Carolina Hurricanes sign free agent forward Jesper Fast

Carolina Hurricanes sign free agent forward Jesper Fast

On Saturday, it was announced that the Hurricanes had signed right wing Jesper Fast to a three-year contract for $2 million per year. Below are my initial thoughts on the addition.   At the top level At the most basic level, Jesper Fast is a good hockey player and also unmistakably a positive add in terms of the locker room. At a salary of $2 million per year, Fast represents a quality depth addition. His scoring is not such that he dramatically changes the Hurricanes, but Fast adds quality depth that makes a difference when trying to ice a balanced, competitive lineup.   Jesper Fast Fast was an assistant captain, leader and positive influence for the Rangers. He is a strong defensive forward capable of playing against other teams’ best players and also playing on the penalty kill. Fast has scored between 20 and 30 points in each of the last five seasons, so he is not so much a scoring spark as the addition of more depth scoring. Because of that, he ideally slots more as a third line forward, but he skates well enough and is sound defensively which means he is not out of place in the top 6 when lines get shuffled or injuries make it necessary. Fast also fills a few needs. He adds a right shot and true right wing. The Hurricanes have regularly had to use players like Foegele and McGinn on the right side to balance the lineup. Though his skill set is different, he adds a right shot to replace Justin Williams. He also skates well and should fit well...
Open forum for discussion/debate on the start of free agency

Open forum for discussion/debate on the start of free agency

At least until the Hurricanes make a move, this post can serve as The Coffee Shop for debate related to the start of free agency on Friday?   1) Who, if anyone, do you think the Hurricanes should pursue in the free agent market?   2) With limited cap space, do you think the Hurricanes will make a move (or more)?   Go...
Why Steven Stamkos to the Hurricanes makes sense

Why Steven Stamkos to the Hurricanes makes sense

See also today’s Daily Cup of Joe article today covers the draft and front part of the off-season (free agents and trades) more generally HERE. After writing a broader article about the draft and front part of the off-season including player additions, a quick check of hockey Twitter now officially on the day of the 2020 NHL Draft yielded this… A big reason for moving 💵 is to be able to sign those young RFAs. Notably absent from untouchable list is captain Steven Stamkos. That doesn’t guarantee Stamkos will be dealt but it’s within realm of possibility though his health could obviously be a factor. — Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 6, 2020   Targeting the single greatest single slot for potential gain I am on record as not just saying, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” to every big name that hits the market. I have already hard passed on Patrik Laine and almost by default on the ever popular “look shiny things” deals that consider trading out of an incredible contract and core player in Brett Pesce to do a sideways deal to add a comparable level forward. But I am also on record as saying that the single biggest area for a difference-making trade for the Hurricanes is to add a bona fide catalyst/scoring C2. The Hurricanes finally have a legitimate first scoring line really need a second line to have the depth and balance to beat good teams in the playoffs especially in road games where the opponent dictates match ups. Evidence suggests that Don Waddell knows this and has the same focus. The tried Necas as a center...
Hurricanes acquire defenseman Brady Skjei from Rangers for 2020 1st round draft pick

Hurricanes acquire defenseman Brady Skjei from Rangers for 2020 1st round draft pick

See also initial thoughts on Canes obtaining defenseman Sami Vatanen from the New Jersey Devils for prospect Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional fourth-round pick. See also initial thoughts on the Hurricanes acquisition of center Vincent Trocheck from Florida for Lucas Wallmark, Erik Haula, Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.   The Carolina Hurricanes’ final move on a busy 2020 NHL trade deadline day was perhaps the most surprising. Shortly after it was announced that the team had added a defenseman as many including myself expected, word came that the Hurricanes had also landed New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei in return for the lower of the Hurricanes’ two 2020 first-round draft picks. I was skeptical, but the initial report proved to be true.   The key terms For the trade itself, the Hurricanes will give up the lower of its two first-round picks. Brady Skjei arrives with a contract that lasts four years after this one at an annual salary cap hit of $5.25 million per year. As such, Skjei is not signed solely as short-term help for the Hurricanes injury woes but rather as a longer-term addition to the core of the blue line.   Brady Skjei Skjei is an interesting case. The positive on him is that he brings great size and skating ability and a skill set that is every bit top 4-capable. He played his way up to that level by the completion of his entry-level contract which earned his current contract. And as a 25-year old, he is theoretically just entering his prime. So if one considers him to be a legitimate top 4 defenseman...
Hurricanes acquire Sami Vatanen from New Jersey for prospect Janne Kuokkanen plus conditional 4th-round draft pick

Hurricanes acquire Sami Vatanen from New Jersey for prospect Janne Kuokkanen plus conditional 4th-round draft pick

See also initial thoughts on the Hurricanes acquisition of center Vincent Trocheck from Florida for Lucas Wallmark, Erik Haula, Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen. See also initial thoughts on Hurricanes acquisition of defenseman Brady Skjei from the New York Rangers for a 2020 first-round draft pick.   In the waning moments before the doors closed on the 2020 NHL trade deadline, the Carolina Hurricanes made not one but two deals to add defensemen.   The trade details for Sami Vatanen The Hurricanes traded forward prospect Janne Kuokkanen, depth AHL defenseman Fredrick Claesson and a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick to the New Jersey Devils for defenseman Sami Vatanen. The Devils also retained half of Vatanen’s prorated $4.8 million salary which will save the Hurriacanes about $600,000 in real cash down the stretch. More significantly, the move helped make the salary cap math work to add another defenseman. Finally, the condition on the draft pick is that it is a fourth-round pick if Vatanen plays five or more regular season games and becomes a third-round pick if he plays 12 or more regular season games or 70 percent of playoff games. That clause is significant because Vatanen has been out of the lineup for a few weeks and is not scheduled to return for another week or so.   Sami Vatanen Vatanen is signed only through the 2019-20 season and as such is a rental intended to help fill gaps caused by injuries. Best bet is that the Hurricanes will not re-sign him for next season. Vatanen is a solid veteran right shot defenseman. As such, he fits into one...
Hurricanes acquire center Vincent Trocheck from Florida for Lucas Wallmark, Erik Haula, Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen

Hurricanes acquire center Vincent Trocheck from Florida for Lucas Wallmark, Erik Haula, Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen

See also initial thoughts on Canes obtaining defenseman Sami Vatanen from the New Jersey Devils for prospect Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional fourth-round pick. See also initial thoughts on Hurricanes acquisition of defenseman Brady Skjei from the New York Rangers for a 2020 first-round draft pick.   Late morning, the Canes jumped in with both feet into the 2020 NHL trade deadline frenzy when they acquired center Vincent Trocheck from the Florida Panthers in exchange for NHLers Lucas Wallmark and Erik Haula and prospects Chase Priskie and Eetu Luostarinen.   Filling a need In Vincent Trocheck, the Hurricanes filled a need that has existed for literally a decade. With Jordan Staal as a defense-leaning top 6 center whose strength is not scoring or playmaking, a balanced scoring lineup for the Hurricanes requires the team to have a higher-end scoring first line but equally importantly a third line that leans offense and can generate scoring chances. With Sebastian Aho anchoring the top line, the first line objective has been achieved, and as we have seen recently when the team goes top-heavy for the first line with Aho, Teravainen and Svechnikov, it can be lights out. But as has been the case in many games since that line was put together, the Hurricanes have been a bit of a one-headed monster. To make the model work, the team needs a third line that can also drive offense. And in today’s NHL, a consistent scoring line generally needs two things. First and foremost, the line needs a playmaker who can on a consistent basis generate scoring chances for his two line mates....