Carolina Hurricanes new season begins today


Two different seasons begin in the NHL

The second season started Wednesday for the NHL Playoffs. Sixteen teams fighting tooth and nail every game for the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.  For the Carolina Hurricanes the 2017-2018 season started Wednesday too.  After Tuesday’s exit interviews for the media and the cleaning out of the lockers, the season became officially over.  For the Hurricanes coaching staff and management the next chapter began Wednesday with next season being the main focus.

Vacation starts

For the Carolina Hurricanes players Wednesday was the first day of vacation and a meet and greet with the Durham Bulls.

Got to admit, a good way to get over the season would be to have the opportunity to hang out and take batting practice.

I am just curious on how good is a Canadian at baseball?

It was a great day to be at the ole ballpark.

Wait, we should be angry that they’re having too much fun right?

New season for Management

For management, Wednesday got going with the media exit interview for GM Ron Francis and Coach Bill Peters.  The interview lasted roughly 30 minutes and there were some profound conclusions that came from the interview. I will list them by importance to most Caniacs.

  • The Goalie situation.

GM Ron Francis stepped up to the plate and delivered some profound words about the Hurricanes goalie situation.  First, he spoke of the Canes goalies situation on the team or in the system.  He was not very happy with the stat of 27th in the league for our goalies.  He continued by explaining that it is the hope of the team to explore all options.  Especially the expansion draft situation and teams not wanting to lose assets for nothing. He then added that there is also the free agency option.  The main theme I got from it is that no goalie should feel safe based on their proformance this year.

Something had to Change

Next, came the big news, goalie coach David Marcoux would not return.  I wrote about this back in March.

Related Story: The Hurricanes need to fire David Marcoux

I for one, felt that Coach Marcoux wasn’t meeting the expectations of the organization and welcomed the news.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a ruthless or mean person. But I do have a day job that does involve writing about hockey.  One thing I can say about my day job is that if you don’t meet expectations you get relieved (fired).  In this case, I was hoping back in March that I wasn’t the only one seeing this viewpoint.

  • The Young Hurricanes

Both GM and Coach provided very optimistic points of views that they liked the direction of the young Hurricanes team. They talked about Jeff Skinners career best year.  Sebastian Aho was discussed and how he improved and exceeded expectations.  There was talk about Rask, Lindholm and the rest of the young forwards performances.  The gentlemen boasted about the young defense of Pesce & Slavin and how they didn’t have the sophomore jinx. Even Hanifin was mentioned about how good his play was after the trade deadline.  The one thing that stood out about the team was how positive both gentlemen felt about the on ice product.

Minors & Prospects

Then the discussion changed and they talked about the Checkers. GM Ron Francis like the direction of the Checkers under Ulf Samuelsson and how they were in good hands. They sounded very hopeful that the Charlotte would make the Calder Cup Playoffs.  The last thing mentioned on this front was the Canes young prospects.  GM Francis conveyed that both him and Coach Peters like the progress of the future Hurricanes and believe the shelves are stocked.

  • What about the Coaching Staff

The last main issue discussed in detail was the status of the present coaching staff.  Ron Francis did mention that besides Coach Marcoux there hasn’t been any other major decisions made.  There was medical staff contracts that are due to expire that needed to be addressed.  Besides that, only time will tell.  What I mean about that is that Ron Francis mentioned that he will wait a short bit to talk to coaches.  He wants things to cool down so that emotions can be removed from these types of interviews.  What that means is anyone’s guess.  It does suggest that there is some friction between coaches though.  Something many of us Caniacs have not been aware of.  Or I could just be wrong and everyone is just tired and needs a couple of days to relax and gather their thoughts.

At the end of the Day

For me, it’s been a long day. Most of us, get up, go to work, day in and day out.  But for the Carolina Hurricanes things were a bit different Wednesday.  For the players it started out like summer vacation from school, like when you were a kid.  While for Management things were different, the real work began before a short break in August.  One thing is for sure, this will be an interesting next couple of months for Caniacs.  Will the Hurricanes really make the right changes to make them a playoff contender? Or will they make the same mistakes as late year and just talk about opportunities and not follow through?