Couple Hurricanes’ angles on the Edmonton Oilers re-signing Leon Draisaitl

Couple Hurricanes’ angles on the Edmonton Oilers re-signing Leon Draisaitl

If you are catching up this week and wanting to look forward to training camp, I just completed a quick two-part training camp sneak preview that first looked at roster battles for the last three forward slots and then followed up with a look at the potential roster battle for the last slot on the blue line.   About a month ago, the Edmonton Oilers re-upped a year early with Connor McDavid signing him to might 8-year contract that will pay him $12.5 million annually. Today the other shoe dropped, so to speak, when Leon Draisaitl was re-signed to an 8-year contract that will pay him $8.5 million annually. In the process, the duo just became the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin of their generation at least contractually, and the process has begun to see if the Oilers can build a Stanley Cup winner around the two cornerstones. Below are a couple Carolina Hurricanes’ angles on today’s contract announcement   No offer sheet (no surprise) The deal with Draisaitl officially puts to rest any hope or speculation that the Hurricanes could or should extend an offer sheet to Draisaitl. Despite being a fun offseason discussion point, an offer sheet was never in the cards to begin with per an article on offer sheets all the way back on June 1.   A possible reference point and ceiling for Sebastian Aho’s next contract Sebastian Aho is still two years away from being a restricted free agent like Draisaitl was this summer; nevertheless, he could serve as a reference point when the time comes. Draisaitl’s 77 points in 2016-17 set a pretty high...
Training camp sneak peek: Carolina Hurricanes last defense slot

Training camp sneak peek: Carolina Hurricanes last defense slot

Though it was hidden from the main page by some weird ordering logic, there was a Daily Cup of Joe article for Tuesday for those who found it through the link on Twitter or simply went into the DCoJ tab. It was ‘sneak preview’ part 1 of 2 previewing potential roster battles for the last three forward slots. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes on the somewhat more straightforward battles possible to fill out the Hurricanes blue line to start the 2017-18 NHL season.   The assumed starting point for the blue line My math (and I think virtually everyone’s) says that Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin and Trevor van Riemsdyk are pretty much penned into the lineup. One of the big story lines to watch in preseason is how Peters decides to set his top 4 at least to start the season.   Penciled in right now Despite not having played an NHL game yet, I am on record as thinking that Haydn Fleury enters training camp as the player hoped and expected to seize the sixth and final defense slot in the lineup. Though Fleury will be given every opportunity to win this slot, I do not see Peters and/or Francis forcing the issue if he just is not ready yet. The goal for 2017-18 is to win, and Peters will build the lineup most capable of doing that whether it includes Fleury or not.   The potential battle for the final slot in the lineup If Fleury does not look ready in preseason, the door cracks open for a few other players to...
Training camp sneak peek: Carolina Hurricanes last three forward slots

Training camp sneak peek: Carolina Hurricanes last three forward slots

If you missed it yesterday, I recommend checking out the interesting collection of comments in the Monday Coffee Shop. The open forum offers an interesting collection of comments spanning a number of Hurricanes comments from the Canes and Coffee Community.   I will undoubtedly dig into this and other similar topics in more detail as we get closer to the start of training camp and then again after we see preseason action, but in a fit of missing hockey, I took to scribbling out the Hurricanes forward situation over the weekend. Things can change, but I view nine slots as pretty fixed. Barring an injury, I would be very surprised not to see all of Jeff Skinner, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal, Victor Rask, Marcus Kruger, Elias Lindholm, Justin Williams and Lee Stempniak in the opening day lineup. That makes nine forwards and at least based on what position the nine played in 2016-17, it leaves one opening for each forward position. In addition, the lineup has a few players with positional flexibility such that they could move to make things work.   The assumed starting point Despite being the third center nearly assured of a roster spot, I actually view Kruger as being the anchor of a checking-focused line that is one of the bottom two lines (a 3A and 3B if you will) that is used somewhat situationally. So my starting point is that there is a hole at center on a 3A scoring-focused line and that the two openings at wing are on Kruger’s 3B checking-focused line. So math has the openings as a scoring-capable...
I think…

