Comparing the current Carolina Hurricanes lineup to the 2018-19 version that pushed into the playoffs

Comparing the current Carolina Hurricanes lineup to the 2018-19 version that pushed into the playoffs

While steering clear of the high risk bidding war range of the market, the Hurricanes have completed a couple rounds of lower profile but still quality transactions to build out most of the 2018-19 roster. With only about $7 million in cap space remaining and Justin Williams (if he returns), Brock McGinn and Haydn Fleury yet to be re-signed, the current version of the Hurricanes could be pretty close to the one that takes the ice on opening night. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe compares the current roster to the team from the second half of the 2018-19 season that pushed up into the playoffs.   In goal Curtis McElhinney is replaced by some combination of James Reimer, Alex Nedeljkovic and possibly Anton Forsberg if needed. I would consider this change to be a wash but would also acknowledge that there is some risk. McElhinney was pretty solid in the second half of the 2018-19 season even when Mrazek was rising up to become the starter. So anything short of solid from Reimer and/or Nedeljkovic would represent a downgrade. Reimer is a proven NHL goalie but is coming off a down season. Nedeljkovic had a stellar 2018-19 season at the AHL level but is unproven at the NHL level. In: James Reimer or Alex Nedeljkovic  //  Out: Curtis McElhinney Net: Breakeven with modest increase in downside risk for second goalie slot.   On defense Calvin de Haan is subtracted and right now likely to be replaced internally with Jake Bean and Haydn Fleury most likely to see additional NHL ice time. Jake Bean is interesting because he has the...
Carolina Hurricanes sign forward Ryan Dzingel for two years at $3.375 million per year

Carolina Hurricanes sign forward Ryan Dzingel for two years at $3.375 million per year

On Friday, the Hurricanes announced that the team had signed forward Ryan Dzingel to a two-year contract for $3.375 million per year. I will add details to my initial thoughts/comments on Twitter from Friday morning.   Good signing in terms of price vs. value vs. risk 1/? Really good signing by #Canes. Price/risk/caliber of player math is incredibly good for proven middle 6 player. #TakeWarning https://t.co/BlHgo9P1mn — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) July 12, 2019 At the simplest level, the signing is a solid non-flashy signing. In Ryan Dzingel, the Hurricanes added a proven middle 6 forward who is coming off a strong season with 26 goals and 56 points. A bit like Erik Haula, Dzingel is another capable forward who at a minimum is above the third line replacement level offensively. Also like Haula (if he recovers to 100 percent after leg injury), Dzingel is another player who is a perfect fit for Brind’Amour’s style that emphasizes pace, pressure and forechecking. Dzingel can fly and naturally plays and aggressive style of hockey. He naturally slots at left wing but could also play on the right side if needed. On a financial level, one has to like this deal. He adds another player with two-term and a reasonable $3.4 million that is the going rate for good third-line forwards in today’s NHL. Dzingel offers upside from a third-line salary as evidenced by his 2018-19 offensive production. The two-year term pegs the risk at an absolute minimum. And the lack of any no-trade/no-movement clauses maximizes flexibility going forward.   Another component for building a second scoring line 2/? Ryan Dzingel is...
Carolina Hurricanes free agent signings and ‘deals I would steal’

Carolina Hurricanes free agent signings and ‘deals I would steal’

With the lion’s share of the free agent signings completed, today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a few minutes to look at how the Hurricanes did with their modest play in free agency and makes a short list of ‘deals I would steal.’   Petr Mrazek The Hurricanes big move was to re-sign Petr Mrazek. That deal was a very good one based on comparables. The Islanders committed four years at $5 million per year to Semyon Varlamov, and the Blackhawks paid $5 million for one year for Robin Lehner. Those were the other two goalies in the same category as Mrazek, so signing Mrazek for two years at only $3.125 million per year was a nice discount in my opinion.   Deals I would steal History shows that the winners of the biggest free agent bidding wars more often than not become the biggest losers later. In a open market bidding situation where there is not enough supply to match the demand, basic economics says that there is a significant risk of overpayment. So in general, I am fine with the Hurricanes mostly sitting out the July 1 frenzy. But every year there are a couple deals that I would gladly steal if given the opportunity. Important to note is that many of these deals would not have been available to the Hurricanes, so this is not to say that the team passed on these opportunities.   Joe Pavelski (3 years at $7 million per year) Pavelski clearly fits as a deal that would never have been available to the Hurricanes. Pavelski only considered a handful of teams...
Carolina Hurricanes quick hitters — Micheal Ferland, Brian Gibbons and Ryan Warsofsky

Carolina Hurricanes quick hitters — Micheal Ferland, Brian Gibbons and Ryan Warsofsky

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a small batch of quick hitters.   Micheal Ferland Micheal Ferland has reportedly signed a four-year deal for $3.5 million per year with the Vancouver Canucks. What started as a gap between the team and Ferland during the winter and seemed to grow as time passed likely made it impossible that Ferland was going to return, but on a simple financial level, the deal is in the neighborhood of something I would have considered. Even considering some injury risk $3.5 million per year is a fair price for a player with a unique skill set and capability of being a good complementary top 6 forward. That $3.5 million yearly salary is increasingly a third line rate, and even on a bad day Ferland is at least that. The tougher question is the risk that comes with the four year term. I would jump at that salary for two years. I would probably still take it at three years. At four years, it becomes a bit tougher and probably something I pass on with some hesitation. I view Ferland as a player who proved capable of being a complementary player with the ability to match pace and finish enough to be a productive scorer. In addition, I think his ability to be a physical disruptor is underrated. Ferland’s combination of skating and brute force makes the ice dangerous for opposing players with the result being players peeking up from the puck and sometimes getting rid of it early. The Hurricanes have not really replaced Ferland’s physical edge and role as ultimate policeman, and I...
Carolina Hurricanes players with wide ranges for the 2019-20 season — Alex Nedeljkovic, Warren Foegele and Andrei Svechnikov

Carolina Hurricanes players with wide ranges for the 2019-20 season — Alex Nedeljkovic, Warren Foegele and Andrei Svechnikov

Yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe had higher or lower than arbitrary consensus for Canes players Haydn Fleury, Lucas Wallmark and Justin Williams. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks at a group of players whose range of possibilities are, in my opinion, wide such that whether they land on the high end or low end of those ranges could decide the fate of the Carolina Hurricanes 2019-20 season.   Alex Nedeljkovic Nedeljkovic did all he could do at the AHL level during the 2018-19 season being arguably the Checkers’ best player in the second half of the season and netminding his way to a Calder Cup championship. No doubt, Nedeljkovic is ready for a look at the NHL level. No doubt, he has the pedigree and potential to play a role at the NHL level. But predicting NHL success based on AHL play just does not generally work. There are any number of very good career AHL goalies who just do not have NHL stuff. And there are also goalies who do not seem to project to the NHL level who receive an opportunity, seize it and excel and then never look back. With James Reimer in the picture at least as of now, predicting Nedeljkovic’s impact on the Hurricanes 2019-20 season becomes even murkier. Could Nedeljkovic be one of those rookies like Jordan Binnington who gets a chance and runs with it? Or might he struggle a bit initially and take some time to adjust to the NHL level just like he did the AHL level a couple of years ago?   Warren Foegele His season was an odd...