Carolina Hurricanes Need Accountability and Consequence

Anaheim Ducks v Carolina Hurricanes
Anaheim Ducks v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

It might be the bitterness of the off-season but all the smiles at the press conference for head coach, Rod Brind'Amour's new contract were unsettling. The Carolina Hurricanes just finished an incredibly disappointing season and now management is safe and smiling. The timing was poor as the players solemnly had their exit interviews and headed home for the summer, some never to return as a member of the team.

The players certainly have a lot of the blame to take on the lack of execution in the series against the New York Rangers but winning and losing starts from the top. The play of Frederik Andersen in the series has brought doubt to his future with the Canes but general manager, Don Waddell and Brind'Amour seem quite comfortable.

In Brind'Amour's case, he is a phenomenal coach but even the top coaches need to adjust their systems and strategies to win. This group has won a lot but Brind'Amour has not gotten them over the hump yet and this group of players will most certainly not be the same come the fall.

Waddell has been here quite some time and has done good things but also poor moves, naturally. A winning organization needs to set the tempo and hold people accountable for not reaching goals. The team was not aggressive at the trade deadline last year but took a different approach this season.

Every recent summer has had a big impact move by Waddell. This past summer was Dmitry Orlov, signed to a position of strength and depth already. Orlov did not have a terrible season but was inconsistent for the big acquisition of the summer and salary.

Speaking of salary space, this team is extremely vulnerable heading into the summer and it appears that much was riding on the success of this season. Too many key pieces to this group are free agents. The young stars are ready for new, more expensive contracts and one of the big trade deadline acquisitions needs to be paid or he will have an extremely short Carolina career.

The feeling from the exit interviews with the players was that this was the chance to win the Stanley Cup. Every player needs to stay positive and focus on what this team has accomplished and how close they are to the next level, but no one truly knows who will be on this roster when training camp begins.

Now this is not to say that many players can return and some movement will be done to keep the core of this team for next season and beyond but it will be a tall task. This off-season will undoubtedly see a fan favorite or two head to another organization.

If we are at the same point this time next season, will there be accountability? It does not appear that consequences are threatening the management of this organization and the window to win is always smaller than it appears.

Time will tell for someone like Waddell but it does not send a great message of motivation to the players if the management is comfortable whether winning or losing.