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Recent Carolina Hurricanes News

Considering the possibilities in net: Darcy Kuemper, Ben Bishop and Matt Murray

After a day off to consider how well the Carolina Hurricanes have done at avoiding risky/bad next contracts under Don Waddell over the past two years, today’s Daily Cup of Joe is back on my previous goalie beat. Part 1 considered trade options for veterans Frederik Andersen and Marc-Andre Fleury who have only one year remaining their current contracts. Part 2 considered free agent options in Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstrom and Anton Khudobin. Part 3 considered the odd possibility that a long-timer like Henrik Lundqvist or Tuuka Rask could become available. Today’s part 4 is well-timed with the broader NHL media on the ‘Canes might add a goalie’ train today with Pierre LeBrun from The Athletic including James Reimer in his article listing players who could be traded (subscription required). With Alex Nedeljkovic waiting in the wings, trading Reimer does not automatically mean that the Hurricanes would add an upgrade in net, but it definitely paves the way. This category of goalie options considers a couple netminders who are under contract for the 2020-21 season or beyond and could be a longer-term option in net.   Crazy effect of the 2020 playoffs Before I jump into more Canes specifics, let me take a short turn as a beat writer for the broader NHL. Especially considering the unprecedented lead up with five months off before parachuting directly into playoff hockey, the 2020 NHL Playoffs have had a bizarre impact on the near-term market for goalies. Had I told you in February that the off-season would cause permanent fixture type starters Marc-Andre Fleury, Ben Bishop, Jacob Markstrom and maybe even (though... read more

Detailing Canes strong track record parting ways with top players

After three days of goalie articles, Wednesday’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a reprieve for those who are sick of goalies and/or just prefer to roll with Petr Mrazek and James Reimer again (which is not a bad option). Today’s article details the team’s near (or completely?) perfect record of decision-making as relates to parting ways with higher-end players since Tom Dundon bought the company and Don Waddell took over as general manager. The list The focus here is higher-end players, so I will include some players who were either prospects or bottom half of the roster players.   Noah Hanifin In a draft with a ton of talent at the top end, Noah Hanifin came touted as a can’t miss as the fifth overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Upon arrival, one could quickly see why. Hanifin had size and the capability as an 18-year to skate the NHL game. He was not a difference-maker as a third pairing defenseman at the NHL level as an 18-year old, but he figured to take strides rapidly and grow into the ceiling that his physical abilities afforded him. But the issue was that that never really seemed to happen. When he completed his entry-level contract with the Hurricanes, Hanifin was still every bit of a third pairing defenseman who was trying to learn/develop his way up to a higher level. He just made too many mistakes and still struggled with decision-making/sorting things out at NHL speed. But by virtue of his potential and the draft pedigree that often overprices players in their second contracts, Hanifin was due a big... read more

Considering the possibilities in net: Henrik Lundqvist, Tuuka Rask

For anyone who is tired of the goalie theme this week, my tentative plan is to go a different direction tomorrow, so hang in there. For anyone catching up: Monday’s article featured two trade possibilities in Marc-Andre Fleury and Frederik Andersen. Tuesday’s article considered free agent options in Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstro and Anton Khudobin. Today’s article is a bit more out of left field but may not as inconceivable as one might think initially. First, my regular dislaimer…I will repeat that I do not think the Hurricanes need to make a move in net to be competitive. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer were good enough or better in net in 2019-20, so returning with that duo plus Alex Nedeljkovic would not be a negative in my mind. That said, it is the off-season and exploring possible areas for improvement is the name of the game. Today’s options are both players that would be hard to picture in a Hurricanes uniform or any uniform other than what they have worn for a long time — Henrik Lundqvist and Tuuka Rask.   Henrik Lundqvist with the New York Rangers At 38 years old Henrik Lundqvist is clearly in the twilight of his career and on a young team that also happens to have two very good young goalies. The transition to that next generation in net was already underway in 2019-20. Lundqvist has one year remaining on his contract for $8.5 million but with an actual salary of only $5.5 million. There is talk that the Rangers might buy him out which forces Lundqvist’s hand to decide if he wants... read more

Considering the possibilities in net: Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstrom, Anton Khudobin

Yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe kicked off what could end up being a short series on possible goalie options over the next year or two. Part 1 featured to veteran trade possibilities in Frederik Andersen and Marc-Andre Fleury. An important disclaimer that I will repeat is that I do not think the Hurricanes need to make a move in net to be competitive. Petr Mrazek and James Reimer were good enough or better in net in 2019-20, so returning with that duo plus Alex Nedeljkovic would not be a negative in my mind. That said, it is the off-season and exploring possible areas for improvement is in season. Whereas yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe looked at two veteran trade options, today’s installment considers two restricted free agent possibilities.   Braden Holtby with the Washington Capitals Only a couple seasons ago, Braden Holtby was perennially among the top goalies in the NHL. Hidden a bit beneath the fact that the Capitals keep winning is the fact that Holtby’s level of play has dropped off a bit over the past couple seasons. He stepped down a notch in 2017-18 and 2018-19 and posted an .897 save percentage and 3.11 goals against average in 2019-20. Holtby figures to be seeking his last big contract for maximum dollars and term and will be 31 years old when the 2020-21 NHL season kicks off. In a normal market that sees a couple bidders and contract demands in the neighborhood of five years and $6 to $7 million per year, I would pass quickly. That is as much a comment on the poor risk/reward ratio... read more

Considering the trade rumors/possibilities in net: Frederik Andersen and Marc-Andre Fleury

With the oddly-timed draft and off-season only a few weeks ago, the NHL rumor mill is starting to churn out a good new of things to consider (or just as often discard quickly). Unlike in years past, the Hurricanes seem to get more than their fair share of turns these days. That change is driven in part by the team being more active since Tom Dundon took ownership of the team. The other factor is that in recent years the Hurricanes have been deep on the blue line which seemingly has the team linked to every other team that desperately needs help on defense. In my article on August 24, I dubbed Brett Pesce ‘the key to the blue line‘, and I am already on record as not being eager to include Brett Pesce in any deal. It is not that he is untouchable, but I just think a legitimate top 2/top 4 defenseman in his prime and on a cap-friendly contract is more valuable than anything that could be added by trading sideways for a forward. But Today’s Daily Cup of Joe focuses on a couple possible options to try to upgrade in net who have been or could be linked to the Hurricanes in the future and cheats a bit by leveraging Twitter comments to share my thoughts.   Frederik Andersen from the Toronto Maple Leafs Recently, Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made an early appearance in the trade rumor mill and the Carolina Hurricanes were even named as a team that could have interest. I actually think that Andersen could be an interesting addition once... read more

Slotting the current Carolina Hurricanes defensemen

Yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe slotted the current Hurricanes forwards. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe does the same exercise with the defensemen.   Bona fide top 4 defensemen capable of top pairing — Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin The starting point for building the Canes blue is the trio of players at the top. Jaccob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton have found chemistry, complement each other well and were a legitimate top NHL pairing in 2019-20 before Hamilton’s injury. Brett Pesce has similarly proven capable of holding his own in a top pairing role against other teams’ best players. Also significantly, he showed the ability to be the foundation for a good second pairing as the leader of that pairing. Just like the previous article which considers only actual play in the 2019-20 season with the Hurricanes, I think the list of players who are sure things for the top 4 ends there.   #4/#5 defensemen with potential to be capable top 4 defenseman — Haydn Fleury, Brady Skjei, Jake Gardiner The next category includes two players who could round out the top 4. Both Fleury and Skjei have the physical skill set with good NHL size and good skating ability. But where I differ with some opinions is that I do think there is a meaningful gap between Pesce and this group both in terms of level of play and certainty/being proven in this role. After step-wise, gradual path to the NHL, Fleury made significant strides in 2019-20 and will enter the 2020-21 season on an upward trajectory. But important to note is that Fleury’s rise occurred mostly... read more

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Hot From Twitter!

September 23, 2020 at 11:53am
There was a time when I gave Jim Rutherford credit for being a good GM (he has had intermittent high-end results with 2 teams), but mounting data suggests it's more generally that if you roll the dice enough you sometimes randomly win.
September 23, 2020 at 9:15am
Daily Cup of Joe for Wednesday hops into @Canes history and offers 3 potentially contrary opinions including assertion that the most important game in team history is game 7 in 2006=>
September 22, 2020 at 7:32pm
@IronCaniac Either way. Could vary by city depending on what is available and what financial terms can be negotiated.

I was just thinking that football stadiums would generally allow most ticket sales even with social distancing.
September 22, 2020 at 7:30pm
@IronCaniac That is very true. It does sort of eliminate the big deal of an outdoor game maybe for forever. But would that trade that for being able to play in front of/charge fans this season?
September 22, 2020 at 7:29pm
@Go1974Pack So maybe you time start for after college football is done. Then for teams using college stadium, they just replace grass when season is over. Would have to wait bit longer for NFL teams to finish up, but still most of season is after.
September 22, 2020 at 7:27pm
@NCSwanson How much of cost is set up/tear down? For teams that could use college football stadiums, they might be able to set it up and leave it that way for multiple months.

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