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top-shelf-1

Dundon in Charge

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Mr. Dundon:

 

First and foremost, thank you for being the “angel” who (to paraphrase the old saying) has rushed in where this diehard Hurricanes’ fan was beginning to think even fools would fear to tread. 

 

Like many other fans, I thought years of disinterest and downright neglect of this franchise on the part of its former owner might result in it being moved, or sold to an owner determined to move it. Your purchase has allayed those fears and reinvigorated both the fan base and - up until these last five games, anyway - a team, which for too long blithely accepted the inevitability of defeat. 

 

And who could blame us—or them? As you well know, employees who no longer give a damn are the inevitable result when ownership stops reinvesting in the organization, and becomes content to simply keep the lights on. (And to raise ticket and parking prices, of course.)

 

Forgive my cynicism, but in the last five years, it’s the one thing Mr. Karmanos has earned. Your stated determination to turn this organization around and put a winning product on the ice is refreshing. But without action - NOW - it will ring hollow for thousands of fans who, like me, have had our fill of hype, and who have shown for too long the patience for which the organization now serially thanks us, but does little to reward. And just to be clear: the only reward I’m interested in is a winning team.

 

I have been an ardent supporter of Ron Francis as GM. The course of draft and develop, which he charted for we fans upon taking over that role, was absolutely necessary; the cupboard was left completely bare by his predecessor (who is now busy mortgaging the future for Penguins’ fans. But I digress).

 

Mr. Francis’ commitment to drafting and developing talent is exciting for those of us who live and die by the organization’s every draft pick. But it shouldn’t negate seizing an opportunity to make the playoffs, and I and many of my fellow Caniacs fear that the bargain-basement approach necessitated by the former owner has become so engrained in Mr. Francis that he will not pull the trigger on deals that might allow the team to get in. 

 

Five games ago, this team had responded to the waiver of Jooris and Kruger and was on that cusp. The addition of a scoring winger and a reliable backup goaltender - both of which were available - would not only have increased the probability of the Canes sitting today where the Devils and perhaps even the Flyers do instead but, more importantly, would have rewarded the roster for responding, and putting itself in a position to succeed. 

 

You don’t get to the NHL unless you’re a winner. From Jeff Skinner to Jordan Staal to Justin Williams to SeaBass to TT, this roster is loaded with guys who have won at this and other levels. But if the organization doesn’t step up and support them when they’re on the brink, what is their incentive to keep pushing? There is much to be said for winning together with the existing group, no question about it. But should that desire preclude bringing in help when it is clear that weaker links - Darling, Faulk, PDG, Ryan, Rask, Stempniak - are not going to get you over the hump?

 

I and many other longtime (and now, long-suffering) Caniacs say, “No.” 

 

Up until these last few games, I believed, based on reading the tea leaves of what has happened over the past four years, that Mr. Francis was hamstrung by Mr. Karmanos’ lack of investment, and that he (Francis) deserves a full year with the infusion of resources your purchase will bring to bear. But for the life of me, I cannot understand how a team that has put itself in position to win for the first time in eight years is denied the personnel which get them into the dance. Instead, Mr. Francis’ failure to act has set the team up - yet again - for April tee times.

 

And has set up we fans for yet another plea to “be patient.”

 

No, thank you. Enough is enough.

 

Edited by top-shelf-1
better turn of phrase
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1 hour ago, top-shelf-1 said:

You don’t get to the NHL unless you’re a winner. From Jeff Skinner to Jordan Staal to Justin Williams to SeaBass to TT, this roster is loaded with guys who have won at this and other levels. But if the organization doesn’t step up and support them when they’re on the brink, what is their incentive to keep pushing? There is much to be said for winning together with the existing group, no question about it. But should that desire preclude bringing in help when it is clear that weaker links - Darling, Faulk, PDG, Ryan, Rask, Stempniak - are not going to get you over the hump?

 

 

top-shelf: well said.  I especially think the above paragraph is key, because it goes way beyond a player or two.  It is the entire team.

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18 hours ago, bluedevil58 said:

So TS, are you in the fire RF crowd right now?

Nope, I'm in the "owner, tell your GM what you want and let him know his job counts on getting it" crowd.

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21 hours ago, wxray1 said:

It is the entire team.

Asked why he got Nash, the B's GM said he "wanted to reward his guys for making a push."

 

I don't care who it is, that is just smart management. At this point, with a new owner in place, what long-term guy who has hung with this org (Cam, Skinner, Jordan, and yes, even Faulk) AND the one who has come back (Willy) wouldn't have to wonder why they've kept putting on the uni?

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2 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

Asked why he got Nash, the B's GM said he "wanted to reward his guys for making a push."

 

I don't care who it is, that is just smart management. At this point, with a new owner in place, what long-term guy who has hung with this org (Cam, Skinner, Jordan, and yes, even Faulk) AND the one who has come back (Willy) wouldn't have to wonder why they've kept putting on the uni?

