After today’s practice, Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller had a long talk with struggling forward Jiri Tlusty. Tlusty’s production has gone down dramatically this year, and he has been virtually unnoticeable. He’s been shuffled up and down the lineup, but he can not find a fit in the Carolina Hurricanes lineup.
Jamie Kellner of Canes Country reported this earlier today via Twitter.
“Muller having a looooong conversation with Jiri Tlusty after formal practice broke up.”
This could mean a few things. Muller might have had a heart-to-heart kind of chat with Tlusty. He did this with Eric Staal when he first became head coach. He also had a conversation with Tuomo Ruutu earlier this year. This approach worked for both Staal and Ruutu, but will it work for Jiri Tlusty?
I’m skeptical. This Jiri Tlusty situation has been bad. He has been a completely different player. The former Maple Leaf has been unnoticeable and ineffective this season. We are 27 games into the season, and he has nine points (3 goals, 4 assists), and is a -9 in plus/minus. He only has 43 shots on goal in 27 games. That is roughly 1.6 shots per game. That’s very low for Jiri Tlusty, especially after he averaged around 2.5 shots per game last season.
This talk could also mean that there may be movement. He may have informed Tlusty that he could be traded if he doesn’t pick up his play.
Tlusty played 10:21 of ice time against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday afternoon. That is his second lowest total ice time in a game this season. Jiri Tlusty is now playing a fourth line role with this team, and he is playing like a fourth line player.
Hopefully Muller’s talk with Jiri Tlusty will help. If it doesn’t, things likely won’t go well for Tlusty and his future with the Carolina Hurricanes.