I think…

Nearing the midway point of hockey nothingness known as August, Hurricanes fans actually have something to track in the ongoing process to sell the team. If you were away for the weekend, I offered my thoughts on recent events in this article on Friday. You can also find links to other recent local coverage in the Sunday Canes Chronicle. The ownership situation receives top billing on any day that there is even a small blip of news. Past that there is not much, but with the aim of helping the Hurricanes faithful trudge through another hockey-less day in August, I managed to accumulate a list of what I am calling “I think…” type of thoughts similar to the more regular “random notes” that I occasionally post. The Monday Coffee Shop opens the floor for everyone else to offer their own “I think…” comments on anything Canes hockey.   I think… I think that it will be interesting to see where Coach Bill Peters slots Sebastian Aho position-wise in training camp and if Aho sees at least a short trial run at center. Peters was pretty firmly on record as seeing Aho staying at wing for the 2017-18 season when he spoke to the media in April shortly after the season ended. But at that point in time, there was at least some possibility and maybe even a likelihood that Francis would add a top 9, scoring-capable forward over the course of the summer. That did not happen. So if there is still potentially a need there and since Peters does still see Aho moving to center at some point, might...
Peter Karmanos and Chuck Greenberg play a public chess match through early August

Peter Karmanos and Chuck Greenberg play a public chess match through early August

For those who have been tracking everything daily in the North State Journal and News & Observer and on WRALSportsFan.com and Twitter, you can skip past history lesson at the ————— toward the end.   For those catching up or looking for a refresher, check out my original article on July 13 (only hours after the rumor broke). Though almost a month has passed since that article, I stand by my general assessment of what I think a Chuck Greenberg-led acquisition could mean for the Hurricanes organization and fan base. Against the backdrop of hot weather, back to school sales and slowest month of the hockey year, the wheels continue to turn on a deal that would see the Carolina Hurricanes sold by the only owner that Canes fans have ever known in Peter Karmanos and acquired by a group led by Chuck Greenberg. Details and specific are outside of the public domain, but I think we have enough snippets of verified information that the positive but intentionally vague assessment of “wheels continue to turn” is accurate.   Chuck Greenberg prairie dogs in and out of Raleigh Throughout the process, Chuck Greenberg has yet to say anything formally or publicly on the deal or where it stands, but he has still managed to toss out enough evidence that something is in fact in process with Twitter and the local media serving as communications platforms.   July 24, 2017 – Chuck Greenberg appears in Raleigh making hockey stops. Potential Canes owner Chuck Greenberg took a look at Raleigh Center Ice on Monday, in town for meetings. #canes pic.twitter.com/dL48L3ntfh — Chip...
The double-edged sword of optimism

The double-edged sword of optimism

Last week I said the following on Twitter: 1/2 #Canes have RAPIDLY transitioned from bad to rebuilding to promising to trendy pick to win. September will be FILLED with similar. https://t.co/asVd1mlHYA — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) August 3, 2017 2/2 Double-edged sword is that w/optimism, expectations are ratcheting up significantly for fan base that has endured long run of setbacks. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) August 3, 2017   Early positives have already started to trickle in from the outside NHL hockey world, and by early October I think the Hurricanes are destined to become 2017-18’s trendy pick for a surprise playoff team, a dark horse or whatever other term writers want to tag to an up-and-comer. And the pundits are right. With the NHL team improving and the prospect pool incredibly deep with players with top half of the roster potential, the trajectory is unmistakably upward right now. And I fully believe that the path to the playoffs in front of the Canes faithful is much shorter than the eight years of misses behind us. All of these things are good, and in the long run the optimism will be rewarded. But short-term, the surging optimism is a double-edged sword. With boundless optimism comes the risk of painful disappointment. Even if the Hurricanes do improve again in 2017-18 as expected, the difficult Metropolitan Division probably still makes a playoff berth a 50/50 possibility. I took an early look at the Metropolitan Division on July 20. I will not reshash all of the details, but in short I see even lesser Penguins and Capitals teams as at least playoff-worthy...