelled out the basics of what I think should be done on Twitter but will add additional details here.


Enough said. And “ice cream” (wink) for those who are otherwise Canes remedy-inclined.


This is the crux of it all and where I left off in the game recap article. This team is unmistakably broken. It is one thing to lose, fail, not make the playoffs or whatever else in terms of results. It has become increasingly clear that the problem is bigger than that. If it is possible to need a full exorcism of an entire hockey team and organization, I think the Hurricanes reached that level on Tuesday night.

There are personnel issues too, but this is bigger than that.


I talked about this in some detail in the game recap, so I will not beat it to death. Depending on how the team responds, part of me thinks that Tuesday’s game in itself might actually be severe enough to provide the necessary “jolt” albeit too late for the 2017-18 season.


I think many might disagree with this simply because Ron Francis was very clearly right in the middle of what this team has become. To some degree, I agree. But two things make me think differently. First is that I continue to wonder if Francis brought Justin Williams in with the intent that he would be named captain but tried to do the right thing in letting the locker room stuff be decided in the locker room. If so, it is actually possible that Francis both recognized and addressed the current problem last summer, but just did not manage to navigate its resolution through Bill Peters. We might or might not ever know what really happened with that. Looking forward instead of backward, I also think some kind of steady father figure could be useful in what I think lies ahead. I think the team has reached the point where there needs to be some upheaval, discomfort and tumultuous times in the locker room as the group tries to climb up out of the wreckage and push forward. As a former player and captain with NHL success and also a calm personality, I think he could serve valuable in terms of adding spoonfuls of calm as needed. But given that he is somewhat pushed to the side right now, it is unclear if he is capable of doing that and/or if he would even step into that fray at this point.


I am on record as saying that I think the team owed Bill Peters the 2017-18 season before passing judgement on him. The 2017-18 season is now more or less over, and preparation for the 2018-19 season needs to begin.

But bigger than that reality is that I think inaction with regard to Peters and leadership right now sends a horrible message to a young group that is gradually learning that this is how it goes in the NHL because they have experienced nothing else. Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner are a large chunk of a career deep in this way of NHL life and might actually be unsalvagable. Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Haydn Fleury, Noah Hanifin, Sebastian Aho and Brock McGinn are now headed in the same direction.

I really think the time is now to very decidedly put a stake in the ground that first makes it clear that the current state of things is unacceptable and then very firmly plants a stake in the ground such that the current state of the team is in the past with a new future.

I think after how this team has flailed horribly and completely unraveled at a time when it should be digging down and finding a way that there is no path forward with Bill Peters. And because of the degree to which the team has completely imploded, I do not think the change can wait until the offseason.


I really think that Rod Brind’Amour is the leader for the next 12 games that represent a chance to dramatically change the direction of the team versus stumbling into the offseason to try to recover and start anew then. To be clear, I am not proposing that Brind’Amour become the new head coach or even audition for it. Rather, I am proposing that he be very clearly named interim coach for the remainder of the 2017-18 season such that a new head coach can be named during the offseason.

I actually think that Rod Brind’Amour could prove to be better for this stint of 12 games than the eventual coach. Right now, the team does not need systems, Xs and Os, strategy or anything like that. Very simply, the team desperately needs a change in mindset, mentality, attitude, confidence and whatever else you want to lump into the all-important mental/psychological component of the game. As a successful captain who has been lauded by absolutely everyone ever interviewed about his leadership, Brind’Amour gets the people and motivation part of this game that I think is an Achilles’ heel for Bill Peters. Brind’Amour has been in the midst of all of it with an inside the locker room viewpoint and already knows the individual players and their situations. Combining that with his leadership abilities, I think he more than any outsider has the potential to effect a change in mentality both at an individual player and team level.

Some might ask why he has not already done this if he is in fact capable of it. I think in an assistant coaching role, there are limitations to role and player interactions. Brind’Amour is a lieutenant whose responsibilities are dictated or at a minimum influenced by Bill Peters’ assignments. My belief is that as a #1, he gains broader freedom to interact with, challenge and work with the players in a different way.

I then think that Brind’Amour’s first move is to make Justin Williams the captain. There are conversations that need to happen and such to make the current leadership group feel included in the future despite taking on a different role and no doubt feathers might be ruffled, but I think it is the right move. Especially for the young group, it sends a message that the current state of the team is not good enough all the way down at the player level. This is not just Francis not building the right lineup. It is not just Peters not coaching well enough. The changes that need to start immediately are also on the players’ shoulders. I think naming Justin Williams as the captain clearly plants this all-important stake that makes sure the jolt that is needed is felt and received not just seen down at the level of the individual player stalls in the locker room.


So what now…

I actually think the probability that Bill Peters does not make it until Thursday or at least the next game is higher than most people realize right now. Tom Dundon has already shown that he is willing to take action and is not necessarily one to wait until the offseason to do an end of season evaluation and then sort things out.

I say Thursday or before the next game simply because there is a logical chain of events that must happen. First is that Tom Dundon needs to be in Raleigh – not sure if he was in town for Tuesday’s game and is already here or anything must be preceded by him arriving in Raleigh. Then he would need to at least talk to Ron Francis if he has any sincere intentions of keeping him in the organization in a different role, and then he would need to talk to Rod Brind’Amour. So there is a chain of events that must happen serially before any announcement would be made.

If nothing else, Wednesday’s practice is a rare one that could be newsworthy as are the couple off days ahead.


What say you Canes fans?


1) Do you agree with any of this, or do you think I should have taken more time to digest Tuesday’s loss before going into drastic mode?


2) If you were in charge of everything Hurricanes right now, what would you do?


3) What do you think will actually happen and when?


Go Canes!

Share This