Justin Williams named Carolina Hurricanes captain – A jolt and a bridge

Justin Williams named Carolina Hurricanes captain – A jolt and a bridge

For anyone not away from hockey preparing for the arrive of Florence, it should not be new news that Justin Williams has been named the captain of the Carolina Hurricanes. I could and probably will (electricity permitting) over the next few days come at this announcement from about a dozen different angles, but in the aim of not losing the most important points in the details, this article will focus on only a handful of points that I think are most significant.   First…deja vu back to last October My general thinking on this dates back to this article from October 6, 2017 right after Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk were named co-captains where I said: But I still would have preferred Justin Williams But I still would have preferred Williams, and here is why… I just think the team needs a sudden and stark shift in mindset. A significant part of it is simply personality and communication style, but Francis and Peters tone very much strikes a ‘working to get better’, ‘doing it the right way’, ‘in it for the long haul’, ‘not looking for short-term fixes’, etc. type of style. I think a shift in mentality is in order. The Hurricanes are NOT ‘hoping to be in the mix in March.’ They are not ‘getting better’ or ‘on the right path.’ The Carolina Hurricanes need to make a meaningful shift to something along the lines of ‘We will make the playoffs this year.’ Justin Williams is the embodiment of that shift. When a 34-year old veteran with Cup wins and other options chose to come to Raleigh,...
Hurricanes trade Marcus Kruger to Coyotes for Jordan Martinook

Hurricanes trade Marcus Kruger to Coyotes for Jordan Martinook

Today, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that the team had traded center Marcus Kruger to the Arizona Coyotes for depth wing/center Jordan Martinook. As part of the deal, the Hurricanes retained 10 percent of Kruger’s salary, and the teams swapped draft picks with the Hurricanes giving up a third-round draft pick and receiving a fourth-round pick in return.   Closing the book on last summer’s strategy to build an experienced fourth line The trade closes the door on an ill-fated attempt to build a solid, veteran fourth line that could play behind Jordan Staal’s line and solidify things defensively. The strategy failed on multiple fronts. Somewhat as expected, the line primarily comprised of Joakim Nordstrom and additions Josh Jooris and Marcus Kruger scored virtually nothing. But more significantly, the line did not excel in areas that figured to be its strength. The Hurricanes penalty kill took a significant step backward with Kruger in a leading role, and the line was fair, not great as an even strength shutdown unit. When one nets it out, the line was light on scoring even for a fourth line. The players also led to a step down for the penalty kill. After waiting it out for a long time, the original plan was finally jettisoned when Josh Jooris was traded at the trade deadline and Marcus Kruger was demoted to the AHL. In his short stint with the Hurricanes, Marcus Kruger scored only a single goal on an odd forechecking deflection that found the net and five assists for a total of six points in 48 games. To his credit, he was a class...
Sunday Canes Chronicle: The Ron Francis, general manager edition

Sunday Canes Chronicle: The Ron Francis, general manager edition

With a busy news week centered around Ron Francis’ removal from the general manager position of the Carolina Hurricanes, the Sunday Canes Chronicle returns with a roundup of articles on the move and the start of the process of replacing Francis. Certainly, this reading list is not complete. If you happened upon another good article on the subject, please send a quick heads up via our web form, Twitter or email.   If you want something to listen to while reading the other articles, Jeff Marek joined Laughlin & O’Sullivan to discuss the move.   Local articles on Ron Francis’ transition to President of Hockey Operations Tom Edwards from Section 328 offered a detailed chronicle of Francis’ history as general manager in terms of trades and the NHL draft before offering his thoughts on why Francis was removed from the general manager role. In case you missed it, we at Canes and Coffee covered a couple different angles including the timing, the beginning of a potentially tumultuous offseason, the biggest fear and more. Chip Alexander chimed in on Saturday for the News & Observer. The article is light on providing much new information or depth, but does offer a few more quotes from Dundon that offer hints at his direction and role. Jonathan Wagner at CBTS Blog penned this article that started looking forward to what is next for the team after Francis’ transition.   Broader NHL coverage of Ron Francis’ transition Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet started his must-read 31 thoughts with an insightful interview with Tom Dundon on Wednesday’s move. Tom Gulitti from NHL.com penned an article on...
Sunday Canes Chronicle: All-Star edition

