Rutherford plans to sign LaRose and Cole by July 1
Posted June 10, 2009
Updated June 11, 2009
The Carolina Hurricanes were left with a plethora of offseason issues after the final playoff game on May 26. Head coach Paul Maurice took over the team in December but his contract only took him through the end of the season. Several players become unrestricted free agents including Erik Cole and rising star Chad LaRose.
Team president and general manager Jim Rutherford addressed some of these issues Wednesday, saying simply that he has much to accomplish.
"The draft, of course, is very important to us in a couple of weeks but we would like to get some of these unrestricted guys signed in Cole, LaRose certainly prior to July 1," Rutherford told 99.9FM The Fan's Mike Maniscalco on Wednesday. "If we don't then we run the risk of losing them."
Then there is the issue of head coach Paul Maurice and how long it will be before a new contract is worked out for him. Rutherford had already made it known that he wanted to keep the current coaching staff intact.
"I have made the decision that I'd like to keep them together and now I'm just working through that," Rutherford said. "Hopefully by the first of next week we can have it resolved."
After Rutherford's comments on Wednesday all signs point to Paul Maurice being on the bench for the Carolina Hurricanes next season. Rutherford did say that the contract issues with the coaches would come first.
Keeping the staff intact means keeping Ron Francis as an assistant coach. Rutherford praised Francis for his value to the organization and said he is still working out exactly what Francis' role will be, but said Francis has wide-ranging input on the Canes' operation.