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Canes Corner

Forslund: Karmanos gives Muller vote of confidence

Posted April 8

Despite the Carolina Hurricanes playoff chances being all but not, play-by-play caller John Forslund said that owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. gave head coach Kirk Muller a vote of confidence in an interview Tuesday.

"Now that can take a turn, we’ve seen that before. I asked him again at the end ‘As far as you’re concerned do you believe in these people?’ and he absolutely said that’s the message he wants out to the fans," Forslund said on 99.9FM The Fan Tuesday.

Forslund said Karmanos traveled to New York with the team and had dinner with the coaching staff Monday night.

"Maybe they are going to evaluate and put some onus on where I think it really needs to be pointed. People can say what they want about Kirk Muller and it’s easy to poke a coach when he’s not successful, but I believe that he has been successful in terms of turning the corner with many of these players," said Forslund.

"The younger players seem to have got the message, the older players have pushed back a little bit and that is the heart of the matter. I think the coaches here have exposed something with the Hurricanes and if they can fortify will be better moving forward."

With president and general manager Jim Rutherford stepping down at the end of the season and new management unknown, the owner's sentiments may not be matched. 

"If there’s a change in management, whoever it is, even if it’s Ron [Francis], he will have the opportunity, and maybe his opinion is far different than what I just heard, and he’ll be able to make that choice for the hockey department," said Forslund. "But as far as the owners concerned that’s what he said.

"I don’t know where it goes because again there’s another layer of management that needs to be factored in here before you get to that. And that’s kind of where it is as we speak here [Tuesday]. I think Muller has sweat this thing out. In my opinion I think he’s done a lot of really good things and I’ll stand behind that no matter what happens.”

Heading into Tuesday night's game against the New York Rangers the Hurricanes have not been mathematically eliminated but are eight points out of  wildcard spot for the playoffs. The team is 34-33-11, notching 79 points.

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  • natsfan1965 Apr 8, 7:37 p.m.

    It will depend on who the new GM is and what he is looking for. I like Muller as a coach. They need to upgrade the defense corps and find a way to get better on the power play. Finding a defenseman who can be the quarterback of it is critical.
    Settling on a number 1 netminder is also high on the list of priorities. I think they should buyout Ward if possible and move forward with Khoudobin and Peters

  • jscott13 Apr 8, 8:19 p.m.

    Just listened to the interview with Forslund and Karmanos. The owner's first statement...I wonder of the fans realize that if we win all 5 of our last games and Columbus loses all 5 of theirs...then the Canes make the playoffs. I can count Mr. Karmanos, no problem. My issue with that comment is the part about the Canes winning their last 5. Has he watched this team lately. I believe that he said, obliquely, that he considers Khudobin the No. 1 goalie. Did anyone else hear that.

  • kheffn Apr 8, 8:47 p.m.

    Just listened to the interview with Forslund and Karmanos. The owner's first statement...I... View More

    — Posted by jscott13

    I didn't hear the interview. I'm in Minnesota for work. What bothered me about the story is "... the older players have pushed back a little bit and that is the heart of the matter." If anyone on this sorry team pushes back, they need to be gone. They have been terrible since the Olympic break.

  • jscott13 Apr 8, 9:26 p.m.

    Kheffn...I didn't hear Karmanos say, in the interview, that the older players were pushing back. The article said this so I'm not sure when that statement was made. I agree that anybody who pushes back should be gone...NOW.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Apr 9, 7:46 a.m.

    Unfortunately, the coach is the one who is blamed when the team doesn't meet expectations, and I see Muller taking the fall for the Canes' woes. I like Muller. But I liked Laviolette and even MO, both proved they can coach and have had success with other teams.

    Agree that any players giving "push back" should be shown the door, if their objections don't have merit.

    As for goalies, I see both Ward and Khudobon back next year as it will be hard to dump Cam's contract.

    JR had said mid-season that if the Canes don't make the playoffs this year, "significant" changes would be made. This was before he announced he'd be stepping down.

  • same ole story Apr 9, 8:21 a.m.

    Just loved Karmanos comment about fan loyalty.... "The fans need to be there in the next season with there season tickets and support..." HEY PETE!! The reason the season tickets are not being renewed is that we have been in the downward spiral for five years!!! Put a winner on the ice and "They will come"!!! Stop trying to retread last chance at a career players and go for some young talent that has a future. Look around the arena sometime and see the fans disguised as empty seats, that should be your first clue. With $15 parking, tickets from $50 -$100 each, below average food and high prices, YOU NEED A BETTER PRODUCT ON THE ICE, to make it worth while to get my money for entertainment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wlcat609 Apr 10, 12:02 a.m.

    I watched the interview between periods last night and saw it again on the WTVD sports tonight - As an absentee owner, someone must be feeding him a line of BS for him to say what he did. He had no clue just how bad this team has been. If you watched the NY Ranger - Canes game last night, you could really see why the Rangers are in the playoffs and the Canes are not. At least it was quite evident to me!

  • tobin63 Apr 10, 11:04 a.m.

    I said it after the Buffalo game 2/25...on our way to another 82 point season. THIS LEVEL OF MEDIOCRITY WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH TO PLEASE ANY RATIONAL FAN BASE, MR. KARMANOS. I realize that' it's just a few wins here and there, and I firmly believe with K. as starter and no goalie injuries we probably would have made it...
    ...but this team lacks fire, belief, and cohesiveness...regardless of results, Muller and E. Staal act the same way all the time, like they're waiting for the coffee maker to finish. How about some emotion?!? How about some more toughness, grit, and swagger? How about channeling frustration into better results, instead of more stick infractions and lost games? This probably sounds crazy, but I'd take Tortorella any day of the week. It's time for a CULTURE CHANGE!!

  • rummikubfan50 Apr 11, 11:01 p.m.

    struggling with spending $5 to $6 thousand dollars when I see no hope of things changing....best possible thing that could happen is getting a GM from the outside and not one within so called " family".... PK is in left field and if many STH do not renew...that may speak his language....E Staal, Cam Ward, and others need to find their game with another team...looking back, we have traded away an incredible team, many times just for CAP reasons...these reasons are due to the large and ridiculous contracts management has made.....I read where the Rangers GM said...VERY few GM's give " no trade" contracts, but we are known to have more than a few???? What is it going to take? The fan base here is loyal, but enough is enough....

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