Skip to content

Kirk Muller faces pivotal season in Carolina

Aug 24, 2013, 9:07 PM EDT

kirkmullergetty Getty Images

For better or worse, the Carolina Hurricanes’ core players are locked up for the foreseeable future. Even so, there’s at least one figure in the franchise who has a lot to prove next season: head coach Kirk Muller.*

So far, the results haven’t been particularly promising, but let’s not forget that Muller hasn’t really received a full season to prove himself just yet.

Sure, he was in place in 2013, but that was just a 48-game campaign with virtually no training camp. Muller took over the Hurricanes gig during the 2011-12 season, so this represents his first opportunity to have a traditional training camp and generally install things more naturally.

Even so, it’s a challenging situation, as you can see from Hurricanes Day at PHT.

  • Muller must keep an expensive group of big-money players motivated and focused, even though most of them enjoy the comfort of long-term deals.
  • Cam Ward hopes to bounce back, but if Anton Khudobin is more than just a product of playing behind Zdeno Chara in Boston, then Muller needs to give his backup a nice amount of reps. Managing goalie duos is an underrated challenge for head coaches.
  • Finding some way to make the team’s inefficient special teams units more efficient would provide a greater margin of error.
  • He faces the challenge of the newly formed Metropolitan Division, which should almost certainly provide tougher competition than the often-putrid Southeast Division.

It won’t be easy, but at least Muller will get to do things his way in 2013-14. One can only guess how many – if any – more chances he’ll receive if it doesn’t work out next season, though.

* – At least since it seems like GM Jim Rutherford is approaching a Darcy Regier-level of job security.

More Hurricanes Day at PHT fun

Carolina leans on Cam Ward

Will the defense get better?

It could all come down to three signings

Latest Posts
  1. Boston extends affiliation with Providence, Pandolfo named development coach

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    Jay Pandolfo Getty Images

    They’ve also appointed Don Sweeney as the AHL team’s new general manager.

  2. Poll: Was 13-14 a fair representation of what Detroit was capable of?

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    It matters given that they will start next season with a largely unchanged roster.

  3. Alfredsson’s future remains uncertain with camp looming

    Aug 27, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    Daniel Alfredsson Getty Images

    Ken Holland hasn’t been in contact with him lately, but that will change soon.

  4. NHL expansion talks emphatically shot down

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:28 PM EDT

    Bill Daly and Gary Bettman Getty Images

    “We haven’t defined a process and certainly no decisions have been made.”

  5. Under Pressure: Jimmy Howard

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT

    howardjimmygetty Getty Images

    Needs to bounce back after last year’s disappointing campaign.

  6. Flames re-sign shot-blocking ace Bouma

    Aug 27, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

    Calgary Flames v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Finished second in the NHL among forwards last year, with 87.

  7. Looking to make the leap: Anthony Mantha

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

    AnthonyMantha

    Former Quebec league sniper is gunning for a gig in Detroit.

  8. Report: Rangers show interest in Malone

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:57 AM EDT

    Ryan Malone Getty Images

    Former Tampa Bay forward was bought out of his contract earlier this summer, following legal troubles.

  9. Red Wings’ playoff streak borders on historic, but does it matter?

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:04 AM EDT

    Gustav Nyquist AP

    The Red Wings are rebuilding on the fly, but are they assembling a future Cup contender?

  10. Despite ‘nightmare’ season, Clarkson excited for future

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    David Clarkson Getty Images

    He’ll enter the second season of his seven-year, $36.75 million contract.

  11. It’s Detroit Red Wings day on PHT

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    They have made it to the playoffs for 23 straight seasons.

  12. NHL-to-Vegas talks gaining steam

    Aug 26, 2014, 9:57 PM EDT

    NHL Awards - Show Getty Images

    A recent report has added new fuel to the speculation on that subject.

  13. Johnston will enter camp looking for wingers for Malkin

    Aug 26, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    Dupuis and Hornqvist are two of the main options.

  14. Poll: Who should be Columbus’ next captain?

    Aug 26, 2014, 7:23 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One Getty Images

    Will they go another season without one?

  15. No Vezina repeat, but Bobrovsky remains Jackets’ MVP

    Aug 26, 2014, 6:11 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets' goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, of Russia, is silhouetted as he stands in front of his net before an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) AP

    He’s going into the final season of his bridge contract.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1956)
  2. J. Harding (1895)
  3. J. Thornton (1844)
  4. J. Giguere (1652)
  5. A. Semin (1545)
  1. M. Staal (1543)
  2. J. Spezza (1541)
  3. C. MacArthur (1530)
  4. S. Crosby (1212)
  5. A. Ekblad (1188)