This disappointing 31-31-9 season will trigger a long-overdue overhaul in Carolina.
Various media reports suggest general manager Jim Rutherford will yield daily control of the hockey operation this season. He would move upstairs into a general oversight position.
“I think we want to get to the postseason and take a look at what direction we’re going,” Rutherford, 65, told reporters. “And probably more to the point, what direction I’m going.”
The task of rebuilding will fall to Ron Francis, the team's VP of hockey operations. The franchise has already made one big decision, opting to lock in defenseman Justin Faulk with a six-year, $29 million contract extension.
But hapless coach Kirk Muller is in great peril and several franchise fixtures could be moving along.
The Hurricanes would love to move goaltender Cam Ward and his onerous contract. Brothers Eric and Jordan Staal could move into play as well. The New York Post reports that the New York Rangers could make a play for them, presumably after sending Brad Richards packing.