03 April, 2006

Jimmy's got it covered, folks.

Hugh Kellenberger, who opines on the Hurricanes for the Rocky Mount Telegram, recently wrote a column which appeared in Vancouver's National Post. In this column, he says:

[Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford] must sign coach Peter Laviolette to an extension, and the time to do it was yesterday.

...If [former Hurricanes coach Paul] Maurice deserved nine years after only advancing into the playoffs three times and past the first round once, Laviolette deserves at least another two.

Believe me, I appreciate where Hugh is coming from--I adore Peter Laviolette and what he's done with the Brothers of the Sightless Eye, and I want him to stay too. But in his haste to beat the "keep the guy here" wardrums, Hugh's forgetting something very important:

Chairman Mo's contract extensions were all given to him after Season's End, rather than during the season. That's how JimR's always done it. That's how he'll always do it. Believe me, Hurricanes ownership and manglement wants Lavi to stay, too (and you can bet your ass that Uncle Pete will open the wallet and throw whatever he has to at him to keep him here)--but they're not going to engage in contract negotiations during the season because both Lavi and JimR see it for what it is:

A Big Distraction.

So relax, folks. Enjoy the wonderfully amazing and fun ride that this season (with all its up and downs) has been so far. Hail Joe, Lord of Evil on his return to the ice this season after being out for most of it with a knee injury. Pray to Eir (or whichever deity you worship) for Erik Cole's swift recovery from his broken vertebra, and knock on wood that there'll be some playoff games that he'll get to play in.

But don't sweat Lavi's contract negotiations--cos Jimmy's got it covered.

Go Canes.