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.


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  • ncsubanddad Jun 11, 2009

    Chad LaRose is a definite must. I think he was our most valuable player other than Ward during the playoffs. He seemed to hustle and hit more than others on the team. Ruutu was missed for his hits during the playoffs. Cole would be good to sign if the price isn't to high.

  • aoakley336 Jun 11, 2009

    View quoted thread

    You're right, he's not a star, but he's worth more than 1M & he will get more than 1M. He was our best player in the playoffs. He's 1 of those guys who may not be as talented as others, but he plays his hardest every shift of every game.

  • 919cane Jun 11, 2009

    I agree with Bob...LaRose is not a 1M dollar player...he is great role player to have on the team at less than 1M...but he is no way a star!

  • StunGunn Jun 11, 2009

    View quoted thread

    Exactly! Cole's contributions don't always show up on the score sheet, but he does play a part in them and I agree totally that he is a big reason the Canes made it to the playoffs. I really hope he remains with the team. I hope LaRose and Ruutu are signed as well.

  • AMazeder Jun 10, 2009

    Cole made a big impact when he first came back. He was a big part of why the Canes made the playoffs. He may not have scored every game, but he fed plenty of pucks to others (esp. Staal) that found their way into the net.

  • colliedave Jun 10, 2009

    While LaRose may never achieve the status of superstardom, he is the quintessential example of a player who leaves it all on the ice every shift that he plays.

    My favorite example of his grit was when he got in the face - well not exactly considering the height difference - of Chara, It was sort of a David vs Goliath tilt.

  • Bob Sidel Jun 10, 2009

    View quoted thread

    not sure what your definition of a star is but Laroses stats will never put him in an elite category. He's a great 3rd line player and an average 2nd line player.

  • StunGunn Jun 10, 2009

    View quoted thread

    YES!! All three. I really hope Rutherford can work out the deal to keep them all. I was afraid he might let Colesy go after the drop-off performance he had in the playoffs. I'm sentimental, so I really like Colesy and hate the thought of him not being on the team - he'll always be a Cane to me. I guess it will depend on how much his agent will agree to. Cole and his wife like Raleigh, though, so that might weigh in his decision process. I'm glad Rutherford is being pro-active in his efforts to keep the team - and Mo for next season. I hope Ronnie stays behind the bench as well.

  • StanleyCup Jun 10, 2009

    Cole, Chaddy, and RUUTU all need to be signed.

  • gsmusty Jun 10, 2009

    Rutuu. Accept no substitute.




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