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Recent Carolina Hurricanes News

Similarities between the 2018-19 Carolina Hurricanes and the 2005-06 team

If you missed it yesterday, be sure to see where fans land with regard to the Carolina Hurricanes captaincy for the 2018-19 season in the polls with the article on that subject yesterday. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe will dial up a dose of optimism by looking at similarities between the current state of the Carolina Hurricanes and the 2005-06 team that rose up from low expectations to shock everyone and hoist the Stanley Cup. To be clear, my point is not to predict that the same will happen but rather to remind everyone that in the topsy turvy NHL, it is in fact possible. A new(ish) coach of the rally the troops variety In 2005-06, Peter Laviolette was not technically a new coach. He had closed out a 2003-04 season behind the Hurricanes bench. But it was his first full season with the Hurricanes. Rod Brind’Amour will similarly represent a coaching change and hopefully a new attitude and mentality. More significantly, best guess is that Brind’Amour will bring some of Laviolette’s style challenging players and pushing them to find a higher level.   The departure of a scoring star For the first time since the 2009-10 season, the Hurricanes will be without Jeff Skinner. Somewhat like Jeff O’Neill, Skinner had become a leading scorer and veteran despite his young age, but as a player who never really rounded out his game, the team opted to part ways with him rather than work to ink him to an extension. The situation looks a bit like Jeff O’Neill’s from the 2005-06. At the same time that Rod Brind’Amour was digging... read more

Considering the Carolina Hurricanes captaincy

Last summer, I expected that Justin Williams would be named the Carolina Hurricanes captain for the 2017-18 season. Instead, the team made the puzzling non-decision decision to name Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal co-captains.  And at least partly because of that decision, here we are again a year later contemplating options for the Hurricanes captain. Cutting to the chase, I vote again for Justin Williams. Though it could ruffle feathers, I still think it is the simplest choice and the right choice. With Rod Brind’Amour now in charge, I think Williams definitely gets an elevated role, but whether or not that means a ‘C’ is yet to be determined. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a broader look at the likely options for resolving the captaincy. Brind’Amour is on record as saying that the team would have a single captain so that is considered.   Take redo on 2017-18 and go with Justin Williams Especially given Brind’Amour’s affinity for him, I think odds are that Justin Williams is named the captain. A potential negative is that it jumps him ahead of Staal and Faulk (if Faulk is still in a Canes uniform). That could ruffle some feathers, but I think three things mitigate this concern. First, I trust that Brind’Amour would handle this well which would go a long way toward mending any hurt feelings. Second, after the spring implosion last year, I am actually not against ruffling feathers a bit. That is actually one of the positives of naming Williams captain. It rocks the boat a bit and charts a new course which part of what this team needs.... read more

Wild cards for Carolina Hurricanes training camp

The Carolina Hurricanes will enter training camp with a good chance that three or more rookies land in the opening day lineup. Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov each seem to have a better than 50 percent chance of making the opening day lineup. By virtue of short but impressive auditions last spring, Warren Foegele and Valentin Zykov would also seem to be in the mix for a roster spot. But even beyond the rookies who have played their way up into the mix already, I think there are a couple wild cards worth watching.   Michael Fora The 22-year old Swiss defenseman was signed as a free agent this summer. If the Hurricanes trade Justin Faulk as I expect, the team will be six deep on the blue line but without any obvious #7. Trevor Carrick has seemingly played his way up to that kind of role, but for whatever reason the team has never really given him a chance in that role. And no one else in the AHL has much for NHL experience. I think it is reasonably likely that the team will utilize the waiver wire to add a #7 defenseman, but I also think that Fora is an interesting wild card. The Hurricanes signed him because of his play in international play against NHL-ish competition. If he can dial it up to NHL speed in training camp, could he be another Niclas Wallin who makes the jump straight from Europe to the NHL in a depth role? He could quickly show that he needs AHL seasoning which is the most likely outcome, but maybe not.... read more

