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Recent Carolina Hurricanes News

Additional thoughts on Hurricanes acquisition of Nino Niederreiter

Shortly after the Hurricanes announced a trade that sent Victor Rask to Minnesota for Nino Niederreiter I posted my initial reactionto the trade HERE.  Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks at Nino Niederreiter’s deal from a couple other angles.   Where does Nino Niederreiter fit in the current lineup? The potential is there for Niederreiter to be a top 6 forward in the Hurricanes current lineup. He would need to rebound and score at a pace in the high end of his range to be slotted appropriately on one of the Canes first two lines. While there are no guarantees that it works, there is at least the potential that the Hurricanes upgraded scoring-wise. Though it is possible that Niederreiter starts on a lower line while he adjusts to a new team, I would expect that he will at least receive an audition on Aho or Staal’s line.   What, if any, are the financial implications? The additional salary cap of $1.25 million per year is modest, but I still think the Niederreiter’s acquisition could have a couple significant ripple effects. First, compared to the possibility of trading Rask away for futures, Niederreiter does cost $5.25 million for three more years. With the Hurricanes at the bottom of the NHL in terms of 2018-19 salary cap, this lone addition does not automatically spell the end for any Canes players. The current cost structure can fit Niederreiter without forcing the team to trade or not re-sign another player. In that regard, nothing changes with Sebastian Aho or Teuvo Teravainen who are both restricted free agents this summer. And at a... read more

Carolina Hurricanes trade Victor Rask for Nino Niederreiter

On Thursday afternoon the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they had traded center Victor Rask to the Minnesota Wild for wing Nino Niederreiter. At a basic level, the trade was a ‘change of scenery’ type swap of two mid-priced players who were underperforming relative to their salary and currently struggling to find a role with their current teams.   Victor Rask Less than two years ago, Victor Rask was signed to a six-year contract for $4 million per year. When signed, Rask was 22 years old and coming off of a 21-goal, 48-point season. Equally significantly, at the time he seemed to be still on the rise. That 48-point season was only his second in the NHL and was a nice step up from the 33 points that he scored as a rookie the year before. But the 2016-17 saw him plateau with a similar 45 points and five fewer goals. Then the 2017-18 season saw Rask take a significant step backwards especially in the first half of the season. When the dust settled on the 2017-18 season, Rask had rebounded enough late to offer some hope but was very clearly headed into the 2018-19 season needing to find a higher gear. With Sebastian Aho moving to center, Jordan Staal anchored in the second slot and the team hoping that Martin Necas would be ready for the NHL, Rask slotted as a depth forward ideally to end up in the C4 slot and hopefully rebound and play his way up from there. But then a kitchen accident delayed the start of his 2018-19 season. Now 26 games deep into the... read more

From off the radar to key contributor

When one considers the Carolina Hurricanes roster and difference-makers for the 2018-19 season to date, one of the things that jumps out is the number of players who were not expected to be part of the NHL mix at all but are instead playing key roles   Curtis McElhinney Top of the list of surprise difference-makers is Curtis McElhinney. He was not even on the roster toward the end of training camp but was added via waivers when Scott Darling was injured. Right now, the Hurricanes are three games above .500. Scott McElhinney is five games above .500. It is difficult to say where the Canes would be if they were instead still trying to convert Darling into a serviceable NHL goalie. Replaced: Scott Darling   Lucas Wallmark Wallmark had a strong preseason but still seemed destined for a return to the AHL if not for Victor Rask’s injury. Fast forward to today, and Wallmark is filling the difficult match up line role usually filled by Staal who is out with an injury. The jury is still out on whether he can find a higher gear offensively as he settles in at the NHL level, but regardless, Wallmark is already playing a significantly larger role than expected. Replaced: Victor Rask initially and then later Martin Necas (though indirectly).   Greg McKegg Despite being in the Hurricanes organization heading into training camp, Greg McKegg seemed very unlikely to factor in at the NHL level. Right now, the sample size is small but McKegg’s Canes debut and short burst of four points in seven games is worth watching. Replaced: Jordan Staal... read more

