Update on the trade market

Update on the trade market

Barely more than a weekend away from Monday’s 2020 NHL trade deadline, today’s Daily Cup of Joe checks in on the market and possibilities from a Hurricanes standpoint. If you missed it, my original preview is HERE.   Blue line frenzy The market for top 4-(ish) defensemen that I have as the Canes priority has been both a busy and pricey one. Marco Scandella who I would consider more to be depth defensemen rather than true top 4 yielded 2nd and 4th round picks. Andy Greene who is a great veteran but also more of a depth option in my opinion at this stage of his career collected and 2nd round pick and a prospect. Dylan Dimelo netted a third round pick. Higher-end options  netted even more. Brenden Dillon garnered a 2nd and a 3rd round pick. Alec Martinez netted two 2nd round picks. Just like that, the list of available defensemen is shorter by five already. I liked Martinez as a capable veteran to possibly slot next to Brett Pesce for the remainder of the 2019-20 season but also importantly for the 2020-21 season too. But as I said on Twitter, I am completely fine with the Hurricanes passing at these prices and shopping what is left later or even just skipping it altogether. The type of players being moved so far are capable players but not so much huge difference-makers that I would dig deep to land. With Martinez and Dillon off the table, two of the four players that I named as targets are still out there. I had Jonas Brodin as the best option who...
Carolina Hurricanes trade Julien Gauthier to Rangers for defenseman Joey Keane

Carolina Hurricanes trade Julien Gauthier to Rangers for defenseman Joey Keane

Today the Carolina Hurricanes announced that the team had traded forward Julien Gauthier to the New York Rangers for defenseman Joey Keane. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks at the deal from multiple angles.   Joey Keane First and foremost, the trade brings defenseman Joey Keane to the Hurricanes system. Keane is a 20-year old right shot defenseman who is playing in his first season as a professional at the AHL level. He will report to Charlotte and continue his AHL season. Keane was drafted in the third round of the 2018 NHL Draft and is two years younger than Gauthier. I have not yet had time to check in with contacts who track the Rangers and their prospects closely, so I will not pretend that I can provide a ton of details about Keane. Hope is to gather more information in the next few days.   Julien Gauthier – A complex situation Historically The story with Julien Gauthier well before the Hurricanes drafted him seemed to have two sides. As a young player built in a new school power forward mold with a 6 foot 4 inch, 225-pound frame but with agility, speed and skating ability, his potential ceiling was incredibly high. But even as an 18-year old there were questions about other areas of his game. Originally a player who many expected to be a top 5 pick, Gauthier fell to the Hurricanes at #21 because of these questions. In his draft year, Gauthier posted a solid 41 goals but only 16 assists which some interpreted as him not being a well-rounded player or maybe not having...
Gm59 @Nas: Canes ride one of most complete games of the season to 4-1 win over Predators

Gm59 @Nas: Canes ride one of most complete games of the season to 4-1 win over Predators

After a decent but imperfect three points out of four at home over the weekend, the Hurricanes had a single road game on Tuesday on Nashville before returning home Friday. Against a Predators team that came in with three straight wins, the Canes posted one of their most complete games of the season on the way to a 4-1 win. The Hurricanes started strong which has been a rarity of late. The couple penalties that they took were defending scoring chances, and the penalty kill came through. The team was again led by the top line which was on fire, but balance which has been mostly missing was also there. When I look back through the schedule, the last game that I would consider comparing to this one was 3-0 win at home over Arizona on January 10. If one wanted to pick a recent game to model the rest of the season after, Tuesday’s game would be it.   Recap of Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators The game started with the Hurricanes dialing things up out of the gate. The Hurricanes had six of the first seven shots and struck first when a good effort by Jordan Staal’s line. First, Justin Williams helped win a 50/50 face-off. Then the group headed to the front of the net to make a mess. Finally, Williams retrieved the puck behind the net and fed Staal who finished. Momentum was slowed a bit when Sebastian Aho took a penalty, but even that was a contrast to recent struggles. As opposed to being an unnecessary penalty, Aho was battling to defend...
‘What I’m watching’ — Gm59 Vs. Nas: With moms in tow, Canes take on Preds in Music City

‘What I’m watching’ — Gm59 Vs. Nas: With moms in tow, Canes take on Preds in Music City

After losing in overtime in game 1 of the mom’s trip, the Hurricanes will play game 2 in Nashville after what was certainly a fun Monday. Aside from the family fun, another two points in the standings are available and obviously critical this time of year. In today’s Daily Cup of Joe, I handicapped the playoff competition in what is a crowded race for the last four playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. With the Blue Jackets and Flyers who sit just above the Canes in the standings going head-to-head on Tuesday and again on Thursday, the Canes can definitely climb the standings ladder if they can win this week. The opponent is a Nashville Predators team that is also scratching and clawing for every point they can get. The Predators are currently three points out of a wild card spot but have three and four games in hand respectively over the two current wild card teams. The Predators are also trending upward with three straight wins. On the Canes side of the ledger, the team continues to be up and down. Struggling to play sound games capable of squeaking out low-scoring wins on lesser nights, the Canes tend to be feast or famine right now. Either the team scores in bunches and wins in dramatic fashion, or the team gives up too much and loses. My watch points for Thursday’s match up follow.   ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Nashville Predators 1) The top line Regardless of the ups and downs, the best thing going right now in the Cania-verse is the line of Sebastian...
Handicapping the playoff chase competition

Handicapping the playoff chase competition

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a quick look at the competition that the Canes have for a spot in the 2020 NHL playoffs.   The standings With 24 games to go, my standings math that adjusts for games played has the Canes tied for the eighth and final playoff spot and winning the tiebreaker. Bigger picture, the race right now has six teams within four points of each other and battling for four playoff spots. In play are the #3 slot for both divisions and both wild card slots. There are a couple other teams (Canadiens, Sabres, Rangers) that are not completely out of the race yet, but are long shots to catch and pass so many teams.   Toronto Maple Leafs Of the teams in the hunt, the Maple Leafs are team most worth watching for Hurricanes fans. The Hurricanes own the team’s first-round draft pick in the upcoming draft, so a playoff miss would likely maximize where that pick lands. The Leafs have been on brink of collapse a couple times. A coaching change served as shock paddles earlier in the year, and more recently the team has been able to somehow stabilize things despite injuries on the blue line and in net. The Leafs have been treading water a bit lately, are still banged up on defense and are starting difficult stretch of schedule. Can they sink one more time and not rebound?   Florida Panthers The Panthers have had an up and down 2019-20 season. After a slow start, they pushed up the standings but more recently have stumbled again. After a six-game winning streak,...