Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/06/14 at 07:16 AM ET
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.”
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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.
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