Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 12/03/08 at 06:44 PM ET
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes made a strange announcement. As a lot of people expected, Peter Laviolette was fired. The strange bit was that they hired “Ole One Eye” Paul Maurice to replace him. This move came two weeks shy of the five year anniversary of the reverse scenario. According to Luke Decock from the N&O, this move will be “for the remainder of this season only”.
I was pretty sure that Lavi wouldn’t get canned in-season, and I confidently said so in a conversation just a few days ago. Now, I should prepare myself to eat my hat. While I admit that a major change might have been necessary, I’m not really sure about the decision to bring Mo back.
Eric Staal, Rod Brind’Amour and Nic Wallin are holdovers from the Chairman Mo era. It’ll be interesting to hear their responses to the change.
Until his dismissal in December of 2003, Paul Maurice was the youngest and also the longest tenured head coach in the NHL. Maurice joined the Whalers as head coach in the 1995-96 season and was let go after a dismal start to the 2003-04 season. In
674 games with the franchise, he had 268 wins 307 losses and 99 ties. He also took the team to the playoffs three times, including the Cinderella run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002. In two seasons as head coach of the Leafs, his record was 76-66-22.
Folks around here remember his struggles to keep all the oars in the same direction. We remember his two legendary bag skates. One “fixed” the team in 2002, and the other contributed to its complete collapse in 2003. We remember his battles with tempestuous players like Jeff O’Neill and Keith Primeau. We remember his stormy press conferences. We remember a lot of the bad things.
I’ll reserve judgment on Ole One Eye until about 30 games have passed. For now, all I can say is “Wow”.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.