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.