Sunday Canes Chronicle: All-Star edition

After an extended hiatus for the Sunday Canes Chronicle, I figured a weekend with no Canes hockey would be good timing to queue up a batch of Carolina Hurricanes reading from across the web. With it being the NHL All-Star weekend, there are a couple articles on that topic but also a random collection of other stuff too.   Noah Hanifin at the NHL All-Star game Michael Smith from the team website did a great job of capsulizing Noah Hanifin’s Saturday at the All-Star game in this article. Hanifin’s comments about his gradual development offensively are interesting and match up with his fairly sudden transformation.   Another All-Star with Hurricanes ties – Eric Staal Sarah McClellan from the Star Tribune wrote a cool off-ice feature on Eric Staal both looking back at his childhood family and also at his family of five today. More on owner Tom Dundon Tom Gulitti from NHL.com wrote another article about Tom Dundon, providing another round of insight on the Canes new owner. Closer to (Tom Dundon’s) home, Karen Robinson-Jacobs from The Dallas Morning News wrote an article on Tom Dundon with a good number of quotes from Dundon and also others.   The physics of hockey UNC-TV did an interesting segment on the physics of hockey involving Hurricanes’ players that you can find here.   Bill Peters The Coaches Site recently ran an article with insight into how Bill Peters worked his way up to the NHL level and a couple other topics.   Max Pacioretty On January 17, Andrew Berkshire at Sportsnet offered a detailed statistical break down for Max Pacioretty and...
Sunday Canes Chronicle: North Carolina State Fair road trip edition

Sunday Canes Chronicle: North Carolina State Fair road trip edition

After a couple weeks off, the Sunday Canes Chronicle makes it triumphant return providing extra Canes reading for fans who are missing Hurricanes hockey while the team is away for its annual North Carolina State Fair road trip. This week’s reading list is a small sampling (had really busy week away from Canes hockey) of articles spanning a handful of topics.   Carolina Hurricanes prospects Kevin LeBlanc at Canes Country checked in Canes prospects Stelio Mattheos, Matt Filipe, Morgan Geekie and Jake Bean. Earlier this week, Canes and Coffee took a shot at updating its informal prospect rankings and shared a few thoughts on various players in the process.   Jaccob Slavin Adam Gold at WRALSportsFan.com has Jaccob Slavin at the top of the list in his article and video commentary entitled, “At 23, Jaccob Slavin stamps himself as Carolina’s best.”   The Charlotte Checkers Paul Branecky from the team website details the Charlotte Checkers most recent win which pushed the team to the hottest start in team history. Here at Canes and Coffee, Jordan Futrell’s first edition of ‘Checking In’ offered a similarly glowing report from the Queen City.   Miscellaneous Cory Lavalette from the North State Journal shares an interesting read on two younger brothers of Hurricanes players who are playing together in the USHL.   Go Canes!...
Sunday Canes Chronicle: The calm before the 2017-18 Canes hockey storm

Sunday Canes Chronicle: The calm before the 2017-18 Canes hockey storm

With Friday’s 3-1 win against the Washington Capitals, the Hurricanes wrapped up their preseason schedule. That sets the table for seven more days to prepare and work on details in practice before the season opener next Saturday. Unless something has changed, the week could prove to be a newsworthy one with a decision pending on Martin Necas and a couple other players roster-wise and also the possibility that a captain is named this week. But looking backward instead of forward, here is a decent collection of Hurricanes hockey reading for the week.   Martin Necas Chip Alexander at the News & Observer wrote about the impending decision on Martin Necas and the Hurricanes opening day roster. At Canes and Coffee, we assessed Martin Necas and his situation a couple levels deep earlier this week.   Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 season previews Justin Lape looked at the Hurricanes all-important goalie position in his part of the season preview at Canes Country. Chuck Gormley previews the Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 season at ESPN.com. The Hockey News also chimes in with a 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes season preview. Emily Sadler penned the Hurricanes season preview at Sportsnet.ca. Finally, Cody Benjamin previewed the 2017-18 Hurricanes season for CBS Sports.   Canes and Coffee’s 2017-18 season preview series will kick off Monday, so be sure to check in this week as anticipation builds for the season on opener at PNC Arena on Saturday.   Go...