Checking In by Brandon Stanley: Charlotte Checkers New Year’s edition 1/7 – 1/13

In case you missed it yesterday and want to catch up, part 1 of 2 which you can find HERE had recaps of the Charlotte Checkers games from the first week of January.   In a year that had seen more downs than ups (until recently) for the Hurricanes, it was a little hard to get too excited about what’s happening in Charlotte. Sure, they’ve been utterly dominant at the highest level of hockey in North America outside of the NHL, but at times it felt a bit hollow with little improvement being visible with the parent team. But there’s a reason we pretty regularly hear and see quotes saying something along the lines of “they’re building something in Carolina”. When guys like Greg McKegg and Saku Maenalanen come up and show off the depth within the organization, adding some grit and jump to a struggling team, and a 7-in-8 streak gets ripped off, it starts to really feel like that quote is coming true. And they’re not even the prized prospects everyone is waiting on, lest we forget. Now, I am starting to get excited. It’s really getting easy to believe the Canes are well on their way. The next couple years the team is only going to strengthen with the incoming graduations, as guys like Saarela, Roy, Gauthier, Bean, and others continue to show incremental growth down on the farm. Not to mention the growth in store for Svechnikov, Wallmark, Foegele, and even the yep-he’s-still-only-21 Sebastian Aho. Oh, and in the pipeline, we’ve still got Mattheos, Fox, Geekie, Luostarinen, and so on. I don’t mean to pander.... read more

The state of the Canes’ 2018-19 season

Now halfway through January and a full five games past the halfway point, today’s Daily Cup of Joe assesses the current state of the Carolina Hurricanes, where the team stands with regard to pushing back up into the playoff chase and what lies ahead.   A December that very nearly killed the season The Hurricanes came within inches of completely ending the 2018-19 season in an abysmal December. After a rousing three-game winning streak at home over Thanksgiving, the Hurricanes then sputtered. The team did manage to go 1-1-1 in the last three games of November, but the team’s December was brutal. The Hurricanes were 1-4-1 in the first half of the month, and no better going 2-4 in the second half of the month. The 3-8-1 December was the kind of month that puts teams in the middle of the standings definitively on the underside of the playoff cut line.   An attempt to recover Just when the season seemed to be officially over at least in terms of playoff hopes, the Hurricanes surged. Counting a win on the last day of December, the Hurricanes won seven out of eight. The front part of the winning streak benefited from a weak schedule, but the second half featured impressive wins over the Blue Jackets, Islanders, Sabres and Predators in addition to a loss to the Lightning that was more good than bad. But even with the massive surge the Hurricanes entered action on Tuesday still four points out of a playoff spot (adjusted for games played). In rough terms, even after winning seven out of eight, the Hurricanes really... read more

Gm46 @NYR: Canes road struggles against Rangers continue in 6-2 loss

After winning seven out of eight and playing pretty well even in the loss, the Hurricanes laid an egg for the first time in 2019. The Canes were not going to just run through the rest of the schedule with nearly perfect play, so a game like Tuesday’s was inevitable. But a Hurricanes team that gave up too much in December does not have margin for error to allow a bad game to turn into a longer skid, so critical is for the Hurricanes to quickly regroup and get back on the winning side against a beatable Senators team on Friday. The Hurricanes were mediocre but not horrible early on. But in an anomaly, the team’s goaltending let it down a bit. First, Curtis McElhinney was beaten on what seemed like a harmless wrist shot from the blue line when McElhinney was unable to track the puck through a screen. Then he made an error later pursuing but not getting to a puck off the end boards. The result was a quick pass and shot into the net behind him. The third Rangers’ goal of the first period was more the result of the Hurricanes just being a step slow on a quick passing play. Saku Maenalanen scored in the middle of it all when a forechecking effort landing the puck on his stick for a point blank chance and finish. But the Hurricanes exited the first period with a 3-1 deficit. The second period did not yield the rebound that the team needed. Andrei Svechnikov took another stick penalty early. McElhinney was beaten through a hole on a... read more

Most Recent Comments

  • breezy: Bishiip was sent down to Clt and Staal is not expected back any time soon, so the team is set at [...]
  • breezy: 5 pts out of the next 3 games or start loading off pending UFAs for the best deal possible and look [...]
  • jaffmaster: First Goal is crucial, obviously. McKegg will have to clear waivers if sent down. I think he [...]
  • jaffmaster: You are right about Wilson. The Caps have him at just over 5 million which I think is a great deal [...]
  • raleightj: The repeated lack of effort, drive, intensity, commitment - this isn't a talent issue, this is a [...]

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January 20, 2019 at 1:54am
Up early, 'What I'm watching' style preview for #TakeWarning vs. #LetsGoOilers on Sunday night on @CanesOnFSCR is here=>
January 19, 2019 at 2:30pm
Who had Barry Trotz as the off-season's most significant acquisition? Because through mid-January he is exactly that.
January 19, 2019 at 2:16am
Belated and abbreviated recap and player notes from @NHLCanes disappointing, spirit-breaking 4-1 loss to #goSENSgo is here=>
January 18, 2019 at 11:20pm
This week is eerily reminiscent of #Canes recent past. Team is able to muster a push after it digs a hole, but for whatever reason (increased pressure? taking foot off pedal? Or...?) getting close again triggers floundering each and every time. This is the next hurdle...
January 18, 2019 at 4:03pm
@FisherJillian You're welcome. Well-deserved.

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