 

:thumbsup:

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Love it ts. And rem, based on what we know of you, I'm sure ts only took away part of the words from your mouth!! Haha

 

Now on a more serious note, I'd asked this question previously and don't think I ever got an answer, if so, I apologize to whoever answered. To me, the answer could help to explain some of the crap we are currently experiencing as RF "sitting on his hands", but then again, maybe not. So my question as I really have only been a fan of hockey for the last 17 years, was Francis' playing style, I guess that of being ultra conservative, similar to the way he APPEARS to be operating this team? Or, does it appear that RF has evolved into this risk avoidance GM , under Rutherford's and Karmanos' watch? I ask because I'm sure there are several on these sites whose hockey knowledge spans decades, thus know of RF as a player, like I certainly do not. Without doubt, I know his play was rewarded with HHOF, but was he "crafty" in his scoring and assisting, or was he more "out willing his opponent"?

 

To me, further, the answer to this, if possible, could give us Caniacs reason to hope(that is if its a recently evolved trait), or to despair as its his basic nature. If the latter, and as much as I was impressed with the early stages of his resurrecting this team, I'd be contemplating thanking him for that, again congratulating him on his hockey prowess, then going out and finding a GM who could push this team to the next level? JMHO as always

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21 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

Or, does it appear that RF has evolved into this risk avoidance GM , under Rutherford's and Karmanos' watch?

Yes.

 

I'm also beginning to doubt RF's willingness to ever make a hockey trade. If not five games ago - with the team sitting in a playoff slot, the TD looming, and a chance to pick up a veteran keeper when it's clear your current tandem isn't getting it done - when? 

 

I also have to question Tony MacDonald's ability to lead the North American scouting operation. We've gotten some very promising picks from overseas, but making recommendations at this time of year is another of their jobs. It's more than a little frightening to think that pretty much everyone here could see the value in adding Mrazek and picking up a winger (or three), yet the scouting corps either couldn't or was ignored.

 

Probably the latter; I'm no longer confident that RF is a collaborative leader who values his key peoples' perspectives and recommendations. And if you're not hiring people because you value what they bring to the discussion, they're nothing more than window dressing. 

 

Edited by top-shelf-1
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45 minutes ago, super_dave_1 said:

Mrazek would have at least been something.  Do something

He's 3-0 for the Flyers and just shut out the Canadiens 1-0 (shootout). And the Flyers have taken over first place from Washington. Not too shabby.

 

Rem and OBX may be right that BP becomes the scapegoat. I sure hope not. That would signal (to me) that we don't get out of this death spiral until RF is finally ousted. And heaven forbid his approach rubs off on TD. 

 

The best thing that could happen right now: TD buys out PK and puts everything in his office on the front lawn--then tells RF to stop looking for perfect deals, or he's next.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Just to clarify my position is that Peters will go before Francis. Not saying he'll necessarily go, though historical numbers would predict it (years in position of a coach without a playoff appearance, he's already the longest tenured non playoff coach I think).

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Also, from a cynical point of view. The team needs a different look next year. To me that is a major player shake up, but if, as has been true to date, Francis is unable to achieve that, a new coach is at least a shake up. 

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16 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

He's 3-0 for the Flyers and just shut out the Canadiens 1-0 (shootout). And the Flyers have taken over first place from Washington. Not too shabby.

 

Darling is abject failure at this point.  He may right the ship, but I've seen nothing that tells me that it will happen now.  NOW is when this bunch needs goalie help.  Mrazek didn't cost a lot, and it would have sent a message as well as helping on the ice.  5 back to backs in March.  I guess we are just writing half of those off at this point. 

 

On the coach/GM thing, I'd be fine with cleaning house at this point.  I don't see where Francis has shown that he can (or is willing) to make the hard decisions and trades that it takes to be successful.  If he's replaced, the new GM is most likely going to want to bring in his guy as coach.  It's kind of a package deal when the GM is fired.

Edited by super_dave_1

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14 minutes ago, super_dave_1 said:

NOW TWO WEEKS AGO is when this bunch needs goalie help.

Regarding Peters, my hope is that TD asks for his advice on the next GM, and that he says, "Darryl Sutter." Like BP, he's a plain-spoken Alberta boy who commands respect around the league. He was coach-GM and then GM of the Flames before coaching LA to two Cups. If he came here, nothing would stop the hammer from swinging, that much I know.

 

Edited by top-shelf-1
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Well if anyone fires BP it won't be Francis, which doesn't surprise me given the overall lack of anything he's doing.

 

https://www.tsn.ca/canes-gm-francis-peters-not-on-hot-seat-1.1012425

 

I like BP more and stand more with BP at this point but the guys publicly given RF crap 4-5 times in the past 9 months. How the heck do you let that happen and retain any amount of respect from others in the organization? 

Edited by legend-1
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18 minutes ago, remkin said:

Just to clarify my position is that Peters will go before Francis.

Sorry if anything I wrote suggested otherwise, but that was my understanding. It's why I fear what happens if BP is the scapegoat. If RF gets to stay, we're in for more "compassionate conservatism." Yuk.

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I think Francis standing with Peters suggests he feels that he has Dundon's confidence at this point. Personally, I don't know. I still like Peters, but there is no way it works if he comes back with essentially the same team. So, fine, keep Peters, but then Francis HAS to make some serious moves in the offseason. 

 

Of course the cynical side of me would say that a lot of coaches get votes of confidence right before the ax falls, or that things look different in the off-season.

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I really think they know the die is cast for this year and RF wasn't willing to spend any assets on a sinking ship.  I somewhat agree since I have major issues with the makeup of the team, but I feel that a move like Mrazek would have at least allowed them to audition him for a bit before making mistake #3 on goalies.

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37 minutes ago, legend-1 said:

How the heck do you let that happen and retain any amount of respect from others in the organization?

You don't, and that's okay; respect is earned. Firing BP now would only further erode my respect for RF, because it would be a transparent attempt to transfer blame from himself.

 

RF earned plenty of respect in his playing days. As a GM, not so much. And remember, this is coming from a guy who believed he did all he could under PK's budget and who, as recently as two weeks ago, was willing to give him a year with the infusion of resources that TD brings. But after waiving guys and then not filling the roster space their departure creates, after the team has answered the call by putting itself in a playoff spot?

 

If I were coach I'd have called that shiznit out, too, and if RF's ego is too big to admit he screwed up, that's still another reason he should go.

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22 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

Love it ts. And rem, based on what we know of you, I'm sure ts only took away part of the words from your mouth!! Haha

 

Now on a more serious note, I'd asked this question previously and don't think I ever got an answer, if so, I apologize to whoever answered. To me, the answer could help to explain some of the crap we are currently experiencing as RF "sitting on his hands", but then again, maybe not. So my question as I really have only been a fan of hockey for the last 17 years, was Francis' playing style, I guess that of being ultra conservative, similar to the way he APPEARS to be operating this team? Or, does it appear that RF has evolved into this risk avoidance GM , under Rutherford's and Karmanos' watch? I ask because I'm sure there are several on these sites whose hockey knowledge spans decades, thus know of RF as a player, like I certainly do not. Without doubt, I know his play was rewarded with HHOF, but was he "crafty" in his scoring and assisting, or was he more "out willing his opponent"?

 

To me, further, the answer to this, if possible, could give us Caniacs reason to hope(that is if its a recently evolved trait), or to despair as its his basic nature. If the latter, and as much as I was impressed with the early stages of his resurrecting this team, I'd be contemplating thanking him for that, again congratulating him on his hockey prowess, then going out and finding a GM who could push this team to the next level? JMHO as always

RF certainly was not conservative in his playing style. You don't get to the 5th all time scoring leader by being conservative. Yes he was crafty in his passing and scoring but he could also take the team on his shoulders and turn a game around individually. He was very cerebral and would do what ever it took to win.  Yes he "evolved into this risk avoidance GM , under Rutherford's and Karmanos' watch" due to dollar constraints and built his team accordingly. IMO the fault that RF is guilty of is that he considers this team to be the team that he built out of draft picks and is moving forward with player development. He refuses to part with any of his personal coffers of draft picks and will not include any of his 20 lbs of copper to get one ounce of gold. He's going full steam ahead with his plan and will not let anything get in the way of what he has previously built. I feel that the other GM's know that RF isn't going to let any of his prospects go so why bother trying to make a trade. With the changing of Ownership RF had to adjust his plan to the goodness of freed up capital and failed to do so. Increased funding means that you don't have to rely strictly on draft picks to take the long road to rebuilding.Some of the 20lbs of copper could of been used to make a trade that would of bettered the team. Yes you would of lost some of his long term plan but would of gained an immediate fix. With increased funding he has to realize that UFA's are now available to off set some of his lost coffers in draft picks.This is where RF is missing the overall cerebral part of being an effective GM. GM's have established that they can be very creative in three way deals.RF hasn't established that he can accomplish a one on one deal. UFA picks are going to be very difficult to obtain in the off season and the talent pool dwindled over the last few weeks. The talent pool also consists of many over aged players that don't fit into RF's youth movement. RF knows that teams are built around youth and aged veterans as he was part of it in his playing days. Sometimes you have to pay for established talent even if it is only for a few years while your yutes develop.RF missed an opportunity in this TD and reduced the options available to him. So again, RF failed to change his mode of operation since TD took the helm. This was a fastball down the middle that was taken for a game ending strikeout.  It will be interesting to see what TD does in the off season. He has already established that BP is doing the right things. He also is trusting RF with his hockey knowledge where he personally is lacking. I'm guessing that TD gives both RF and BP another year while he gains more knowledge of the overall organization. This will be subject to change in the off season if TD opens up the pocketbook and RF whiffs on trades or UFA acquisitions. Remember TD is impatient and if no one takes advantage of his offered help they will be quickly deemed to be incompetent and will be replaced. Yes coaches are usually the first  to go if the talent isn't performing but in this organization the lack of talent is the issue and that falls on RF.

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Hey Slap, can we refrain from using TD to represent both Tom Dundon and Trade Deadline in the same article? I already have a headache from trying to figure out why we did what we did and didn't do...?

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