Hurricanes trade Josh Jooris to Pittsburgh Penguins for Greg McKegg

Hurricanes trade Josh Jooris to Pittsburgh Penguins for Greg McKegg

The bigger story today coming out of the 2018 NHL trade deadline is what did not happen for the Carolina Hurricanes and what happens from here. I will write that up in some detail when I have time later tonight. As the clock was striking midnight, the Hurricanes did pull off one trade sending Josh Jooris to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Greg McKegg. In checking with a couple contacts who track the Penguins closely, the deal is basically this.. –Greg McKegg is an experienced AHL-level center who should help the Charlotte Checkers in their playoff chase. With 91 games of NHL experience, he also represents experienced NHL-level depth somewhat similar to Phil Di Giuseppe. But at 25 years old, he qualifies much more so as a good AHL player than an NHL prospect at this stage of his career. –More significantly, what Francis did with this deal was swap a one-way contract (Jooris) for a two-way contract (McKegg). If McKegg spends the rest of the 2017-18 season at the AHL level (as I expect) and does so instead of Jooris, the Hurricanes will save about $130,000 if the general idea was to bury Jooris in the AHL anyway to free up a roster spot for an AHL call up. McKegg is also a restricted free agent this summer which gives the Hurricanes some flexibility on retaining him for AHL-level depth if they choose or  cutting him loose to free up another contract in staying under the limit of 50. From the Canes perspective, I think the trade nets out as saving $130,000 and freeing up another spot for an...
Couple smaller deals that make sense

Couple smaller deals that make sense

Part 6 of my 2018 NHL Trade Deadline series went big game hunting. While admittedly unlikely, I think those deals actually make sense and are the kind that General Manager Ron Francis should at least be exploring today. This article steps back from the drama and looks at a couple more likely, small potatoes, type scenarios.   Derek Ryan First, to be clear, I am not in the camp that wants to vilify Derek Ryan for the latest Canes woes. On Twitter a few days ago, I said: I think Derek Ryan has officially become the latest underdog story turned scapegoat in the series…LaRose=>Dwyer=>Gerbe=>Ryan. #Redvolution — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) February 25, 2018 My starting point for the previous offseason was adding a starting goalie and a playmaking/offensive catalyst type first or second line center. So slotting Derek Ryan with a cadre of defense-leaning centers not surprisingly has proven to be light on offense to the tune of the Canes now falling to 26th in the NHL in scoring. But that is a problem with the lineup and utilization and should not be hung on Derek Ryan. That said, I think he is the player most likely to be traded today. He brings decent depth scoring and a serviceable second unit power play forward to a team that is strong at the top of the lineup and just needs depth. The place that makes the most sense is probably Winnipeg though there are other places that could make sense too. With Pittsburgh winning the Derek Brassard sweepstakes and Tomas Plekanec off the table and already in Toronto, Ryan should...
Chasing Erik Karlsson and why it might not be as far-fetched as you initially think

Chasing Erik Karlsson and why it might not be as far-fetched as you initially think

I originally put this in the “Quick Hitters” for part 4 of my NHL trade deadline preview but figured it better to give this its own home. Seemingly because of a degrading relationship between Karlsson and the Senators’ ownership and management, he suddenly seems destined to be traded if not during the trade deadline then during the offseason. If the Senators are willing to accept a massive pile of futures the best time to do the bidding war might be now with teams possibly willing to pay more to have him for the 2018 playoffs. But if instead the Senators would like to receive an actual player or two in return for Erik Karlsson which seems reasonable for a generational talent at his position, then the Senators will be better-served to wait until the offseason when the bidding war could be bigger. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes are eight years into a playoff-less desert and though they very much have a chance to end the drought, they are also very much in a dog fight that could end with a call for yet another of patience. But maybe more significantly than the need to become good enough to make the playoffs is an increasing feeling among many that there still needs to be a bigger change that jolts the culture, vibe, attitude or whatever other word you want to the challenge of pushing over the hump psychologically in addition to talent-wise. Enter Erik Karlsson. Enter the Carolina Hurricanes. Because of years of spendthrifty ways, budget limitations and then later a rebuilding project, the Hurricanes have to be about last on...
Carolina Hurricanes Trade Deadline-Part 1: Setting the stage

