Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on CarolinaHurricanes.com in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.
Let’s get to it.
Would the Canes go into the draft without a head coach if they don’t have time to interview someone or vet him? – Doug A. (@dabrams2021)
Sure, that’s a possibility. This isn’t necessarily a decision you would want to rush if it came down to that. As I noted a few weeks ago, Carolina Hurricanes Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Francis said that he’d like to have someone in place by the draft.
That’s in no way a hard deadline but rather an ideal date, not so much because the head coach has input in who the team drafts – he doesn’t, really – but sooner rather than later is more often than not a positive.
As we stand today, the Canes join Florida, Vancouver and Washington as teams currently with coaching vacancies after Nashville hired Peter Laviolette. A few teams teetering on letting their head coach go – Pittsburgh, Toronto and San Jose – have opted (at least for now) to retain their bench bosses. Former Canes head coach Kirk Muller, meanwhile, joined Ken Hitchcock (his former head coach in Dallas) behind the bench in St. Louis as an assistant.
The bottom line is that there is no rush, and I think you’re seeing that around the league with teams perhaps waiting to see who’s available and who’s not as teams are eliminated from the playoffs. The same is true for the Canes: they’ll name someone when the time is right, whether that is tomorrow, the week of the draft or beyond.
Any word on Pitkanen’s progress? – Gregg W. (@nhbeast)
There is nothing official I can pass along aside from Joni Pitkanen’s statement that he issued in mid-March:
“I’ve been working with Raleigh Orthopaedic throughout this season with the hope of returning to play hockey. There is no timetable as of now, but I’ve been making progress with my rehab and it remains my goal to resume my professional hockey career. It’s been frustrating to be away from the ice, but I want to thank all of the people who have expressed support throughout the season.”
That said, Pitkanen did speak with the Finnish newspaper Kaleva recently, and that article can be seen here.
Among the notable quotes, Pitkanen said he has not been able to look at the clip of his injury, which occurred over a year ago against the Washington Capitals. He said that he is taking his rehabilitation one day at a time but acknowledges that he might not be able to play hockey again.
Pitkanen is an unrestricted free agent.
Can we expect any big changes or new features on the website or app over the summer? – Patrick C. (@PatrickClarke)
The most recent app update, which should have been pushed to your Android or iOS device within the last month or so, introduced a new feature we’re excited about: mobile video streaming. We’re not exactly sure when we’ll use this for the first time, but watching live Storm Surge episodes, press conferences and more will be a whole lot easier and mobile-friendly moving forward.
We also have some features of our own we’d like to add to the app over the summer, including mobile wallpapers. If you don’t already have the app, be sure to download it today!
As far as the website goes, we’re constantly looking for ways in which we can improve the user experience and content delivery. Looking ahead to the next month, you can expect to see extensive draft coverage, including live reports from Philadelphia at the end of June. And, as has been the case in the last few years, you can expect to see some basic design tweaks before the start of the season. Beyond that, we might have a few items of note in store, so stay tuned!
If you have a suggestion of something you’d like to see whether it’s on the website or our official team app, feel free to send it along on me on Twitter.
Obi-Wan or Yoda? Ale or lager? Correct grammar or correct spelling? Don’t bang on the glass or goalie stay in the net? – Carolyn G. (@goCanes_score)
1. I’m going Yoda. (I’m insanely stoked for Episode VII.)
2. Ale. An amber ale, specifically.
3. Correct grammar. I feel like that casts a wider net that might entrap spelling. In any case, knowing the difference between apart and a part is more important than knowing how to spell ephemeral.
4. This is why you should not bang on the glass.
Join me next week for more questions and more answers!
If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to discuss this or that, you can reach out to me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.