The Carolina Hurricanes added another piece to their puzzle behind the bench as President and General Manager Jim Rutherford announced John MacLean would serve as an assistant coach with the team starting on Thursday.
On the same day he was preparing his team to take on the hot New York Rangers, winners of eight of their last 10 games, new Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller got the opportunity to bring in former teammate MacLean to be another one of his wing men.
The move also added another former Stanley Cup winner to a staff that one would think was compiled to provide some extra legitimacy to the players that no matter who is talking to them, they know what they are talking about.
Not a rookie
MacLean, 47, is no stranger to coaching in the NHL.
He spent nine seasons as a coach in the New Jersey Devils organization, including seven years as an assistant coach.
After serving as head coach of the Lowell Devils of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2009-10, leading the Devils’ affiliate to its best-ever record and first-ever playoff birth, he was named head coach of the big club prior to the 2010-11 season.
However, just 33 games into his first season as an NHL head coach, he was replaced.
Now he has arrived in Raleigh to help Muller get the Hurricanes moving in the right direction.
When you look at the entire Hurricanes coaching staff you’ll notice that every one of them has sipped out of Lord Stanley’s Cup as a player or coach – Muller, Barrasso, Brind’Amour, Wesley and MacLean all as players, and Lewis as a coach.
Not too shabby.
With six men wearing rings behind the bench, the Hurricanes have their ‘fifth line’ and a well-credentialed one at that.
As the challenges that the team is experiencing continue on the ice, how refreshing and entertaining would it be if the entire staff took to the ice one night to show the kids how to do it.
There just very well may be a clause in their contracts that says that it can be done.
Talk about an effective cost-savings measure to maximize personnel expenditures if that were ever to be the case.
Realistic? No, but what a public relations event it could create.
Regardless of how many Stanley Cup rings are flashed around the RBC Center, the talent possessed by the bench staff must be able to motivate and alter this team’s conditioning, work ethic, and confidence to produce wins.
Adding more bodies behind the bench may not necessarily help them to do this.
However, bringing in more bodies on the ice who know how to score and change out those who don’t, will.
The puzzle just got more complicated.
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