Carolina Hurricanes Trade Deadline-Part 1: Setting the stage

With the 2018 NHL trade deadline now exactly one week away and the Hurricanes sitting right at the playoff cut line but floundering a bit, much of the talk around the team and the NHL will be about the trade market over the next week. This series will walk through various aspects of the trade deadline from a Carolina Hurricanes perspective and as we get deeper into it will evaluate/address the rumblings that appear in the broader media. To keep things interesting for those who just want to cut to the chase, each article will offer a couple quick hitters up front and then followed by another piece of the longer story. Carolina Hurricanes trade deadline quick hitters Martin Necas With the flashes he showed in preseason and also his strong (some say as good as anyone in the tournament) play in the World Junior Championship, Martin Necas has climbed to the top of the prospect pool and created his own tier among the Carolina Hurricanes prospects. I think he is as close to untouchable right now as possible for a player who is not on the NHL roster. I think any and all other Canes prospects could be available for the right deal, and I would not be surprised to see any of them included in a deal. But at a time of year where even the formal North American hockey media are largely just spit-balling, how writers include/talk about Martin Necas is a good indicator of whether someone is just throwing out random stuff or if he/she has a decent understanding of the Hurricanes’ situation. Shorter version:...
Extra Coffee Shop: Grading the Canes at the midway point of the 2017-18 season (Goalies and Management)

Extra Coffee Shop: Grading the Canes at the midway point of the 2017-18 season (Goalies and Management)

After a bit of a break to cover the official announcement of the sale of the team and the last burst of three games in four days before the bye week, my short series grading the Carolina Hurricanes at the midway point wraps up today with the goalies, coaches and management. The format again offers the chance for readers to chime in, so with this being by far the most controversial set of evaluations, hopefully the bye week lull will keep things under control and most importantly civil. If you missed them last week, the grades for the defensemen are HERE, and the grades for the forwards are HERE. Without further ado, here are my grades at the midway point of the 2017-18 season.   Carolina Hurricanes 2017-18 mid-season grades Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response. Goalies Scott Darling — C-. Per readers’ votes on my previous grades, I am on record as being an easy grader, and I do generally stay in the A through C range, so to put it bluntly Scott Darling’s C- is pretty harsh by my standards. Graded as an NHL starter who needs to be at least league average, Darling just has not. Early in the season, he seemed to alternate in a reasonably balanced way between good starts and ‘meh’ at best starts, but more recently he has struggled more often than not. His statistics place him near the bottom of he goalie heap. Important to note is that I think it is far too early to declare this story over and consider his addition a bust. He...
Hurricanes claim forward Ty Rattie off waivers – Quick thoughts

Hurricanes claim forward Ty Rattie off waivers – Quick thoughts

Today it was announced that the Carolina Hurricanes had once again used the waiver wire to add to its NHL roster. Ron Francis has been a waiver wire regular since taking over as general manager just less than 3 years ago. The most notable example and modest win was the acquisition of Andrej Nestrasil from Detroit. Nestrasil became a Canes’ regular and is obviously still on the roster.   Ron Francis becoming a waiver wire regular At the very tail end of the past summer, Francis made a big reach to the waiver wire when everyone was finalizing their rosters. He claimed Klas Dahlbeck from Arizona and also Martin Rrk from Detroit. Defenseman Dahlbeck has been in and out of the lineup but is still with the team. Forward Martin Frk had a very short, unsuccessful trial before going back on waivers. The beauty of waiver wire acquisitions is that the cost/risk is tiny. In the case of Rattie, the Hurricanes are now on the hook for his 1-way contract even if he does not work out (unless they put him on waivers only to be claimed again), but the cost is only $650,000 through the end of this season before he becomes a restricted free agent.   Ty Rattie quick assessment Rattie is a 2011 second round draft pick with 4 years of professional experience primarily at the AHL level with a few short NHL stints mixed in. He is a right shot who has primarily been a right wing, but he can also play on the left side. His skill set is that of a skilled playmaker...