The Carolina Hurricanes are out of the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season — the longest drought in the NHL. They are without a coach (Bill Peters resigned, and he quickly found a new home in Calgary) and general manager (Ron Francis was transitioned upstairs in March).
They averaged just 13,320 fans per home game this season, the third-lowest figure in the league. That’s 82.6 percent capacity for PNC Arena — which ranks as the lowest mark in the NHL.
“If I can’t find the person who is undervalued and give them the chance at a price I think is fair, and give them a chance to build their market value and build the team, then I might move to a different plan. But I do think it would be surprising if there were only 30 people in the world who could do these jobs. We’re looking for the talent, not the résumé.”
On the status of the searches: “It’s probably the biggest misconception that I’ve seen that GMs or coaches don’t want to work for us. … It really hasn’t been what I’ve seen reported in terms of the amount of interest in these jobs. It’s probably the opposite. The hardest part is picking the right person; it’s not getting the right candidates.”
On Friday, coach Eric Spoelstra tried to tamp down any notion the Heat have in any way given up on Whiteside, who is owed $25.4 million next season with a player option available in the season after that — for $27 million.
“This is one of those periods that we know how to manage and help players get through,” Spoelstra said, while speaking to reporters in an end-of-the season news conference. “And when you get through it, there’s tremendous growth opportunity on the other side of that.
After meeting with Hassan Whiteside to discuss the center’s rant over the weekend, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team is putting the issue “behind us.” Whiteside was fined an undisclosed amount Sunday for his comments.
Whiteside was limited to an average of 15.4 minutes against Philadelphia. During the five-game series, Whiteside suggested a change in Miami’s offensive approach had affected his production in the playoffs.