Categorizing the Hurricanes forwards on the way to building lines

Categorizing the Hurricanes forwards on the way to building lines

Yesterday’s Daily Cup of Joe worked player by player through the Hurricanes’ forward ranks identifying strengths, weaknesses and skill sets relative to building lines for the 2019-20 season. If you missed that prelude, you can find that article HERE. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a next step toward building lines but categorizing players into different skill sets and types.   Categories of players Centers — Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, Lucas Wallmark In reality, I think all four of the Hurricanes center slots are as close to set in stone as can be for this time including the other center Erik Haula. But if things do not click lineup-wise, Haula is slightly more likely to be moved to wing to try someone else in the middle of a third line aimed scoring. The other three are anchored at the center slot. Without the addition of a higher-end playmaking type center, Aho is the only real option to center a true top scoring line. And considering how quickly he adapted this role last season any ‘shaking things up’ would involve moving the wings around him. Jordan Staal is just phenomenal at what he does in the middle of the ice as an elite match up center. And Lucas Wallmark’s skill set is really only suited for this role. He does not have the wheels to play wing in Brind’Amour’s system, and even if he did giving up his greatest strength as a heady read/react center behind the play to instead put him a role where he would be sub-par just makes no sense. Where they fit: I think having this...
Player by player thoughts on building lines

Player by player thoughts on building lines

If you missed it yesterday, see where readers landed in a poll and I landed in the article for the next captain in my article about Justin Williams decision to step away from hockey at least for the time being. With Williams out of the picture and only a Saku Maenalanen decision likely left to finalize the forward group within the organization, today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers player by player thoughts on building lines.   Sebastian Aho The primary thing with Aho is to make sure he is surrounded by players who can benefit from his playmaking. Aho more than any other player on the team boosts his line mates ability to score. Micheal Ferland benefited early in the season. Nino Niederreiter rode a hot streak through the middle. And Justin Williams finished strong playing with Aho. If at any point Aho’s wings seem to hit a lull for too long, it is time for next man up to benefit from the scoring opportunities Aho generates. As such, he should primarily be flanked by players who can excel at putting the puck in the net. That group could include Niederreiter, Svechnikov, Teravainen and possibly Dzingel or Necas rising up.   Teuvo Teravainen Teravainen has shown chemistry with Aho. The sometimes issue with Teravainen is a propensity to too much look pass first. On a line with a couple finishers, that could be okay, but when he plays with Aho he needs to play with the mentality of a player whose bread and butter is scoring 35 goals. Too often he does not. Worth noting is that his game...
Justin Williams to “step away from the game”

Justin Williams to “step away from the game”

Just in time for a Labor Day brunch, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that Justin Williams would not be joining the team. The wording was interesting in that it did not use the word “retire.” The title read, “Williams Announces Break from NHL.” Inside the team news release, the words “…step away from the game” were used. The word “unsure” was also included and Williams made mention of just not being physically or mentally ready at this point. I recommend reading the full news release as it has a good amount of meaningful comments instead of boilerplate terms.   You first! Who should be the Carolina Hurricanes next captain? Sebastian Aho Justin Faulk Jordan Martinook Brett Pesce Jaccob Slavin Jordan Staal Other (Write in Comments) View Results  Loading ...   Where Justin Williams left off after the 2018-19 season From the very first press conference that Justin Williams did (but Bill Peters somehow missed), he returned to help boost the Carolina Hurricanes back to NHL relevancy. With a contagiously fun vibe around the team established, a return to the playoffs and even playoff success, one could make a strong case that Justin Williams had accomplished what he returned to do. A case could be made that he had done his part to change the trajectory of the team and that timing was right for him to retire from the NHL on a high note. And if that is ultimately what happened (or happens?), Justin Williams will be no less of a great as a Carolina Hurricanes player. But at the same time, there was very clearly a role left for...
Considering Jesse Puljujarvi

Considering Jesse Puljujarvi

As we creep closer and closer to training camp with multiple high-end restricted free agents not yet signed and many of their teams in challenging situations trying match up what they have for salary cap remaining, not breaking their budget for their future and being pushed for fair value from star players, the Sebastian Aho offer sheet increasingly looks like a hockey blessing. The Hurricanes do still have Roland McKeown, Saku Maenalanen and Justin Williams unsigned with Williams being the big question mark. But with or without Justin Williams, the window is always open for a late August trade to try to further improve the team. On that front, one interesting name being bandied around right now is Jesse Puljujarvi. On NHL Network today, Elliotte Friedman named the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning as two possible destinations for Puljujarvi.   Jesse Puljujarvi’s history Puljujarvi was part of a dominant Finnish line that included Patrik Laine and was centered by Sebastian Aho at the World Junior tournament during the 2015-16 season. That tournament propelled Laine and Puljujarvi up the draft rankings with Laine ultimately drafted second overall and Puljujarvi fourth in the 2016 NHL Draft. (Aho has a bit earlier birthday, so we was already drafted in 2015 with the Hurricanes scooping him up in the second round before he too caught attention.) Laine and Puljujarvi headed to the NHL with high expectations. Laine met those expectations instantly with 36 goals in his rookie season. Puljujarvi had some growing pains adjusting the NHL and ultimately headed to the AHL after a short not particularly productive stint in the NHL....
Canes catch up: Cam Ward, Stelio Mattheos, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin, and prospect rankings

Canes catch up: Cam Ward, Stelio Mattheos, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin, and prospect rankings

Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a small grab bag of catch up items.   Cam Ward The big news today was that Cam Ward had signed a 1-day contract to retire from the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes. The move leaves only Eric Staal and (possibly?) Justin Williams from the 2006 Stanley Cup champions still slated to play NHL hockey in the upcoming season. As a player in a key role during both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for the franchise, his name still conjures up a wide range of thoughts and emotions. But above the fray of a thousand different angles on his Hurricanes hockey career, three things stand out to me. First, during good times and bad, he never once once wavered from being a class individual. Second, he along with Eric Staal have been as big of a part of our hockey community as any player during the past decade-ish for better or for worse. Finally, though there were obviously significant dry spells around them, his highlights truly fit into the special category. The bookends of his shootout win that launched his NHL career and receiving the Conn Smythe Trophy made for one of the most magical seasons in team history. And though the run ended sooner, Ward featured prominently in the 2009 playoff run that also had its share of magic.   Stelio Mattheos Earlier this week, it was announced that Canes prospect Stelio Mattheos had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He has diagnosed shortly after the Checkers season ended and has been undergoing treatment. Per the press release, he...