Notes from Carolina Hurricanes first day of practices – Erik Haula, Martin Necas and Bill Burniston

Notes from Carolina Hurricanes first day of practices – Erik Haula, Martin Necas and Bill Burniston

Hockey is back!!!! As I said on Twitter shortly after joyfully scampering into PNC Arena for Friday’s practices: Nothing better than walking into chilly feeling and hearing the whish..whish..whish…of skates and clackety clack of pucks and sticks. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) September 13, 2019 Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looked at the possible roster battle and/or depth chart positioning for the forward position. And below are notes from Friday’s two practices.   First impression – Erik Haula One of my watch points for the first practice was newcomer Erik Haula. As a former Western Conference player, my watch points on him were minimal prior to joining the team, so the start of training camp is a chance to start matching up my assessment to my impressions of him prior largely from research. In the drills as lines, he skated with Warren Foegele and Martin Necas. Both of those players skate well and can push pace. Haula looked every bit the part of a player who could match pace which is encouraging given that his 2018-19 season was cut short by a serious leg injury. Two other things that stood out…First, he showed the hands of a finisher in close on multiple occasions. Second, he seemed to be pretty vocal especially for a player new to the group. During the line skating at the end, he spent some time barking at/encouraging one of the players in the group who was struggling a bit. I could not get a helmet number, but thinking is that it might have been fellow Finnish player and youngster Eetu Luostarinen. (If anyone can confirm...
Carolina Hurricanes re-sign Brock McGinn (before arbitration) for 2 years at $2.1 million per year

Carolina Hurricanes re-sign Brock McGinn (before arbitration) for 2 years at $2.1 million per year

On Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that the team had re-signed Brock McGinn to a two-year contract at $2.1 million per year ($1.9 million 2019-20 and $2.3 million in 2020-21). The deal came before the arbitration hearing which was scheduled for Saturday. Below are a few levels of thoughts on Brock McGinn’s signing.   Brock McGinn’s contract I had McGinn at $1.75 million per year and would have been fine with one year or two at that price. In a salary cap world, every dollar counts, but $350,000 will not be what determines if the team is successful going forward. And as far as comparables go, the salary is a reasonable middle ground between a bargain and a higher end that could possibly be justified by McGinn’s 16 goals and 30 points in 2017-18. So if one considers McGinn to be a pure fourth-liner, $2.1 million would be a modest premium. If instead one considers McGinn to be a top 9 forward, that same price is a discount. So if one puts him somewhere in the middle, the price is probably a fair one for his role somewhat similar to Jordan Martinook’s $2 million salary.   Brock McGinn’s role/slot As alluded to above, I view McGinn as a tweener line-wise. Ideally on a good team, I think he gets pushed down to a fourth line role. At the same time, I think McGinn can make a legitimate case for being a physical component in the top 9. When you add in his role on the penalty kill and the fact that he is Nathan Gerbe-like in terms of consistent every...
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...
Thoughts on the Sebastian Aho offer sheet

Thoughts on the Sebastian Aho offer sheet

Today an NHL rarity occurred, and it involved the Carolina Hurricanes. A few hours into the kick off of NHL free agency, it was announced that the Montreal Canadiens had signed Sebastian Aho to an offer sheet. The headline terms were a five-year deal at $8.454 million per year. But the headline numbers do not tell the whole story. Breakdown of Aho offer sheet: $11.3M SB plus 700k salary in Year 1; $9.87M SB plus 700k salary in Year 2; $6.95 SB plus 750k salary in Year 3; $5.25 SB plus $750k in each of Year 4 and Year 5 — Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019 The situation is interesting on many levels. Let’s step through at least most of them.   An odd move by the Canadiens By pegging the salary where it is, the Canadiens would have to give up first, second and third round draft picks. Had they gone a bit higher another first round pick would have been added. In that regard, the salary offered looks like a steal for the Canadiens, but that only matters if the Hurricanes do not match it. There are issues with the payment structure (see below), but I would be utterly shocked to see the Hurricanes not match this. So that begs the question of what Montreal was up to. Did they really think that there is a chance that the Hurricanes would decide not to match this fairly modest offer in return for a ‘meh’ set of draft picks? Or did Montreal perhaps just see an easy chance to stick it to another Eastern Conference team? Montreal...
Carolina Hurricanes trade Scott Darling to Florida for goalie James Reimer

Carolina Hurricanes trade Scott Darling to Florida for goalie James Reimer

The same will not likely be true for free agency, but the Carolina Hurricanes have staked a legitimate claim for being the #1 mover and shaker in the trade market in the week between the 2019 NHL draft and the start of free agency on July 1. Not counting trading down in the draft twice, the Hurricanes have now made four trades this week. Sunday’s entry was yet another that had a huge financial angle to it. Rather than buying out Scott Darling, the Hurricanes managed to deal him to Florida (who then bought him out) with a sixth round draft pick for goalie James Reimer.   The financials which again rule the deal This will be the third out of the four deals that are primarily about the math and dollars. Scott Darling was not going to play again in the Hurricanes organization, so had this deal not happened, it most certainly would have been the Hurricanes buying him out. The cost in actual dollars of buying him out would have been $1.183 million for for years with a slightly higher salary cap hit spread oddly over the same four years. So the total cost would have been $4.73 million. Instead the Hurricanes added James Reimer who is due $3.1 million per year for each of the next two years for $6.2 million total. In essence, measured in actual dollars the Hurricanes added about $1.4 million in cost, but in the process added a goalie who can actually slot into the lineup. The one wild card is that Reimer has a lockout-shielded contract that pays him $2.25 million...

Quick thoughts on Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling from John Jaeckel at The-Rink.com in Chicago

Yesterday, I posted detailed thoughts on Monday’s trade that sent Calvin de Haan and Alekski Saarela to the Chicago Blackhawks for goalie Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling. If you missed it, you can find that HERE. John Jaeckel who is the Chicago Blackhawks Head Writer and Podcast Co-Host for The-Rink.com was kind enough to share his insight on Forsling and Forsberg.   John Jaeckel’s thoughts on Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling Canes and Coffee: What do you see as Gustav Forsling’s strengths and weaknesses as an NHL defenseman? In what type of role could you see him thriving? In what type of role might he be in over his head? John Jaeckel: Good skater, very good point shot, pretty physically willing for his size. Tended to overhandle the puck in his end when he first came up—often with disastrous consequences. Seems behind his man a lot yet he is mobile, so it appears his issues are often positioning-related. He has physical ability, needs more time and perhaps a new coaching voice.   Canes and Coffee: How would you assess Forsling in terms of being a capable NHL power play player? John Jaeckel: Possible, but more of a shooter (he can blast it) than an innate QB/setup guy.   Canes and Coffee: Do you have any thoughts on how Forsling’s skill set might or might not fit with Trevor van Riemsdyk on a third pairing? John Jaeckel: TVR, with his relative skills, could be a decent complement to Forsling.   Canes and Coffee: How would you evaluate Anton Forsberg in terms of being a capable NHL backup? John Jaeckel: That...