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Your Opinion: How Long is Mo's Leash?

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This isn't intended as a "Mo Must Go Thread". Rather, I wanted to gauge everyone's thoughts on how JR will judge the performance of the team, and based upon that, what would be the threshold for making a coaching change. Keep in mind the opening schedule is pretty tough, as we play 13 playoff teams from last year in the first 20 games.

Thoughts?

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I think as long as he is in sniffing distance of the 8th spot, he stays. That being said, if the Canes go on a big losing streak, I think the hook comes out.

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I'm hoping its pretty short. I don't know how to gauge him really. After the meltdown the last couple of games last year where it really mattered, I wanted to put his head on a pike, but he's not out there on the ice directly affecting the game. He rolls his lines, but those guys are the ones out there playing. Its his job to have them mentally prepared and ready to give it all, and I don't know if he has the fire in his gut to do that type of coaching. I'd say he has until end of November. I just hope if we roll a 13 game losing streak like 09/10 he goes fast.

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I think JR would look at it a lot like he looked at the last two seasons of Cole's contract. One season where he wasn't terribly good and was injured a lot, and then one season where he exceeded expectations.

When you look at the 2009-2010 team, that was a team that was intended to compete for the Cup. We had gone to the ECF, and JR made some offseason moves that he thought would put us over the top. That plan fell completely apart with injuries and the knowledge that all of the experienced players he had added were a year older, a year slower. It's tough to put all of the blame on Mo, because the personnel decisions were JR's and the injuries were simply not the coach's fault.

Now last season, JR said "competitive non-playoff" hockey. Rebuild year. We're gonna get younger, faster, but it might take a couple of seasons before we're ready for a run at things. And the team was about as competitive, non-playoff as you can get, finishing 2 points out on the last game of the season. So in some sense, Mo met expectations last season.

So what's his leash like? Well, he's in the final year of his contract. So I think that will play into things. Obviously this team is being built to take that next step and make the playoffs, despite the challenging Eastern Conference. I think if we lose the first 14 games again, JR will be forced to make a move. I think if we're dead last in the conference come late November, mid-December, then he makes a coaching change. We could see a trade in there somewhere as well, if JR feels that's what's needed.

In short: the 2011-2012 team needs to make the playoffs. If we're not headed in that direction by mid-December, I expect a trade or two and then possibly a coaching change to shake things up. If we're in the running throughout, then I think Mo finishes up his contract.

And obviously, if we make the playoffs, I suspect Mo gets an extension of two years, unless there's another FO job waiting for him at the end of the season.

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Seems to be pretty long as we signed a few of MOs former players in Toronto. Heck we even got bigger on the O so that we can play his old style of hockey again. YAY :twilight-zone:

Right. We're the Carolina MO-pleCanes.

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This is a most interesting question. I have suspected when Maurice was brought back it was for three years and then we would make a coaching change. Mo would move to the front office. With Francis making a decision he doesn't want to coach I'm not sure that scenario (if indeed it was a scenario) hasn't changed.The relationship with Maurice and the organization is strong. That is what makes it so difficult to project.

I also think with all the former Maple Leafs on the team that MO had quite a bit to say when it came to what players we went after in free agency. This is his team now.

My best guess. If the team is playing reasonable well, I would say .500 or better in the early going Maurice will get to finish the season. If the team is in the tank or appears to be in conflict among the players by Mid-November Maurice will be lucky to see Christmas in Raleigh. If he does finish the year, barring another miracle on ice, he will move to the front office in 2012-13.

I don't think the leash is that short yet but he can certainly feel the tug.

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I have no idea, so I'll post away.

I thought there was a decent chance Mo did not start this year as coach after the debacle with Tampa.

