Mar 18, 2014, 10:50 AM EST
The Carolina Hurricanes are primed to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season — the second under head coach Kirk Muller — and, on Monday, Muller voiced his frustration about the lack of winning.
At the end of the team practice at Raleigh Center Ice, Muller gathered his players around him on the ice for a few words. He was loud and his message clear.
Muller talked of “wanting guys who want to make a difference.” He said “losing is for losers” and that too many of the players were cheating and “playing their own way.”
Too many, he said, were “playing for the scoresheet” and worried about getting theirs. Some were more worried about new contracts, he said, and others about somehow holding on and playing another year in NHL.
Carolina has been one of the NHL’s biggest disappointments over the last two seasons, especially given all the money GM Jim Rutherford has spent on talent acquisition. Nearly $130 million was committed to the Jordan Staal, Alex Semin and Jeff Skinner trio and while all three have had their moments, it hasn’t been enough to keep the ‘Canes in the playoff hunt.
Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the players Muller suggested were playing for new deals.
Carolina only has 13 players under contract for next season, and has decisions to make on a number of key UFAs — including veteran defensemen Joni Pitkanen and Ron Hainsey, and veteran forwards Manny Malhotra and Radek Dvorak.
There are also a number of RFAs the team will need to decide on as well: Jiri Tlusty, Andrei Loktionov, Drayson Bowman, Nathan Gerbe, Brett Bellemore and, most importantly, Olympic defenseman Justin Faulk, who figures to be in line for a sizable raise on the $840,000 he made this season.
For all the players with uncertain futures, one thing is clear — Muller and the ‘Canes are using the final few games of this season as an audition for next year and beyond.
“We’re moving forward,” Muller said. “If you want to fit in, show it. Do it with work. I don’t want guys who don’t show up, who have bad body language. We’re going to practice hard, we’re going to play hard and we’re going to win games.”
Jan 29, 2015, 12:30 AM EST
Washington is now three points back of Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:51 PM EST
Weren’t at all inspired Tuesday.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:28 PM EST
That’s a nice set up.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:05 PM EST
Christian Ehrhoff was hurt on the play.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:43 PM EST
Had the edge in shots, and shot attempts, but only one point to show for.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:15 PM EST
High expectations in Chicago.
Jan 28, 2015, 9:53 PM EST
“Feeling the flow. Working it. Working it.”
Jan 28, 2015, 9:39 PM EST
Western Conference foes.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:50 PM EST
Washington’s young forward landed some bombs.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:31 PM EST
His 28th of the season, kicking off Rivalry Night.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:14 PM EST
Now you can see who leads the league in Corsis!
Jan 28, 2015, 7:30 PM EST
They’ll take on Chicago at Staples.
Jan 28, 2015, 7:00 PM EST
Pens captain returns after missing Tuesday’s win over Winnipeg.
Jan 28, 2015, 6:30 PM EST
Rivalry night on NBCSN.
Jan 28, 2015, 5:55 PM EST
Is expected to be released today.
Jan 28, 2015, 5:21 PM EST
Sharks, Ducks, Kings, Flames, and Oilers will all have their affiliates in the west next season.
Jan 28, 2015, 4:44 PM EST
That’s a picture of Milwaukee.
Jan 28, 2015, 3:02 PM EST
The Los Angeles Kings are bad at the shootout, and the Buffalo Sabres are good at it.
Jan 28, 2015, 2:15 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Jan 28, 2015, 1:51 PM EST
An incident against Philly on Jan. 19 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
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