Carolina Hurricanes: The Hunt for a New Goalie Coach Should be Short

Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Carolina Hurricanes (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Mike Bales, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Goalie coach for the last two seasons has resigned. The team however shouldn’t have to look far for a replacement.

The Carolina Hurricanes can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to goaltending. After years of being mired by a Cam Ward who couldn’t seem to catch the same magic that began his career again and a rotating door of backups that included an Eddie Lack that never got better after an injury a Scott Darling who has been dealing with his personal demons, they finally found a good duo.

That duo was a resurgent Petr Mrazek and a journeyman of experience in Curtis McElhinney. It took a wizardly effort from Don Waddell to get these two men, who have lead the team into a deep playoff run, onto the roster. But he couldn’t have done that without the advice and knowledge of the team’s Goalie coach, Mike Bale.

Today Mike Bales has announced his resignation from the position and the team. Match that with the fact that the top three goalies from last season, including Calder Cup Champion Alex Nedeljkovic, are free agents, and the Carolina Hurricanes are once again with a massive question mark in goal as we barrel towards the next season.

So where does the team go from here? The answer to that question may be extremely easy. While the loss of Mike Bale is a sad loss, the man might be the only reason the team ended an almost decade long playoff drought, it may have opened the door for an opportunity to settle the goalie issue as early as this week.

Petr Mrazek has definitely earned himself a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, but so has Curtis McElhinney with his veteran leadership and calm demeanor. Alex Ned has also earned himself a shot at playing constantly at the NHL level after helping win the Calder Cup as well as winning his only start in the NHL last season almost effortlessly.

Mike Bales stepping down gives Don Waddell an opportunity to clear the logjam of wanting to sign all three of these excellent netminders for the following season at the NHL level. The solution is simple, sign Curtis McElhinney to the goalie coach position. This is the best option for all parties involved.

Curtis McElhinney gets to start his post-NHL playing career without having to uproot his family once more and move to another city, something he was not fond of as he bounced around team to team during his career. The Carolina Hurricanes and Don Waddell get to retain all netminders from last season without having to play the three headed monster game.

McElhinney’s calm demeanor and approach to the position also sets him up to better coach the fire and fury style that both Mrazek and Ned use in net that tends to backfire if the defense is skating a little slow. His years of experience in the league would also allow him to demand the respect of the players he is coaching. He would also be able to give Waddell the best advice when it comes to whom to sign in the future.

Must Read. Should the Canes Trade up in the Draft?. light

While we wish that Mike Bales has remained on the coaching staff to help usher in success regardless of which duo of the three netminders from last season got the nod to the net, it would be foolish to not take advantage of the opportunity to resolve both the coaching and goaltending questions as soon as possible to give the staff, players, and fans the confidence they need to go into the next season.

Question for CC Readers: Do you believe that Curtis McElhinney would do a good job as goalie coach? If not, who should the Canes peg for the position?