So, staying on that line, I think Mo's leash should be fairly short. I suspect JR has seen the schedule and with all the road games at the end, our typical start somewhat slow and build as the year goes on is probably not going to work this year. We have a really tough first several games also. Since Mo is on his last year of his contract, PK is not looking at paying a long contract off if they move him. Further, it seems that Mo's next job will be to be crammed into the increasingly crowded front office. In that case, it wouldn't be as brutal to fire your buddy.

However, I think that his leash-length will depend on whether or not JR makes the big "Hemsky-like" move, or not.If JR actually goes out and finds another top 6 forward expectations will be high, if not, well who knows?

I can't look at our current top lines and think, "oh yes,those gus will easily score enough to make up for all the point blank shots Cam is going to see with this defense". I look at our current roster and think "competitive non playoff team", or to be charitable, a bubble team again.

But slide Hemsky in there, everyone slides down a notch, and suddenly those forwards should easily be enough for playoffs. Really, one player away? Yes. We missed last year by one game. JR added very nice small, but important upgrades other than losing Cole. At least one of our kids is going to breakout. So replacing Cole fully leaves us significantly better. That should mean playoffs.

In the end, I don't think JR makes that big trade bangHead.gif. So expectations will be lower and Mo might get a bit more time if things are poor, but not horrid.

The thing about Mo is that the players seem to play for him. Despite the ending, that team last year played it's heart out 99% of the time. The Finns chose to stay at less money. He took us to the ECF with a team that had little business being there. He is constantly coaching a team that is 2-3 STARS short of a top NHL team.

So, get Hemsky or a real nice second line center and this team has to be solidly in the top 8 for MO to stay.

Keep the team as is, and I have to agree with Super Dave, sniffing distance of 8th. The thing is, in this league you have to really suck to fall from sniffing distance of 8th. In that case, obviously a move is made.

Edited by remkin

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not only does he need to be on a short leash, there needs to be a prong collar at its other end. need to be within the sniffing distance of the playoffs by Christmas or, we need a new coach for Boxing Day

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Mo isn't going anywhere. As long as he wants to coach, the job is his. Rutherford isn't going to fire him. Period. And even if Maurice decides he doesn't want to coach he'll be groomed for a front office job, assistant GM, GM, etc.

The decision will ultimately be up to Maurice. If he still wants to coach next season, they'll give him a contract extension.

We can all sit and dream about a new coach, but it'll only happen when Rutherford's job opens up...and Daniels is ready for an NHL job.

So the short answer, how long is Mo's leash? 82 games. Minimum.

Edited by TheBigKahuna

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I think maybe the more important question to go along with this, and I don't know off the top of my head, but is there any 'good' coaches out there that would come in to replace him mid-season? I think most of them have been taken by other teams that have fired their coaches. JR will go with what he knows before anything else, so if I had to guess he might hire from within, but not until a beginning of a new season.

As far as the 'leash' goes, who knows... I would think that Mo will see the end of the season one way or another since it is the end of his contract.

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I am fairly sure we brought in Dave Lewis because Mo's leash is short. If we have to can him midseason my guess is we would let Dave take over...assess if he's got anything to offer and then make a choice at the end of the year.

I can't see PK accepting another mediocre season nevermind JR. If we hit a losing slump at any point in the year I could see him gone. I know JR and Mo are in each others pockets but he's not in PK's pocket and I think PK expects some playoffs.

Edited by legend-1

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Obviously none of us really know, and certainly not me, but, despite the love for Mo from JR/PK, this is a business, and if the team flagrantly struggles and needs a shake up, Mo will certainly go. He may just go up to his room, in the front office, but he'll go.

Edit: I wrote this and then saw your post Legend. Just felt a need to counter the Mo has a job for life notion.

Edited by remkin

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I think he has the first 41 games to prove his case...management has gone out of thier way to give Mo his players (Stewart, Tlusty, Poni, Brent, Kaberle) to go along with our core guys and he needs to make it work within the first 1/2 of the season. Not saying we need to be someething like 28-10-4 but we need to be in the top 8 or seriously in the hunt. Lewis gets an audition over these games to see what he can do with a mix of veteran and young defensive players...if we cannot make it work, I'd expect a major shake-up at the 1/2 way point.

