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

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...
Slotting the current Carolina Hurricanes defensemen

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...
Slotting the current Carolina Hurricanes forwards

Slotting the current Carolina Hurricanes forwards

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a shot at slotting the current Carolina Hurricanes forwards based on players’ level of play during the 2019-20 season in a Hurricanes uniform. A couple key disclaimers — First, for a few of these players, the sample size is very small. While I am not giving credit where it was not earned in short stretches, I also readily acknowledge that these players could quickly play to a higher level in 2020-21. Second, the 2019-20 version of the team that will largely remain intact was good enough to make the playoffs and compete reasonably well. So even if the roster is imperfect and not able to legitimately fill all of the top slots, that is not to say this is not a good hockey or one incapable of making the playoffs. Disclaimers aside, my aim is to be a tough but fair grader on where players slot based on performance not so much what they might do if they find a higher gear.   Top 6 forwards — Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Andrei Svechnikov Whether it makes sense to top load the lineup with Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov united on a true top line or possibly move Svechnikov elsewhere to help balance scoring, all three of these players legitimately fit somewhere in the top 6. And that really is all if I am going off of 2019-20 play and being fair.   Players with the potential to play up into top 6 group The most significant player in this group is Vincent Trocheck. He was obtained via trade very specifically to...
Evaluating Don Waddell for the 2019-20 season

Evaluating Don Waddell for the 2019-20 season

The 2018-19 NHL season was a breakthrough campaign for the Carolina Hurricanes. After a decade of playoff misses, the team found an extended hot streak in the second half of the regular season and climbed up into the playoffs and made a run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals to put a cherry on top. General Manager Don Waddell garnered and deserved significant credit for building a team capable of making the playoffs.   2018-19 success and results The first move was a small one that proved to be incredibly good. Waddell was able to convert Marcus Kruger who finished the prior season in the AHL into Jordan Martinook who has since become part of the team’s leadership and heart and soul. The bigger moves kicked off early with a big deal just as the 2018 NHL Draft was wrapping up. In a deal that clearly put a line in the sand between the past and present Hurricanes, Waddell swapped high pedigree young players Noah Hanifin and Elias Lindholm for Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and prospect Adam Fox. It is too early to put a final grade on that trade, but once he settled in, Hamilton was clearly an upgrade to Hanifin and played a key role in solidifying the blue line and was also a key contributor offensively during the stretch run. Waddell also added Calvin de Haan as a free agent. De Haan paired nicely with Justin Faulk during the front part of the season and helped Faulk find a significantly higher gear than the previous season. Maybe most significant was Waddell’s moves to revamp...
Transitioning to the next wave in the Hurricanes prospect pool

Transitioning to the next wave in the Hurricanes prospect pool

The past year has been a significant one for either using or punting on prospects from the draft classes a couple years back.   2014 Carolina Hurricanes draft class With Haydn Fleury establishing himself at the NHL level in 2019-20 and Alex Nedeljkovic seemingly destined to finally get some kind of chance in 2020-21, the top two draft picks after gradual, step-wise development are both at the NHL level, and Warren Foegele will be entering his third season in the NHL. Lucas Wallmark was included in the Vincent Trocheck trade. That leaves only Clark Bishop as a depth type player at the AHL level.   2015 Carolina Hurricanes draft class From the 2015 draft, first-rounder Noah Hanifin already had a trial and has been traded away, and Sebastian Aho quickly established himself at the NHL level too. The team traded Nicolas Roy last summer and Alesksi Saarela (who was acquired from the Rangers) the summer before.. This class still has a group of players in play, but they figure to be more depth players than top half of the lineup players. Spencer Smallman, Steven Lorentz and newly-signed David Cotton are still in the mix. Cotton probably has the greatest upside as a player just transitioning to the professional ranks, but he is 23 years old already.   2016 Carolina Hurricanes draft class The 2016 draft class has also gone through a significant sorting process this year. First-rounder Jake Bean will finally get some kind of audition in the 2020-21 season. The team parted way with its next three picks in Julien Gauthier and Janne Kuokkanen who were both traded...