Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Canes resume preseason dominance with 3-0 win

Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Canes resume preseason dominance with 3-0 win

Picking up right where they left off steam rolling the competition in preseason action under Rod Brind’Amour, the Hurricanes scored early and ran to a solid 3-0 win in Tampa. Both rosters were light on NHL talent, so I would not read anything into this in terms of the regular season, but winning still beats losing and the immediate return of the pressuring forecheck is encouraging. I caught only the second and third periods due to another commitment, but here are short notes from that.   Brian Gibbons and Max McCormick Flanking Morgan Geekie, the veteran AHL duo had a strong game and contributed on the score sheet. What stood out more than the scoring was how well both players fit what Brind’Amour wants to do. Both skate well and push aggressively both pursuing and playing with the puck. The comparison is to Greg McKegg who was similarly a veteran AHLer with some NHL experience and a skill set that fits the Canes forechecking style.   Morgan Geekie He had a strong game. The jury is still out on his ability to match NHL pace, but his game, especially on the offensive side of the puck, is mature. The McCormick rebound goal came on a heady play that saw a well-defended Geekie shift just enough to change shooting angle off the rush, put the puck on net and set up a rebound chance.   Jake Bean I feel like I am going to oscillate daily on his potential as an NHLer. He looked every bit of a player who was a notch above the competition in the prospect tourney....
Hurricanes prospects on the contract clock

Hurricanes prospects on the contract clock

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a step away from the here and now of preseason hockey to look at the group of Carolina Hurricanes prospects who must be signed after the 2019-20 season when their draft rights expire or otherwise be lost to free agency. Below is the group of players in this category with a quick assessment of each.   David Cotton Cotton was drafted as an NCAA player, so the Hurricanes have maintained his rights for four year. His graduation year is this year, so the Hurricanes have until next August to sign him. If they do not, Cotton can become a free agent like Chase Priskie did this summer before signing with the Hurricanes. Cotton has made step-wise progress and returned as a veteran leader to the prospect camp this summer. He showed well in that week against young players and was also just named the captain for Boston College. He has NHL speed and good skating ability. That combined with steady progress in terms of his skills, makes him a near certainty to sign an entry-level contract with the Hurricanes as long as he does not instead prefer the free agent route that is now available to him.   Matt Filipe Like Cotton, Matt Filipe was a veteran leader for prospect camp this summer. And also like Cotton, Filipe has good size and skates well enough to have NHL potential. He also possesses a good shot. I think Filipe is also a near certainty to be offered an entry-level contract. The risk again is if he instead prefers to wait until August and go...
‘What I’m watching’ — Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Chance to make a lasting impression

‘What I’m watching’ — Preseason Gm1 @Tam: Chance to make a lasting impression

As is standard for early preseason road games, the Hurricanes roster that takes the ice on Tuesday night in Tampa, Florida will be light on NHL talent. More of the NHL group will play the turnaround home game on Wednesday in Raleigh. But that is not to say that games like this are not important. Instead, these games are absolutely critical for depth players who will have limited opportunities to make an impression on Rod Brind’Amour and the coaching staff. In 2018-19, Warren Foegele used a strong preseason start to move up the depth chart and get preseason ice time with NHLers. And Greg McKegg had a strong preseason that no doubt put him near the top of the list for future call ups. He later returned to Raleigh and played the second half of the year at the NHL level. Similar opportunities exist this preseason which begins tonight. Adam Gold from 99.9 The Fan posted the expected line combinations from the morning skate in Raleigh: So…here’s how the @CanesNHL will line up in Tampa tonight… Brock-Wally-MartyKuokk-Luostarinen-GauthierMcCormick-Suzuki-GibbonsMarkison-Geekie-Pritchard Bean-PesceFleury-McKeownSellgren-Wood ReimerForsberg Should be seeing McElhinney for the Bolts — Adam Gold (@AGoldFan) September 17, 2019 So parsing through that lineup and considering what I said above, here is ‘what I’m watching’ for Tuesday’s game:   1) Prospects standing out — Janne Kuokkanen, Julien Gauthier, Morgan Geekie and Jake Bean Kuokkanen, Gauthier and Bean represent three of the four players that I identified in Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe article that identified potential dark horses. As noted in that article, there is not much room for players to win slots right now, but...
Carolina Hurricanes potential dark horses

Carolina Hurricanes potential dark horses

Tuesday marks the start of the Carolina Hurricanes preseason slate with a road game in Tampa. The addition of Jake Gardiner makes the Canes blue line pretty full without much room for surprises. With Justin Williams and Saku Maenalanen’s late decisions not to return, there could be a bit more room at forward especially if the team encounters an early injury. And in net, the logical starting point is the two goalies on one-way contracts. The Hurricanes enter preseason without much for room for players to win open slots, but nonetheless today’s Daily Cup of Joe identifies a couple possible dark horses.   In goal Alex Nedeljkovic Regardless of how he plays in preseason, and I do figure he will see some game action, Alex Nedeljkovic is almost certainly destined to start the season in the AHL. But I do think the team wants and needs to get him some NHL ice time to evaluate him for the 2020-21 season if not sooner. As such, I think this training camp is an important one for Nedeljkovic. More so than just level of play, he needs to show the demeanor of a capable NHL netminder. If he looks ready, Nedeljkovic should punch his ticket to return to the NHL level if/when there is an opening and also be given ice time when he does.   At forward Janne Kuokkanen Kuokkanen was out with an injury when both the Checkers and Canes surged in the second half of the year. That combined with having maybe a somewhat lower ceiling than a couple other young guns, and Kuokkanen is a bit of...
Random Canes musings: 4D chess with Faulk, Julius Honka rumor, Fredrik Claesson PTO and Trevor van Riemsdyk status

Random Canes musings: 4D chess with Faulk, Julius Honka rumor, Fredrik Claesson PTO and Trevor van Riemsdyk status

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe has a small but interesting batch of random Canes musings.   4D chess on the Justin Faulk trade rumors After a wild day when rumors that Justin Faulk could be traded to Anaheim broke on Monday, it has been pretty quiet on that front since. My original article on that topic is HERE. Justin Faulk deserves a huge amount of credit for putting in a couple solid practices with the news swirling around and being a good sport answering questions about it at his stall afterward. I have no inside information on the current status of that situation, but here is an interesting possibility that is outside the realm of what is currently being considered. It has been reported that the Hurricanes and Justin Faulk discussed a next contract back in June, and at least as reported have not discussed it since. The assumption is that Faulk was asking for full market price and for long-term which would suggest something in the $7-8 million range within which Jacob Trouba just signed. The thought is that this range was more than the Hurricanes cared to pay which at least in part is what started the team down the trade path that it seems to currently be on. The addition of Jake Gardiner put the Hurricanes back at five top 4 defensemen which would make it feasible to trade Faulk now without undermanning the blue line. In addition, with the trade of Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin last summer after early season contract talks, there is precedent for pretty quickly dealing players whose contract demands do...