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Recent Carolina Hurricanes News

Is the grass really greener?

With 16 teams competing in the NHL playoffs (I guess actually five with Los Angeles’ early ouster), there are plenty of reasons to be envious of other teams right now. And no doubt, the Canes fun meter continues to hover near all-time lows with nine consecutive playoff misses that represent the longest streak in the NHL right now. And certainly there are teams with multiple recent Cup wins whose fan bases are in a better place right now. But when one looks objectively at the lot of the other 30 teams in the NHL, how many would a Canes fan rightfully trade places with right now when looking at an extended history that reaches back behind the Hurricanes current down times? I do not think it as close to 30 teams as some might think. For every Pittsburgh Penguins there are a couple teams who have had it as bad or worse than the Carolina Hurricanes.   Columbus Blue Jackets No doubt, the Blue Jackets are in a better place right now with a 2-1 lead in their series with the Washington Capitals. But that franchise has truly had a tough go of it in terms of post-season success. In 18 years of existence, the team has yet to win a playoff series. The team has played in only four series counting their current one, and with their loss at home on Tuesday night, fans through the years have seen only two home playoff wins in eight tries. One could debate whether the Blue Jackets’ future looks better than the Hurricanes right now, but there is no way I... read more

An early look at the center position for the 2018-19 season: Part 3-My 2 cents

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe is part 3 of 3 considering one of the projects that lies ahead for the Carolina Hurricanes during the current offseason – figuring out the center position heading into the 2018-19 season. Part 1 last Friday looked at the recent history that lead up to this point. Part 2 on Monday considered the options for going forward. Today’s part 3 offers my thoughts on the various options and which direction I am leaning.   Jordan Staal as a foundation Say what you want about Jordan Staal’s scoring totals as compared to other top centers in the league, but he still fits as a cornerstone of a good hockey team at the center position. No doubt, more scoring would be appreciated, but something like 50 in a role that does not ‘use up’ higher-end scoring talent on his wings and plays break even hockey against other teams’ best lines can be a valuable and contributing component on a playoff hockey team. The key for this are the two things I mentioned plus one more. As stated above, Staal’s 50 points in the middle just is not enough if he plays between two scoring wings. His 19 even strength assists when flanked most of the season by Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen just are not enough. That duo is better-served aiming even higher (think a point per game), but that requires a more scoring-capable third. No doubt, the inevitable need to shuffle and spark a lineup here and there over the course of a long NHL season will see TSA reunited, but if Jordan Staal is... read more

An early look at the center position for the 2018-19 season: Part 2-The options and considerations

For last Friday’s Daily Cup of Joe I ventured knee deep into starting to consider the work ahead for the summer and building the 2018-19 lineup. In that article, I presented the recent history leading up to the current situation with the Carolina Hurricanes at the center position.   Where we left off At a basic level, we left off with a primary group (before late season tinkering) of Jordan Staal, Victor Rask, Derek Ryan and Marcus Kruger that just was not good enough. For the 2018-19 season, the Hurricanes will need more out of the position and will need to find a way to upgrade especially in terms of scoring production.   Slotting the original four from the 2017-18 season The starting point is figuring if and where the four primary centers from the 2017-18 fit. Ryan is an unrestricted free agent, but Staal, Rask and Kruger are all under contract.   Jordan Staal Despite being a bit light on scoring for a first or second line center, he still fits in a winning lineup because of how strong he is defensively and because of his ability to anchor a line that can hold its own against the league’s elite scoring lines. Key though, is an opposite/complementary scoring first or second line that makes the math work offensively. Verdict: Let’s call his the second line center.   Victor Rask His offense fell off a cliff for most of the season (only 31 points in 71 games) and his play in total was ‘meh’, but he did manage to stay on course defensively for the most part such that... read more

An early look at sorting out the center position for 2018-19 season: Part 1-The history

More in-depth coverage of the offseason will start in earnest a bit later, but Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a summary level look at the all-important situation at the center position in preparing for the 2018-19 season. This part looks back out how we got here. Part 2 to follow will handicap the situation entering the offseason.   The summer of 2017 The Carolina Hurricanes entered the summer of 2017 with a couple slots to fill at the center position and also needing to upgrade offensively. Jay McClement was 34 years old and coming off of his contract and unlikely to be re-signed. Derek Ryan was also an unrestricted free agent with an uncertain future with the organization. Jordan Staal and Victor Rask figured to be locked into two of the top three center slots in the opening day lineup. The post-season press conference with Coach Bill Peters and General Manager Ron Francis offered early clues as to what direction the team might go to fill out the center position. The team readily admitted that it needed to add more scoring punch. Though that was not directly labeled as a center, the fact that Peters seemed to prefer Elias Lindholm and Sebastian Aho at wing seemed to leave an opening for a higher-end offensive center. In short, Peters said that he preferred Lindholm at right wing and also that Aho would eventually be a center but not likely for the 2017-18 season. That starting point left two center positions open to be filled over the course of the summer. One of the two openings was at least tentatively... read more

