I am a bit behind on posting them, but after receiving and posting some great reader articles this summer, we decided to do it again for the Hurricanes’ bye week. Below is the first of a short series of reader posts on different Hurricanes hockey topics. A huge thank you to everyone who submitted articles!
Submitted by Michael Perlmutter
My name is Michael Perlmutter and I’ve been a Canes fan my whole life. This was easy to do considering how I’m from Greensboro, NC so I saw the Canes in their inaugural season and have followed them ever since. But I didn’t start following them religiously until 05-06. From then on my family became mini-season ticket holders until I went off to college at NC State in the fall of 2011. It was then I made the condition to my parents if they wanted me to attend school in-state (NC State’s College of Design), they’d have to become full season ticket holders to keep me around. And for some silly reason they listened and now here I am- a post-grad graphic designer/animator living in Raleigh. I am still attending as many Canes games as I humanly can from season to season in hopes to see our boys in red rise to the glory of making the postseason once more. Funny enough, I now happen to work at the sign company that does all of the signs for PNC Arena, and there I have become widely known as an unpaid Canes representative which is made plain by how decked out my cubicle is with Caniac memorabilia of seasons present and past. This has progressed to the point where one of the first things people ask me in the office is “how are the Canes doing?”. Needless to say, I think I might finally be doing Lord Stanley’s work of attracting new fans. 🙂
That Avalanche thing
Alas, we’re now less than 2 weeks from the deadline and our fortune feels unremarkably the same: close but not out. Such has been the beaten story for some time meow, and no, that’s not an alternative fact although I wish it was. That reality aside, let’s bask in the hilarity and glory of pre-trade deadline conjecture shall we. So it would seem Colorado has the most intriguing trade asset on the market now and you guessed it, his name is Matt Duchene. But oh, what the Faulk is this I hear and see, Justin to Colorado in exchange for Duchene. Take a whiff folks, this smells like way too high a price to pay. And Ron Francis (RF) aka Ronnie Franchise doesn’t strike me as the kind of GM who buys high on other people’s terms for that matter.
Ron Francis’ trade history
Let’s examine all of Ronnie Franchise’s best wheels and deals.
Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell acquired from Chicago all for the mere price of a 2016 2nd rd pick, and a 2017 3rd rd pick. #Fleeced
Eric Staal to the NY Rangers for prospect Aleksi Saarela, NYR’s 2nd rd picks of 2016 & 2017.
Andrej Sekera to LA for LA’s 1st rd pick of 2015 & prospect Roland McKeown.
Many reasons a Duchene deal does not make sense
The list goes a little further, but by my book these are the most significant. My point is that whether it’s offseason or deadline deals, RF works in the shadows waiting to feed on desperate GMs who typically are trying to get better to push for playoffs or trying to shed salary. These are his common marks and when you take that into account, a deal with Colorado makes no sense. Colorado is guaranteed to miss the playoffs, is seemingly in a full scale rebuild and thusly is demanding a ludicrous return for one of their most prized possessions. But before we all start foaming at the mouth over Duchene potentially being a Cane let’s analyze this lunacy based on the demeanor and vision of Ronnie Franchise (RF).
-There’s too much noise surrounding the whole thing which isn’t common of RF’s style of dealing.
-All rumors link us to Colorado because of our defensive pool, but the fact is that our pool isn’t fully developed to wheel and deal yet. RF is a long con kinda guy and sticks to his guns of rebuilding this team the right way- from the net out. Thus trading our best defensive asset, Justin Faulk, in exchange for another small playmaking center makes absolutely no Faulkin’ sense when you reflect on RF’s vision statement of continuously focusing on rebuilding the defense first. This is evident by his drafts.
-Hypothetically, let’s say the Faulk trade is even remotely plausible. That fact is that RF likes our prospects/rookies to endure a well-rounded buildup before they play full time in the NHL. He isn’t one to try and rush or force a player’s game to develop faster than it needs to. RF is a man of patience and consistency as shown by his continued belief in Ryan Murphy. With that in mind, if we were to do this hypothetical (thank Lord Stanley it’s only hypothetical) trade of Faulk for Duchene, we would have to call up defensemen to play when none are seemingly ready to handle a full-time NHL workload yet. If they were ready or if our organization had the confidence in them to be brought up full-time, the team would have done it already. Let’s be real, the door has been wide open all season for us to call up a defenseman to try and rectify the disgrace that our 3rd d-pairing is. And yet we haven’t once called anyone up not named Ryan Murphy. It makes me sick just thinking about it. Point is, if we had an immense amount of faith in our defensemen on the rise in Charlotte, we would have likely called at least one of them up already and we haven’t. This to me signals that the coaching staff and RF don’t think our AHLers can cut it full-time at the NHL level yet which boils down to his caution and steadiness on emphasizing development in a well-paced manner.
