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Category: Carolina-Hurricanes

Jeff O’Neill On The Carolina Hurricanes

from Katie Strang of ESPN,

Though the Carolina Hurricanes made significant changes in their front office and behind the bench – Ron Francis took over as general manager while former Detroit Red Wings assistant coach Bill Peters replaced Kirk Mueller as head coach -- following the team’s 13th place finish last season, the personnel has not fluctuated much.

And considering that the roster remains largely intact, Carolina’s top players really have to step it up, according to former Hurricane Jeff O’Neill.

“When you have a lot of long-term [contracts], guys locked in to big money, there is a philosophy around the league that you are only as good as your bad contracts,” O’Neill told ESPN.com in a recent telephone conversation.

And that leaves at least a few players under some pretty intense scrutiny for the 2014-15 season. Chief among them, according to O’Neill, is goaltender Cam Ward. 

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeff+o'neill

Don Waddell Is The Money Man In Carolina

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

Don Waddell has been around the NHL long enough to hear the alarm bells ringing before he even arrived in town as President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, parent company of the Carolina Hurricanes. The man who oversaw the sale and move of a struggling Sun Belt franchise to Canada is joining the Hurricanes?

“That was the first thing I had to address with the staff,” Waddell acknowledged this week over breakfast, one of dozens of get-acquainted meals he has brokered since taking over as team president last month.

His message: Waddell is here to grow the franchise, not move it.

Waddell is best known as the longtime general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers, a job he held for 12 years, but he has considerable experience on the business side of things as well. He at one point oversaw the Thrashers, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, before the hockey team moved to Winnipeg, ran minor-league franchises in San Diego and Orlando and served as a consultant for ownership groups interested in putting an NHL team in Seattle.

continued
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Eric Staal On The Upcoming Season

from Michael Smith of CarolinaHurricanes.com,

At the end of the 2013-14 season, the fifth straight year in which the Carolina Hurricanes had missed the playoffs, captain Eric Staal once again faced the media in a haze of disappointment.

He was dejected, and he was blunt.

“I know everybody is frustrated,” he said. “I know our fans are frustrated. Management, staff, players, everyone is. That’s not a secret, and that needs to change.”

He was asked how it could change.

“Bottom line: We’ve just got to get better, all-around.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: eric+staal

A Look At The Carolina Hurricanes

NHL.com is previewing all 30 NHL teams during the month of August, today the Carolina Hurricanes...

from Davis Harper of NHL.com,

Asked about the lack of summer splashes, (Ron)Francis noted the Hurricanes had "good pieces in place" and pointed to recent roster additions as a sign they are not content with another early summer.

"It wasn't that we were opposed to making a deal, we just needed a deal that would make us better," Francis said. "You look at what we've done … last year, we brought in a lot of new faces at the beginning of the season, and a lot of those guys had pretty good years. [Anton] Khudobin, [Andrej] Sekera, Gerbe, Hainsey played well for us.

"It's not like we've been standing pat with the same lineup the past five or six years."

While he refused to make excuses for the team's often-stagnant performances in 2013-14, Francis could not avoid the injuries that lay like a dark cloud over PNC Arena from training camp on through the regular season.

more

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Chad LaRose Interested In A Return To Hockey

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

Chad LaRose may still have some hockey left to play.

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said Friday the former Canes forward has expressed an interest in returning to hockey after sitting out the 2013-2014 season.

Francis said Canes assistant coach Rod Brind'Amour had stayed in touch with LaRose and said LaRose had asked for a meeting to discuss a possible return. LaRose, a free agent, could be offered a professional tryout to attend the Canes' preseason training camp.

"I'd like to talk to him," Francis said. "He took a year off and obviously he'd need to earn his way back. There are some options. We could get him to camp on a tryout. He could start the season in Charlotte (AHL), show that he could still do it.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chad+larose

Do You Consider The Carolina Hurricanes A Playoff Team?

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

Peter Karmanos Jr. turned heads a few days ago when he said the Carolina Hurricanes were a “very good hockey team.”

Karmanos is the Canes’ owner, and a little hubris is to be expected. But the Canes have missed the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the past five seasons. They were 13th last season in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. They had a woeful power play and were only a little better at home than on the road.

