Sometimes he will get one right, like bringing Manny Malhotra in to help with the faceoff percentages. More times than not, he will not only make idiotic decisions — he won’t do anything at all.
Think back to the trade deadline last season.
With Carolina having made such a push to the playoffs, the “reserve your playoff tickets now” commercials were already running– they suddenly hit a brick wall. As the team spun out of control and with Rutherford having the power to fix it with some deft maneuvering at the trade deadline, he did nothing. Rutherford sat idle and the Hurricanes missed a third-straight postseason. Before defending Rutherford, remember this was after he traded to bring Joe Corvo back from the Boston Bruins, who were only too happy to get that hot mess off their hands.
You can’t go without mentioning Rutherford blowing so much money on Jordan Staal that he had zero clout in the bidding war over Zach Parise. While Staal is a magnificent player, he got twice as much money as he should’ve because of his last name. That’s just Rutherford being Rutherford.
With the Hurricanes enjoying a five game winless streak, Rutherford decided it was time for some folks to get a case of the Mondays — and held a “long meeting” with head coach Kirk Muller and VP Of Hockey Operations, Ron Francis. Reportedly, this meeting centered around what to do about the team’s “current slide.” It could have been called “tell me all about what everyone else has seen while my head was in the sand.”
Logic would dictate that Rutherford sat Muller and Francis down and gave them a harsh dressing down ending in “that’s what I pay you bozos for” and a door slam. This is not the movies however, and anyone who follows the As The Hurricanes Turn soap opera, knows it was probably Rutherford looking at the two and saying, “Guys? Ideas?”
This isn’t speculation. According to reports from both The News And Observer and local radio, Rutherford has “not ruled out trades” and has allegedly been on the phone all morning. Think Brad Pitt in Moneyball.
The sick and sad thing is that Rutherford plainly said, “Something could happen but you need two willing people to do it.”
Your Rutherford-to-English dictionary app should be telling you right now what he meant was, “Nobody will deal with us.” Which is in no way surprising. After the fiasco of trying to deal Tim Gleason somewhere, it’s no wonder he can’t get phone calls returned. The New York Rangers laughed at some of Rutherford’s trade offers. One can only imagine what’s happening on the phone calls we don’t know about.
In the end, Rutherford may finally be coming out of this fog of stupid he’s been caught in and actually making some moves to fix the team. When he told the press, “It’s [the slide] got to stop now. We need more to contribute. … A handful of players are not playing to their potential,” it was his way of admitting he sees what we all see.
Whether Rutherford is serious, or this is more of his idiot lip service — it’s still too little too late. These meetings and moves needed to happen back in November. Welcome to the party, Rutherford, you have a seat saved in Section 328.