Carolina Hurricanes guide to 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs

Not sure about everyone else, but the Monday after the season ends combined with the first day of the Stanley Cup playoffs tend to be among the toughest of the year for me as a Canes fan (obviously in the years in which the Hurricanes do not make the playoffs). I ride up and down with the team during the regular season, but even if things are not going well, there is always a next game. Until suddenly this week there isn’t. But I am also one not to wallow in whatever sorrow or frustration I have from our beloved hockey team, so by the time the pucks start flying on TV, I can mostly move past my Canes woes and enjoy the playoffs as a casual observer.   Here is an attempt for a quick guide for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Canes rooting interests. Please ping me in the comments or web form if I missed anything.   Eastern Conference Washington Capitals No Canes rooting interest.   Columbus Blue Jackets No Canes rooting interest. Pittsburgh Penguins Last year, Ron Hainsey’s long-awaited playoff debut was big news and a potential Pens rooting interest to go with Matt Cullen. But with both Hainsey and Cullen departed, the Pens have only short-time Canes player Josh Jooris who was a healthy scratch in game 1 and of course former general manager Jim Rutherford.   Philadelphia Flyers No Canes rooting interest. Tampa Bay Lightning No Canes rooting interest   New Jersey Devils After a brief stop in Calgary, Eddie Lack is now a member of the New Jersey Devils though not... read more

In defense of Tom Dundon

Monday’s end of season press conference with Tom Dundon created a reasonably decent ruckus and a wide range of opinions spanning the full spectrum from declaring it a train wreck to lauding his commitment to change and different way of doing things. You can find my reaction on a few of the topics he discussed HERE. The article is worth a visit to also see the wide range of thoughtful reader comments that also come at it from all angles. If pressed to briefly summarize my thoughts on the press conference and Tom Dundon’ tenure as owner this far, I would call both a mixed bag. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes up the case of defending Tom Dundon and his path thus far as the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes. To be clear, I am not making the case that he will be a great owner. Any assessment pro or con at this stage would be premature and mostly a wild guess. And I am also not saying that I agree with everything that he has done thus far. Actually, I think he has missed in a few key regards. Rather, I am at least considering the case that everything is on track with regard to the ownership transition that everyone has been calling for for multiple years.   The Carolina Hurricanes are in a better place under new ownership That transition is a key starting point for making the case for Tom Dundon. The organization was multiple years deep into Peter Karmanos wishing to sell the team but seemingly minimal progress on that front. As long as the... read more

Most Recent Comments

  • powerless: I am not sorry to see Peter's leave. The players were in mutiny and only those on the inner [...]
  • jm97: Bill Peters played the hand he was dealt. He repeatedly asked for more players and did not get [...]
  • blinkman: I'd vote for Vellucci as next HC. Maybe Rod B could cut his teeth by back-filling for Vellucci in [...]
  • breezy: Like I said elsewhere, I think BP made the right choice, for himself and the team, and I wish him [...]
  • ashevillecaniac: I agree with Red's comments and have little to add. 1). BP made the best choice for everyone and [...]

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Hot From Twitter!

April 21, 2018 at 10:27am
Hope to find time to write about @NHLCanes Bill Peters resignation later today, but Coffee Shop is open for reader discussion here=>
April 21, 2018 at 12:50am
@club_retreats I think he is in the cheap dice roll category - too far removed from being/looking like a starting NHL goalie. He is the type I would love to have at the AHL level if the team had room for a veteran (which it probably doesn't next year).
April 20, 2018 at 11:17pm
As much as scrambling goaltending is usually a sign of eventual impending doom, it is the absolute most fun to watch.
April 20, 2018 at 8:21pm
And still no one believes me when I say it is going to to take bucket-style Jofa helmets.
April 20, 2018 at 4:22pm
If we lose any of ice cream, coffee or beer in the next round of #Canes hockey struggles, I'm out. There is only so much one person can take.
April 20, 2018 at 1:46pm
Does this mean that the @NHLCanes era of Kinetico water commercials has finally passed?

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