Today you can add Hurricanes coach Pete Laviolette to the list of coaches that have been axed in 2008-09. He's number three on the list, behind Dennis Savard, formerly of Chicago who was let go two games into the season, and Barry Melrose, who needs no introduction around here.
The Laviolette firing proves yet again that no coach is safe no matter what they've done for the organization in the past. Lavy led the Canes to the Stanley Cup in his first full season behind the bench in 2005-06 and was let go today, almost halfway through his fourth season in the organization.
The Canes haven't made the playoffs since they won the Cup, but right now they're only three points out of the lead in the anything-can-happen Southeast division and 8th in the conference. With so many big time off-season acquisitions, it's easy to see how badly the Hurricanes were under performing. Jeff O'Neill and Joni Pitkanen were clearly the players needed to bring this team back to the top, and it was all too clear that Laviolette was doing a poor job managing a team that is by far the most talented in the league.
Naturally, the Canes brought in the only man for the job. A man who had coached the team for 8 1/2 seasons, dating back to their time in Hartford. A coach so good, so talented, that he led the Canes/Whalers out of the first round of the playoffs once during those eight years. That man, none other than Paul Maurice.
I'm calling it right now. Hurricanes sweeping their way though the playoffs to their second Stanley Cup parade. You might as well just give them the President's Trophy too.