The Checkers took four points from the Coach Kirk Muller and his Milwaukee Admirals this weekend, a team that hadn’t gone a single game on the road since January without at least a point. That’s a pretty huge feat, and quite impressive for the Checkers.
The Hurricanes organization also claimed their coach. Though the Press Conference isn’t scheduled until 5 p.m., Kirk Muller is said to be the replacement for Paul Maurice in Raleigh, who was fired for the second time this morning.The Hurricanes organization also claimed their coach. Though the Press Conference isn’t scheduled until 5 p.m., Kirk Muller is said to be the replacement for Paul Maurice in Raleigh, who was fired for the second time this morning.
Jim Rutherford and Rod Brind’Amour were in Charlotte all weekend to see the Checkers play, or so I thought. It appears that scouting the Hurricane’s younger talent was secondary to scouting future coaching talent in Kirk Muller.
What does a new coach in Raleigh mean to the Checkers? A lot of things.
- Systems in Raleigh will be reevaluated, playing time assessed, lines and defensive pairings may all shift. The Checkers have always had similar systems to the Hurricanes, so the trickle-down effect will change how things are done in Charlotte, as well.
- Players who have been getting a lot of minutes may see them cut, and others who are younger and more unproven may get second and third looks, and increased responsibilities.
- The Hurricanes wouldn’t have fired Maurice if they didn’t want a big shakeup, and the only way to do that is to do a complete overhaul of the team, which starts with the coaching change.
The Hurricanes have a full roster, though they aren’t carrying 23 players (once everyone is healthy, they will be at 21), so clearly there is room on the squad to call up a couple more Checkers and give them a chance with the big squad. Will the Hurricanes be content to sit some of their big money contracts in favor of young guys like Zach Boychuk or Zac Dalpe or Justin Faulk? Only time will tell, but knowing the cost-conscious ways of the Hurricanes, I’m not so sure benching millions of dollars worth of contracts is going to fly with the upper brass (and guys who sign the checks).
It’s going to be an interesting ride… but I wouldn’t be surprised if a player or two is called up this week to the Hurricanes, and maybe even one who isn’t a usual suspect in the call up game…. Matt Pistilli was a beast this weekend against Muller’s (former) Admirals…. does that give him the edge over others on a trip to Raleigh? Who knows, but I think ANYTHING is possible.