Mo Must Go: Paul Maurice on the Hot Seat in Raleigh

The next time the Sabres face the Hurricanes, it might be against a very different looking team.

The Canes Hated Canes, currently at 6-10-3, are at the bottom of the Southeast Division are are languishing at 14th overall in the Eastern Conference. While no decisions have been made to change coaches or move players yet, plenty of changes will come to Raleigh if the Canes continue to play losing hockey.

From the Raleigh Observer:

If the “Mo Must Go” movement was initially the work of a vocal minority the last time around, it’s a wink-wink joke among everyone this time, on Twitter, on message boards, on the radio. No one is happy with 14th in the conference and last in the Southeast Division, but few believe Karmanos and Rutherford will actually fire him again.

Unlike eight years ago, though, fans aren’t buying what they’re selling. Through nine home games, attendance is down 3 percent from the same point last season, and although that may not sound like much, it’s more than 5,000 total tickets. That’s almost a half-million dollars in tickets and concessions that went unsold, real money for a team that pinches every penny. And that doesn’t include the untold cost of growing fan apathy.

In other words, tonight is the Sabres’ chance to stick a dagger in the heart of Raleigh. Remember when the Flyers’ “GM for Life” Bobby Clarke “resigned” in the 2006-07 season, after the Sabres devastated his team 9-1? It was, in a word, glorious. The Flyers also fired then head coach Ken Hitchcock, and a whirlwind of  trades shook up the roster entirely.

Maurice Mo Must Go: Paul Maurice on the Hot Seat in Raleigh

"Off with his head!"

Tonight, the Sabres have a chance to explode another NHL team, and another hated rival. While rumors swirl around the tenure of Maurice, there isn’t a player on the roster wondering what city he’ll be playing in come December.

Rutherford has been working the phones. The Hurricanes have showcased free-agent bust Tomas Kaberle in the last two games, and Bryan Allen may be on the block as well. But no trade is going to change a dressing-room culture that resulted in one of the most flaccid performances in recent memory Wednesday night (against Montreal).

Eric Staal’s captaincy was a topic of intermission discussion during TSN’s Canadian broadcast Wednesday, and it’s a fair question whether he’s experienced enough to navigate a team through this mess, or whether he can lead by example at an NHL-worst minus-18.

Hey Staal, want to come to Buffalo? We’ll have to utterly destroy you first, but we do need a center, and you won’t have to worry about being a captain anymore.

Or course, rumors are just that – rumors – but the Hurricanes are in serious trouble. Since their Cup win in the 2005-06 season (thanks to the Sabres running out of healthy defensemen in the Conference Finals), the Canes have only made the playoffs once, in 08-09. Their consistent middling play has given way to awful play. By all marks, it’s time for a shake up.

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Sabres were able to deal the death blow to those Hated Canes tonight?

Go Sabres.

share save 171 16 Mo Must Go: Paul Maurice on the Hot Seat in Raleigh

Email Updates

Get instant updates of BSN posts via email!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner