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Players React to Coaching Change

Wednesday, 12.3.2008 / 3:20 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Players React to Coaching Change

Obviously some mixed emotions from the Hurricanes’ locker room following today’s practice.  Here are some comments from Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour, two of the four players on the roster who played for Maurice in his last tenure (Ryan Bayda and Niclas Wallin are the others).

Eric Staal

Paul Branecky
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“Any time a coach gets fired it’s difficult news, and I think it was for everybody.  He’s a very good coach who had some good times, and it’s unfortunate as players that we didn’t do a good enough job and get enough wins.  Ultimately sometimes that’s what happens, but now we’ve got to move forward and get better.”

“I was young, I was 18.  I was wide-eyed and didn’t know too much, but from my experience then with Paul I really enjoyed him as a young guy coming in.  He really knows the game very well.  He can determine situations on other teams and with players know what kind of role to put them in, I think he does a great job with that and hopefully he can help us here.”

“We’re not doing as well as we should be, and I think that’s what the bottom line is.  Our team, player for player is better than what we’re showing, and sometimes things like that happen.  For us as players it’s difficult, and it’s one of those things where as players we didn’t perform as well as we should of, and then a good guy like Peter has to get fired.  It’s one of those things that’s tough, but we as players have to rebound, get ready and play better.”

Rod Brind’Amour

“I remember the day that unfortunately [Maurice] was let go, and it’s kind of the same feeling that’s going around here right now.  What I do remember about him is that he’s real passionate and has a lot of energy and intensity.  He’s smart and he’s a real good coach.  I said that the day he left and I don’t think anything’s changed now.  If anything he’s probably gotten a little more wiser and I think he’ll be a great fit for us.”

“If you look and see where we’re at I think you’ll know why the change was made.  I don’t even think it’s so much as our record, I think it’s the way we’ve been playing.  It’s tough because obviously when there’s a coaching change, it’s not necessarily the coach, it’s the guys that aren’t performing.  Being one of those guys, you feel it because you cost the guy his livelihood, but I know he’ll be alright. It’s not like he’s going to be on skid row or anything.  He’s a great coach, and he’ll coach again.  We’ve got to kind of just look forward to a new beginning.”

“We’re trying to leave our negative thoughts from the first quarter of the season behind us and just come out and play hard.  That’s all any coach wants of any of his players is to play hard, but obviously we also have to execute.  I’m sure that’s what he’s going to be harping.”

“It feels like deja-vu sometimes.  I’ve been through this before, and you just hate to see a guy who brought so much, not just to the organization but to yourself personally.  He won us a Stanley Cup, and I truly believe that it was his coaching that enabled us to win.  At the same time, that’s a long time ago and it’s in the past, and I understand why moves have to be made.  You can’t get rid of 20 guys and start over.  It’s easier to start at the top, and that’s what they’ve done. 

"It’s a guy that everyone liked.  Sometimes a coach gets fired and the guys are [relieved], but that’s not the situation.  We all had a lot of respect for him and what he did for us.”

“I’ve never seen that done before either, where he had time to come to us and tell us what happened  We had a meeting here where we’re all sitting around not knowing what’s going on and he comes down and says that he’s no longer going to be with us.  It was very respectful, and it’s something that you never get to see.  I guess that’s kind of emotional, and the more I think about it you get a little choked up because he meant so much to this team and to me personally.”

“When you’re struggling , that’s the biggest thing in any sport – when your confidence goes it’s tough to perform at a top level.  That doesn’t really have any reflection on a coach, it’s just the players need to find a way to kind of get that feeling back, and sometimes a change is what does that.”




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81