(Ed. Note: There’s entirely too much sunshine in the summer. So your friends at Puck Daddy are offering a month of thrown shade and perpetual gloom. Behold, our Summer of Disappointment series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to recall the biggest bummer moments, teams and players in franchise history! Please wade into their misery like a freezing resort pool, and add your own choices in the comments!)
Written by Debra Bree
Most Disappointing Team: 2006-2007 Carolina Hurricanes
Why? Really? (Yes, the first year was painful. But everyone knew it would be because Karmanos karma.)
I mean...they missed the playoffs. Which, as it turns out, is the norm for Carolina, but for after winning the Cup in 2006, reestablishing hope into the fanbase they worked so hard to win over, the Hurricanes freaking missed the playoffs a year later. Hello disappointment.
Sure, the 2002-2003 season sucked, so soon after they made it to the SC Final (oh hey, dead last in the league). But they didn’t win that year so technically they started the next season off with disappointment which they let fester before hitting rock bottom.
But 2006-2007 was different. They had so much promise and splat. Again, it wasn’t even a near miss; it was the bottom of the E.C. So there’s anger, frustration, and dashed hopes all leading to, you got it, disappointment.
Can’t even be funny here, it’s too sad.
Most Disappointing Hurricane: Jared Staal
There are quite a few disappointments floating around Hurricanes history (Jack Johnson, Tim Gleason, Joe Corvo) but today, the MDH title goes to...Jared Staal.
That’s JARED, not the other ones. Way to live up to the Staal name, dude.
Initially drafted by Phoenix (not even in the first round, failing from the beginning), he was traded to Carolina in 2010 due to Rutherford’s first attempt to rebrand the team as the “Carolina Staalicanes.” Not making the team roster out of camp, Jared was sent to the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), then to the Florida Everblades (ECHL), and loaned out to Providence for some unknown reason (he wasn’t needed, put it that way).
In April 2013, he finally found himself playing on the NHL level in what I’m assuming was a Hail Mary by management, probably to persuade Marc (who, thanks to a misdirected puck to the eye, wasn’t even playing!) to join the 'Canes as the team has a defense issue (there is none).
The Hurricanes lost both games in which he played, one which was a doozy of a loss that ended the season. Thanks for making us waste that fifth rounder, baby Staal (could’ve gotten Brendan Gallagher with that pick).
Most Disappointing Moment in Hurricanes History: The day they would ostensibly become the Carolina Hurricanes
In March 1997, we realized what a [jerk] of a lying liar who lies Peter Karmanos is.
After promising to keep the Whalers in Hartford until 1998, Karmanos moved the team to Raleigh Greensboro in 1997, claiming an inability to find a way to keep them in Hartford for another year. Never mind that the arena in Raleigh he planned for team to play in wasn’t built yet, ergo the move to Greensboro and not Raleigh. Karmanos was determined to remove ties with the soon to be former Hartford Whalers. He even renamed the team on his own (thanks buddy) and for all we know, designed the damn logo too.
I kind of hate to use this as it diminishes the franchise itself (har har) but it does show the kind of cluster[expletive] of management this team has always had.
Attendance was poor in the first year, which, to be fair, was the same from how they were doing by the time they left Hartford.
Oh, that’s right. Karmanos made a stink about the poor attendance, stating he’d move the team if they didn’t sell a certain amount of tickets sold.
Which they did. He still moved the team anyway to a city where few cared about hockey until the Hurricanes made the playoffs.
They then lost half their fans because they sucked, got some back when they stopped sucking and won the Cup. And then like the viciousness that it is, they started the cycle all over again.
But I digress. Most Disappointing Moment goes to Karmanos announcing he would move the team, a day that lives in both Whalers and Hurricanes infamy.
Most Disappointing Hurricanes Transaction: Signing Tomas Kaberle
So initially this was going to be a demonstration of just how well things go for the Hurricanes when they bring back former players and coaches (it doesn’t. At all).
And then I remembered that sweet moment when Jim Rutherford took a chance on a promising young defenseman - oh whoops. I’m sorry, I meant a not-so-young defenseman with an okayish record after he won the Stanley Cup riding on the coattails of with the Boston Bruins. Oh Tomas Kaberle, we hardly knew ye (truly). Rutherford gave him a three year contract in the summer of 2011 because he didn’t actually score a goal for the Bruins during their Cup run.
After a mere 29 games played, in which he had no goals and was a minus-12, Rutherford traded him to Montreal for Jaroslav Spacek. That trade kind of evened itself out but until then, signing Kaberle was disappointing for everyone and thus began the slow burning question of “Does Rutherford know what he’s doing?” A dark time, indeed.
Most Disappointing Hurricanes Coach/Executive: Kirk Muller
And the non-award goes to...Kirk Muller.
Hear me out - he’s not the worst that management has to offer, nor is he the one the one that makes you rage. However, he is the most disappointing because it’s Kirk freaking Muller. He destroyed defensive systems while an assistant coach in the Canadiens organization and look at his professional record - there was so much hope when he was brought into the organization albeit a little too greenly. (Coaching experience not actually a requirement to coach in Carolina.)
Yes, Muller had one full season to try and get this team on track but for all his previous work in two half seasons, there was only failure. By the end of the ‘13-’14 season, we were all Tyra screaming at Tiffany...
... about how we believed in him, how we were rooting for him, but nothing came of it or Hercules yelling “DISAPPOINTED” (however much energy you want to put into this).
Paul Maurice was mostly not good, Rutherford has been super disappointing over the last several years, Karmanos is...well the less said, the better.
Ultimately, it’s Muller who leaves the most disappointing legacy.
Most Disappointing Hurricanes Fashion Choice: Carolina Hurricanes' main logo
The Hurricanes’ main logo is supposed to be the eye of the storm.
In reality, it's either a swirlie or a boob, depending on how you look at it.
Case closed, we lose.
• • •
Other disappointments (in order of appearance): New York Rangers • Calgary Flames • St. Louis Blues • New York Islanders • Dallas Stars • Boston Bruins • Colorado Avalanche • Washington Capitals • Ottawa Senators • Arizona Coyotes • Minnesota Wild • Edmonton Oilers • San Jose Sharks • Winnipeg Jets • New Jersey Devils • Los Angeles Kings • Florida Panthers • Buffalo Sabres • Montreal Canadiens • Tampa Bay Lightning • Chicago Blackhawks • Columbus Blue Jackets • Nashville Predators • Detroit Red Wings • Anaheim Ducks • Philadelphia Flyers • Pittsburgh Penguins • Vancouver Canucks • Toronto Maple Leafs