COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Carolina Hurricanes stumbled through an 11-14-3 season in 2000-01. St. Louis Blues general manager Larry Pleau had fired coach Scott Bowman a month earlier. There was another Canadian team in town playing a good game of sudden death in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
And, of course, there was the Colorado Avalanche, now referred to as the Avalanche, only then in the brief history of the National Hockey League. The Avs did what the Hurricanes, Blues and their peers eventually did — they lost 89 games that season, followed by an 87-point campaign in 2001-02.
At Maryland, no such terrible records have hampered coach Mark Turgeon's ability to succeed in College Park.
"It's not luck," said Nick Sicorro, a senior co-captain on the Terrapins' 2017-18 squad. "It's all we have. It's the people who get on board and support us. It's our families and our friends and our whole community. The results are going to come because of everything you have around you."
Indeed, Turgeon's best players are graduate transfers who transferred out of other NCAA Division I programs. And some of Maryland's problems have been caused by distractions rather than on-the-ice success.
Trevor Releford, an Australian who transferred from Kansas in 2015, became a bigger figure when he threw a metal ice stick at an opposing player and sent John Egbunu flying during a game. Then sophomore forward Michal Cekovsky became sidelined with a leg injury in December. While Cekovsky's ailment healed, leading scorer Melo Trimble essentially played on a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.
Turgeon is hopeful Trimble, who graduated with a degree in finance and is looking to make the NBA, will suit up for the Terrapins this season. But if not, any doubts about Turgeon's ability to get the best out of Maryland can be laid to rest.