Karmanos’ belief is that a new coaching staff and new system, a healthier team and the continued development of younger players will translate into more wins next season. General manager Ron Francis is another believer, generally standing pat in free agency this past week while other Metropolitan Division rivals made significant signings....

“We didn’t think it was necessary to kind of blow everything up,” Francis said. “We still think we have a lot of good pieces. I know people are going to shake their heads a little bit when you say that. … When you don’t make the playoffs everybody wants to see change.”

Francis said he got a “fresh opinion” on the players from new coach Bill Peters. The management team weighed in. Karmanos, who writes the checks, had his say.

“At this point we felt we had a good enough team to compete and make the playoffs,” Francis said. “Now it’s up to us to get on the ice and start winning hockey games, and I think that’s the best way to convince anyone.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Tim Gleason Back With Carolina

RALEIGH, NC – Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Tim Gleason on a one-year contract. The deal will pay Gleason $1.2 million for the 2014-15 season.

“We obviously know well what Tim brings to our team on and off the ice and how he fits in our organization,” said Francis. “We are happy that he is choosing to return to Raleigh.”

Gleason, 31, split the 2013-14 season between Carolina and Toronto, totaling six points (1g, 5a) and 65 penalty minutes in 56 games. The Clawson, MI, native was traded to the Maple Leafs on Jan. 1 in exchange for John-Michael Liles and Dennis Robertson, after more than seven seasons with Carolina.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tim+gleason

It’s Quiet In Carolina

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

Monday was a difficult day for a pair of former Carolina Hurricanes. The Buffalo Sabres decided not to bother even making a qualifying offer to Jamie McBain, a restricted free agent, and the Toronto Maple Leafs initiated buyout proceedings with Tim Gleason.

Both lasted a season (or less) with their new teams after being considered franchise cornerstones here for years. Throw in the long list of players who never played another NHL game after leaving the Hurricanes – Chad LaRose, Tim Brent, Andreas Nodl and so on – and it’s another example of how Carolina’s old front-office regime continually overestimated its roster, to the detriment of the franchise.

It’s starting to feel like the new regime is at risk of falling into the same trap.

New general manager Ron Francis said this weekend his priorities during free agency, which begins Tuesday, are the fourth line and a depth defenseman.

continued
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Up Next For The Carolina Hurricanes

from Chip Alexander of the News & Observer,

The team probably will not look to re-sign two other UFAs, defenseman Mike Komisarek or forward Radek Dvorak, Francis said.

Forward Jiri Tlusty is a restricted free agent and Francis said the Canes were in talks with Tlusty and would "definitely qualify him." Final decisions on qualifying offers for the team's other RFAs would be made Sunday, he said.

"There's a couple of guys we're teetering on and need to have a final meeting on," he said.

In assessing the Canes' needs going into free agency, Francis said, "We're looking potentially more in the fourth-line need, maybe, or a depth defenseman at this point."
 

a bit more including the Hurricanes plan is Cam Ward will be part of the team...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Bill Who?

via Nolan McCaskill of the News & Observer,

Hurricanes fans don’t know much about new coach Bill Peters, but Friday seemed willing to give him a chance.

Peters, 49, was named coach of the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and formally introduced Friday at a press conference. The former Detroit Red Wings assistant has no prior head coaching experience in the NHL.

“I’ll be honest with you, I just really never heard of him,” said Michael Beach, 47, an accountant from Raleigh who’s been a fan of the Canes since they moved to North Carolina in 1997.

Alex Amra, 43, owner of Tobacco Road Sports Café from Raleigh, said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the hire, though he thought the Canes would go after Ulf Samuelsson, New York Rangers assistant.

“You gotta go outside the box sometimes,” Amra said. “You can’t just keep recycling them. You gotta give a guy a shot.”

David Finch, 54, CEO of ATCOM and a former season ticket holder from Raleigh, said “armchair goalies” will say the team is trying to save money by hiring an under-the-radar coach. But Finch said he has confidence that the management knows what it’s doing.

“They must know something about this guy,” he said. “I’m looking forward to hearing more about him and why they picked him.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bill+peters

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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