No expected the Carolina Hurricanes to go as far as they did into the postseason, making it all the way to the Eastern Conference final, where they unfortunately lost to the Boston Bruins.
While it might be heartbreaking for them to watch tonight’s Game 7 in Boston as the Bruins battle out the St. Louis Blues for the Stanley Cup, the Hurricanes just suffered a more heartbreaking loss than watching the trophy being hosted by rivals.
The Hurricanes have just confirmed that their goaltending coach Mike Bales has resigned on Wednesday morning.
This is a significant loss for the Canes as Bales managed to take Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney up a level and transform them into playoff machines.
When head coach Rod Brind'Amour was faced with the tough decision on who would start Game 3 against the Bruins in the ECF, he had no issues admitting to asking Bales for help.
"When I took the head coaching job (on May 8, 2018) it was real easy for me to just let him run with the goalies," Brind'Amour had said back then. "I don't even know what he does with them. He takes them, he does his own thing, he has his meetings, and then we talk about who goes in net and he tells me who he thinks should go, and I would say 99 percent of the time this year it's the guy I was going to go with."
Bales brought valuable experience to Carolina after he helped Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 with Pittsburgh. When the Penguins let Bales go -- in anticipation of Fleury being claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft -- the Hurricanes didn't hesitate to hire him.
Now, he will be tough to replace in Carolina…