-We have too many centers as it is, what makes you think we’re interested in another one, especially a small playmaking center? Let’s count our centers up shall we:
- Victor Rask (playmaker)
- Jordan Staal (two-way forward)
- Elias Lindholm (playmaker)
- Teuvo Teravainen (playmaker)
- Derek Ryan (playmaker)
- Jay McClement (bleh)
Do you see a problem there? Of 12 forwards, the Hurricanes presently have 6 forwards who are natural centers. If that doesn’t strike you as a problem to some extent, then I don’t know what will. And then you want to talk about adding another small playmaking center? Sure, Duchene may be a true #1 center which we don’t truthfully have, but at the cost of a defenseman- our #1 offensive defenseman who just so happens to be a right stick, the most coveted kind of defenseman? It just doesn’t add up for the greater long-term success of a team with a GM whose vision was to fix the defense first.
-By my count the defense isn’t even fully repaired. Presently we have 4 defenders worth holding onto, with the fourth being Hanifin who seemingly has fallen off the face of the Earth. Which is fine, he’s a sophomore it’s not fair to expect miracles from a man who just turned 20 and is no longer playing with arguably our best defender, Jaccob Slavin. So by that count, 3 defenders of 7 if you count the scratch (don’t get me started on how abysmal that merry-go-round of hot s*** is currently- I miss you MJ), are playing relatively to their capabilities. But that’s still only half a defense clicking, and if you’ve noticed, they’re barely clicking of late. And now you mean to tell me you think it’s a good idea to get rid of Justin Faulk, our power play specialist, one of our best slap shots, to effectively bring our defense’s whole NHL worth down to just Slavin and Pesce all for the sake of trying to reinvigorate the offense? Blasphemy, I say, sheer blasphemy.
But there are offensive issues to be addressed
RF demeanor and analysis bullet points aside let’s delve into: THE OFFENSIVE WOES.
-So as stated we have 6 centers and in turn 6 wings. But of what quality are these wingers? Certainly better than last year’s wasteland of bottom six Jim Rutherford scraps, but are these new wingers of a quality even remotely comparable to the best in the Metro? The simple answer is no, you get what you pay for. And as it stands we’re not paying top dollar for wingers (outside of the Semin buyout, and yes that cold hard fact leaves a bad taste in my mouth too, you’re not alone) my dear Caniacs it’s killing us and has been for years. Outside of Skinner and Aho, what true wings on this team do you turn to for goals consistently? Stempniak is hit and miss, plus he’s old news, and he’s already hit his ceiling. He’s not the future of Canes hockey and barely is the present of Canes hockey. Nordstrom might as well go to Charlotte to hang out with Nesty at this point. Stalberg plays well in his role but has no one capable to work with or overshifts himself and costs us dearly because of it. McGinn is a Top-9 player at best, a grinder with some scoring ability but not enough to make a difference for consistent weeks at a time. So my friends, there you have it, Jeff Skinner and Aho versus the world at wing, and what do we have to show for it? Zip, nada, kaput, diddly squat. When was the last time you can say we were deep on our wings? Better yet when was the last time you were excited by our wings as a group? Are you having a hard time remembering such a time? So am I, and it’s not because of how much this team makes me drink watching them year in and year out. Alcoholism aside, let’s also reflect on a time when we had an elite power foward at wing that could hem in play along the boards, was effective at screens and tips, was good at ruffling people’s feathers, and drove to the net consistently like a mad menace fresh out of the gates of hell? When was the last time we had a power forward that struck fear in the hearts of those we oppose? If you’re thinking to yourself Andrej Nestrasil last year, please consult your favorite alcohol of choice, take a long swig and try again. We lack power and I’m not referring to on the power play, #FireRoddy.
Our team barely hits, and outside of Stalberg and Staal our team is undersized. Hence why RF has been drafting so heavily on hulking but skilled forwards (). And while those prospects may be the saviors of tomorrow, and Roy a tomorrow it shall be, there’s no guarantee their time will come fast enough to rectify this club. We have no powerful saviors now, and if at the very least we don’t get a better goalie first (fingers crossed for the Halakness Monster to play for Carolina post-deadline), let’s address the glaring need of acquiring a power forward if nothing else this deadline. And so my friends if it wasn’t evident enough, I’ll make it plain, this Caniac is #TeamLandeskog.
Canes and Coffee extends a huge thank you to Michael for sharing his passion for Hurricanes hockey, his thoughts on the Duchene/Faulk thing and his incredibly cool ‘from the cradle’ Canes bio.