Carolina Hurricanes announce Traverse City Tourney roster

On Wednesday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced the roster that would compete in the 2018 Traverse City prospects tourney in September. The full roster can be found HERE.   The missing The first thing that jumps out when looking at the roster is how many players are not actually Carolina Hurricanes prospects. Nine of the 21 players who will put on a Hurricanes uniform are not actually drafted prospects. That is because so many of the Hurricanes prospects are playing either in the NCAA or Europe and therefore unable to participate. Both groups are already starting their respective seasons. From the past two drafts (the primary age range for this tourney), the Hurricanes have five draftees who will be starting up in Europe in September and three more who will be starting classes in the NCAA ranks. That does not even count Martin Necas and Andrei Svechnikov who will be playing. In addition, the Hurricanes also have three NCAA draftees from the 2016 draft class and two more from the 2015 draft class who might also participate if able.   A strong forward group The result is a top-heavy roster. Maybe only because the team is short on players, Nicolas Roy, Janne Kuokkanen, Aleksi Saarela and Julien Gauthier who played in the AHL last year are returning. Combined with Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas, that gives the team a ton of fire power to build out a couple of scoring lines. Kuokannen/Roy/Gauthier saw some time together in the AHL and could be reunited. Saarela could be a good fit with Necas and Svechnikov. That still leaves Morgan Geekie, Stelio Mattheos,... read more

Reconsidering the forward lines post-Jeff Skinner

Last week, I posted an article that attempted to tally the Hurricanes 2018-19 goal scoring simply by listing and totaling goals for the current lineup of 18 skaters. That all changed on Thursday when the Hurricanes announced that the team had traded Jeff Skinner for prospect Cliff Pu and three draft picks. As I said in the comments for that article, I think math that just subtracts 25-30 goals for Jeff Skinner overstates the problem. Someone else will fill the roster spot and a spot in the top 9 which should be good for at least 10 if not 15 goals. Further, Skinner’s departure frees up a bit more power play ice time that should net a few more goals for whoever gets that ice time. So if he is replaced internally, I view Skinner’s departure as a loss of 10-15 goals. I am also on record since early July as believing that a domino effect was likely with Justin Faulk being traded to add a scoring-capable forward to replace Jeff Skinner before Skinner was traded for futures. The order would obviously be different, but I still think that is quite possible. I revisited that in some detail in Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe. Regardless, Skinner’s departure sets a new landscape in terms of setting Carolina Hurricanes forward lines for the 2018-19 season. Here is my early projection for how I think it shakes out.   Top scoring line – “If it ain’t broke (sic), don’t fix it” The core: Sebastian Aho/Teuvo Teravainen The line: Valentin Zykov or Micheal Ferland / Sebastian Aho / Teuvo Teravainen When I read... read more

Meanwhile…Building the Carolina Hurricanes’ future

Thus far, the summer has been a tumultuous one. As forewarning of things to come, Ron Francis was let go suddenly after the trade deadline. Since then the changeover has been significant. Head Coach Bill Peters left and later Assistant Coach Steve Smith. Emerging young players Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin were traded. Free agents Cam Ward, Derek Ryan, Lee Stempniak, Joakim Nordstrom and Klas Dahlbeck departed. And most recently, long-time star Jeff Skinner was traded. The headlines have been fast, furious and significant such that they have captured most of the attention of media and fans tracking the team. But quietly and somewhat behind the scenes, the team has had a strong offseason in terms of boosting its prospect pool and with it the hope for the future.   The 2018 NHL Draft The big news transpired when the Hurricanes vaulted up the draft table at the lottery and won the #2 overall pick and the right to draft Andrei Svechnikov  which they did. Svechnikov will likely leapfrog right past the prospect pool and into the NHL, but that is obviously a good problem to have. Minus a pick from the standard allotment of seven, the Hurricanes added six players which is actually one fewer than the standard seven picks each team receives.   Scouting the world and adding older prospects But the Hurricanes added two older prospects from Europe as free agents to boost their prospect pool. At 24 years old Finnish forward Saku Maenalanen is not the prototypical young but with potential down the road type prospect. Rather, he looks a bit more like Derek Ryan... read more

Most Recent Comments

  • breezy: Well, honestly I am just trying to drum up some enthusiasm for the season in my head, not founded [...]
  • andintheopenair: Note: I didn’t include Martinook in the count of 11 NHL forwards and probably should [...]
  • andintheopenair: On dark horses, I couldn’t venture a guess until we see how the blue line shakes out. If Faulk [...]
  • puckgod: To be honest, I'm not sure what you think, but...doing less than 100% in order to make this team a [...]
  • breezy: Let's just remember that, though promising, the Checkers, which comprise a lot of the promising [...]

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