March 21, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller look on against the New Jersey Devils at the PNC center. The Devils defeated the Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Training Camp Crucial For Kirk Muller

In his almost two years with the Carolina Hurricanes, head coach Kirk Muller has never been in the playoffs, but he’s never had a full training camp to work with either.

This fall it’s a different story. With no lockout to prevent nearly a month of training camp, Muller will have the chance to instill his formulas and systems before the season even starts.

But Muller will have to use training camp to start winning early in the season or his job could be in trouble.

In the 2011-12 season, the Canes finished with a winning record of 25-20-12, but missed the playoffs. No one expected Muller to take the team to the postseason after given the reins in the beginning of November after the team fired Paul Marice.

Last season, the Hurricanes got off to a hot start, but began to falter once Cam Ward was injured and the offense dried up. The Canes lost seven games in one stretch, but at the end of the season, Muller was still the head coach.

Joni Pitkanen was a big loss for Kirk Muller’s team this season and last. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

I had no problem keeping Muller around, since the team was dealt with an incredible amount of injuries and the Ontario native had never run a full training camp.

However, my feelings and most likely the Canes fans thoughts will change if by December or January, the Hurricanes are near the bottom of the standings.

I understand that Muller is already dealing with injuries and his offense is not as deep as other teams in the Metropolitan Division, but we need to start seeing some progress from the coach in his third year or there’s no reason to keep Muller in his current position.

Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Kirk Muller NHL Training Camp

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  • Tyler

    How about fire Jim Rutherford instead of letting the old man screw this team over any more than he already has? Enough is enough. The Hurricanes have made the playoffs twice since 2002…twice in TEN SEASONS! He still thinks that Joni Pitkanen being injured is going to ruin the Hurricanes. Pitkanen quarterbacks an awful power play that is reluctant to make the most of decent chances and the guy doesn’t take the opportunity to use his shot to his advantage. Joni is the main issue on the first power play unit that has Eric Staal, Semin, Tlusty and occasionally Skinner or Ruutu. Heck, Joni plays about eighty seconds of most power plays and is a pass first kind of guy, which is good if he finds a man open to score but most of the time he is just passing the puck around and letting every other guy on the ice survey the situation, wasting twenty to thirty seconds of any given power play.Joni being injured is the best thing that could have happened given that someone can take his place and hopefully do better than Joni has on most nights offensively and defensively. Karmanos has gotten way too close to Rutherford is his business venture for JR to help the Hurricanes get back to the playoffs. Kirk Muller could do a great job with the right personnel on the ice and Rutherford not trying to guess what is wrong with his team when JR is the problem.

    • Eddy Eagle

      So true. Jim Rutherford is a bum as a GM, he thinks he can sign some free agents and than all the sudden he made a master piece. He was stunned when his team got a lottery pick but anyone who knows hockey knows that he had no defence and still doesn’t. And anyone who knows hockey knows that Jordan Staal is a scrub.

      He doesn’t do anything except sit back, Kirk Muller is a very good coach but give him some damn players to win with. Justin Faulk is a piece of shit D man and anyone smart can see he is no one you keep on a team, he turns pucks over like no man I’ve ever seen, and his offense is Top 6 pairing at best.

      I’m hoping the Yakupov rumors are true, trade:

      Ruutu (or Gleason)
      2nd Round Pick


      And a solid D like Belov

      And than the forward lines turn into this:


      • Tyler

        I’d kinda want to keep a guy like Gleason if they could get a good shutdown d-man to play beside him. Faulk (along with most of Rutherford’s second and third round prospects that were once highly regarded and have now dropped off into the abyss) isn’t doing well, but I wouldn’t get rid of Gleason for anyone. At times over the last few seasons he was paired with Pitkanen I think and left out to dry most nights along with Cam Ward. If they could get another shutdown d-man to go alongside Gleason he wouldn’t be so bad in the opinion of most fans, or at least mine. I also heard that Yakupov wanted to go back to the KHL, although I have no idea the specific reasons they said that he might want to go back for. So, I wouldn’t put anything on those rumors just yet. Of course, I wouldn’t write it off either after the Ilya Kovalchuk debacle for New Jersey. They could have had a lottery pick this year but instead will lose that to the penalties regarding Kovalchuk’s contract dispute with the NHL. Ruutu is a fan favorite obviously but I do think that they need to move on from him. He’s just too risky. I’m hoping Ron Francis will be next in line for GM.

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