What we learned last week in the NHL: It’s another lost season for Carolina

What we learned from the last week of play in the NHL:

In the eye of the Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes owner Thomas Dundon drew criticism for demoting Ron Francis from general manager to director of hockey operations, but while Francis assembled a lot of talent he never put the Canes over the top and into the playoffs. They will miss the postseason for the ninth straight season and they’re at the bottom of the NHL in percentage of seats filled after playing to an announced 71.8% of capacity through 34 home games. Francis had budget limitations, but big spending doesn’t always lead to big success. And when you can’t spend much, you’d better spend well — which he didn’t do when he signed goaltender Scott Darling to a four-year, $16.6-million contract last summer. Oddly, Francis is the only GM who has lost his job this season. No coaches have been fired — yet.

Capitals’ McLellan gets job security

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