Local News

Fans mixed on Canes coaching change

Posted December 3, 2008 1:10 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2008 6:03 p.m. EST

— Carolina Hurricanes fans on Wednesday tried to digest news that head coach Peter Laviolette had been fired less than three years after winning the Stanley Cup and that former head coach Paul Maurice would be back behind the Canes bench.

"(I'm) shocked, totally shocked. I think Peter Laviolette's a very good head coach, and I'm not sure he's the one to blame for the current skid we're going (through)," Doug Ragon said.

"You can blame him for, maybe, juggling the lines and stuff, but for the most part, it's the players who play the game," Ragon said.

Others said the move was overdue, noting the luster of the 2006 Stanley Cup championship run is fading and the Canes' play has been wildly inconsistent this season.

"I'm a little upset that he's leaving because he's led us in the past, but we've got so much talent right now and nothing is happening," Kelley Burriss said. "The team's not scoring. The fans aren't showing up. We're season-ticket holders, and we don't want the team to leave."

Burriss' son, Chandler Burriss, said it's easier to replace a coach than an underperforming lineup.

"The way that the players have just not really produced falls on the coaches," Chandler said.

Some fans said Maurice, who moved with the team from Hartford to Raleigh a decade ago, is part of the Canes "family," and they're willing to give him another chance as coach.

"He was well liked when he was here the last time, and hopefully he can get the (team) to respond and the Hurricanes can get back to where they can be on top," Ryan Givens said.

"Paul Maurice is a good coach. He led us to the Stanley Cup playoffs one year," Bob Ramsey said. "I kind of expected Laviolette would get fired because of the way the team has been playing."