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Maurice won’t be fired…yet

Nov 8, 2011, 12:11 PM EDT

Paul Maurice Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes (5-6-3) have just two wins in their last eight, and during a stretch like that, questions are naturally going to be asked about the coach.

Questions like, “How does this guy still have a job?”

Paul Maurice has been behind the bench since December of 2008 and has failed to lead Carolina to the playoffs the last two seasons. But according to GM Jim Rutherford, Maurice will be around at least a bit longer.

“The easiest thing when you’ve lost a couple of games as bad as we lost them is to start pointing at the coach or the coaches,” Rutherford told the News & Observer yesterday. “It takes everybody when it comes time to win, and it takes everybody when it comes time to lose. We need to get back to work and get back to playing the style of game our team did when we were winning games.

“Now, if we’re talking again in a six- or-seven game losing streak, I’ll probably be in a different frame of mind and answer those (coaching) questions differently. Let’s get back on track. If not, I’ll look at all the situations differently.”

Rutherford and Maurice go way back, but Rutherford’s fired his good friend before (during the 2003-04 season), so you know he’ll pull the trigger if he has to. Sort of like in the mafia. It’s only business. Except with less shiny suits.

The ‘Canes are in New Jersey tonight looking to snap a two-game losing streak that’s seen them outscored by a combined 10-3. After the Devils, they’ll take on the Rangers in New York, followed by home games against Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Suffice to say Maurice has his work cut out if he doesn’t want to get clipped.

  1. quixotissimo - Nov 8, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    I like Coach Mo, but the players have been responding less to him the longer he’s been in charge. The team is young, but also very talented, and their problem lately has been giving up in the third period. Being in the Raleigh market, this is the first time Maurice’s job has been in serious jeopardy since he was re-hired in 2008. The ownership is trying to attract investors and the fanbase is getting very frustrated, plus Mo is in the last year of his contract (I believe?).

    That said, who would replace him? Knowing how Rutherford works he is likely to choose a familiar face. Jeff Daniels has done great things with the organization’s AHL team, and I think he would do a great job lighting a fire under guys like Eric Staal and holding them accountable. A dark horse candidate has got to be Rod Brind’Amour, this is his first year behind the bench as an assistant, and his work with the centermen in practice has seen their FO% increase significantly.

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