'Canes Trade Away the Enforcer
Posted August 12, 1998
RALEIGH — We don't know what the fan reaction is to the Carolina Hurricanes' decision to trade Stu Grimson, but the front office really feels good about the squad the Hurricanes will assemble in training camp next month.
After dealing Grimson and Kevin Haller to Anaheim for David Karpa, the 'Canes plan no further player moves.
For years, Stu Grimson has provided a safe working environment for his teammates. When an opponent gets out of hand, Grimson is always willing and able to drop the gloves. But in reality, is an enforcer really needed?
"I don't believe that the way our game is going now, you need an enforcer as much as you have in the past," said Hurricanes General Manager, Jim Rutherford. "There's no question there will be some games that get a little rough, that maybe our team will wish someone like Stu is there. But at the same time, I don't think there will be too many times when our team is intimidated."
The Hurricanes have decided that a close-knit locker room and players who want to be with the team are much more important than any one individual. Sean Burke found that out last season, as did the popular Grimson.
"There's a real good feeling," Maurice said. "Now you add Francis and Iafrate. That's how we want to open our training camp. Everybody is here. Everybody is happy to be here. If you've got contract problems, regardless of how good a guy is, that's going to be a problem. I think we've eliminated that."
Now the 'Canes are set to eliminate a six year playoff drought. That's one fight Carolina feels confident they'll win.