We have a good mix of size and speed this year, a good back-up goalie to spell Cam and I remain hopeful that we will be improved this year.

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.management has gone out of thier way to give Mo his players (Stewart, Tlusty, Poni, Brent, Kaberle) to go along with our core guys and he needs to make it work within the first 1/2 of the season.

That's an interesting take, and could have some merit.

A lot of folks have been viewing the MapleCanes as some sort of love affair with Mo, and proof that the Mo/JR lovefest is permanent.

But what I think you are saying is that JR has now given everything Mo wants, and now says: "prove it". Could be interesting.

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That's an interesting take, and could have some merit.

A lot of folks have been viewing the MapleCanes as some sort of love affair with Mo, and proof that the Mo/JR lovefest is permanent.

But what I think you are saying is that JR has now given everything Mo wants, and now says: "prove it". Could be interesting.

Exactly...Year 1 he comes in really to stop the hemmorhaging as the team was totally burned out from Lav's system and guided a storybook comeback from the brink...that led to year 2 where we (JR) thought a few veteran pieces would put us back in serious cup contention...that turned out to be a disaster and we went to rebuild mode last year. We were projected to be a "competitive non-playoff team" and we more than exceeded expectations, much of that to do with a phenmoneal draft pick that made up for the debocle to start the 2009 season.

So here we are in year 4, with the rebuild in year 2...I really think about this like building a college team...year 4 is a big year, your guys should be in place, they should know your system and be comfortable in their roles; which is EXACTLY what we are hearing from guys like Brent, Poni, Tlusty and Kaberle. Obviously Staal, Skinner, Jokinen, et al know what is expected of them. 41 games should be enough to evaluate whether Mo can put together a winning and marketable product.

What's intriguing to me is to see if Ruutu has taken the off-season to sharpen his skills at the center position, if that fails, we have Sutter taking on a larger offensive role, Ruutu at the wing and maybe Brent playing on our shut-down line. We are deep with young talent and it should be a very interesting Spring Traning.

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Sniffing within playoff range and Maurice is golden. Out of the playoff race and Dave Lewis will be at the end of the leash until they decide if Brind'amour is the next coach.

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With all the changes in the lineup, I think Mo gets a medium leash. Unless we are buried in those tough, first 20 games, I see the evaluation period in the early to mid-December range. If we are hanging within a shot at 8th, I would probably think he's here for the duration.

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With Mo being in the last year of his contract, I think his leash is short. IF he is terminated early this season, we don't owe him any more money after this season is over, unlike Lavi. December will be the measuring point for Mo. In his first stint, we were always on Mo Watch when December rolled around.

That being said, there really isn't any reason to fire him before this season is up. Last year of his contract and the Canes in rebuilding mode means expectations are still medium-low by probably what JR might be thinking. Ride Mo til the season ends and make the change then.

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With all the changes in the lineup, I think Mo gets a medium leash. Unless we are buried in those tough, first 20 games, I see the evaluation period in the early to mid-December range. If we are hanging within a shot at 8th, I would probably think he's here for the duration.

I would agree. But the schedule next year, as someone said earlier, does not lend itself well to the late push at

the end. (with all the away games) And Mo has been given some added size--and potential--to compete.

But, IMO, the key to the whole season is can Staal play without Cole? Can he rise to the challenge of strong

performance with different linemates ? Essentially he has never had to do this !!!

So Mo has his job cut out for him ! Motivating and enhancing the production of "the big guy" will be his

biggest task. But I don't think Mo is going anywhere this year. In JR's eyes Mo did what he expected

last year and was on target for the expectations.

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I lean toward Kahuna's position on this one. I'm not convinced Mo will end up in management here, the offices are getting pretty full up there. But unless something goes horribly wrong he'll be here for the season.

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