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...
Carolina Hurricanes place Marcus Kruger and Josh Jooris on waivers — On multiple levels

Carolina Hurricanes place Marcus Kruger and Josh Jooris on waivers — On multiple levels

Today the Carolina Hurricanes announced that the team had placed veteran fourth-line forwards Marcus Kruger and Josh Jooris on waivers with the intent of sending them to join the Charlotte Checkers in the AHL. Covering two completely different ends of the spectrum, I am both surprised that it took this long and at the same time surprised that it happened at all. Short version The starting point for the season seemed to be building a veteran air tight defensive fourth line. That could work in a scenario where the Hurricanes find enough offense/scoring elsewhere. But there are two problems. First is that the Hurricanes are still struggling offensively and need to find goals wherever they can. Second is that the fourth line really has not proven to be a net positive defensively either. Virtually no scoring puts the ceiling at 0 for plus/minus, and the penalty kill that utilizes the fourth-liners has also been sub-par. The reaction is a bit delayed, but the move aims to put more offense in the lineup at the expense of the offense-lite veterans.     Best laid plans… The move seems to finally scrap plans and strategy laid out and acted upon during the offseason. In the press conference at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, one of the overriding themes from Bill Peters’ comments was the need to add more NHL caliber players. He talked about this in the vein of higher-end players but was actually equally emphatic when talking about depth slots as well. Peters said, “The pieces need to come in to close that gap. If we think guys from the...
Menu for “MIDTERMS” series — Carolina Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level

Menu for “MIDTERMS” series — Carolina Hurricanes prospects below the AHL level

Below is a clickable menu for the “Midterms” articles checking in on the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospects below the AHL level. Players highlighted in red are posted updates with clickable links.   NCAA David Cotton — 2015 Round #6 — Forward — Boston College Matt Filipe — 2016 Round #3 — Forward — Northeastern University Jack LaFontaine — 2016 Round #4 — Goalie — University of Michigan Luke Martin — 2017 Round #2 — Defenseman –University of Michigan Luke Stevens — 2015 Round #6 — Forward — Yale University Max Zimmer — 2016 Round #4 — Forward — University of Wisconsin   Europe Martin Necas — 2017 Round #1 — Forward — HC Kometa Brno/Czech League Eetu Luostarinen — 2017 Round #2 — Forward — KalPa/Finnish Elite League Eetu Makiniemi — 2017 Round # 4 — Goalie — Jokerit U20/Finland Ville Rasanen — 2017 — Round #7 –Defenseman — RoKi/Mestis-Finland   Ontario Hockey League Noah Carroll — 2016 — Round #6 — Defenseman — Sault Ste. Marie Jeremy Helvig –2016 — Round #5 — Goalie — Kingston   Western Hockey League Jake Bean — 2016 — Round #1 — Defenseman — Tri-City Brendan De Jong — 2017 — Round #6 –Defenseman — Portland Hudson Elynuik — 2016 — Round #3 — Forward — Spokane Morgan Geekie — 2017 — Round #3 — Forward — Tri-City Stelio Mattheos — 2017 — Round #3 — Forward — Brandon  ...
Arturs Irbe and the Carolina Hurricanes goalie curse

Arturs Irbe and the Carolina Hurricanes goalie curse

This article is one of two dueling Daily Cup of Joe posts that aim to address the serious goalie situation but also try to add a bit of levity to the situation. The heavier article can be found HERE.   Fellow Caniacs, Today I will share something that I have kept under wraps for more than 13 years. Though the day it all started left an indelible mark on my memory, I initially questioned the legitimacy of it all and maybe even more so just shied away from sharing it for fear of being called a charlatan, conspiracy theorist or just plain liar. But in the years that have unfolded, the reality and significance of day in March of 2004 has become increasingly meaningful to our plight as Canes fans and something that I must finally share. Hopefully, revealing the event of that day will help fans understand what is happened, possibly provide some solace and maybe even help change our course. It all started back in 1998, more precisely on September 10, 1998 when Carolina Hurricanes General Manager Jim Rutherford signed Arturs Irbe. At the time, the team was still in the midst of a challenging transition playing its second season in Greensboro before moving to Raleigh for the start of the 1999-00 season and there were legitimate concerns about whether the hockey thing could work in North Carolina. But three years later it became clear that it could. The Hurricanes pushed into the 2000-01 playoffs and gained the hearts of a small contingent of fans in the process. Then in the 2002 NHL playoffs, the course of...
“That’s hockey baby!” and other John Forslund-isms

“That’s hockey baby!” and other John Forslund-isms

Bumped up on January 17, 2018 for bye week snow day reading.   Original version published on Thursday, March 9, 2017. Additional Forslundisms added on Friday March 10, 2017 and highlighted in red font. A huge thank you to the Caniac Nation for building this great list that is approaching 50! Keep ’em coming via comments, Twitter (@ or just use #Forslundisms (plural more used)), or email. Surely we can get to 100.   Game #63 of the 2016-17 season was a tough one to watch for many Canes fans who are still checked in. Coming off a win that offered a glimmer of hope on Sunday, the Hurricanes played a game that very much felt like they were playing out the string. The game between 2 teams most likely destined for the draft lottery lacked intensity, and the Hurricanes came out on the losing end of it. But in always trying to find joy, John Forslund reached into the Forslund-ism rolodex and pulled out a gem that is a lesser-used expression but for whatever reason 1 of my all-time favorites. As an Avalanche player was skating through the neutral zone, he went down suddenly which prompted John Forslund to exclaim that he was “hit by a blow dart from the third level.” For whatever reason, this one causes me to literally burst out laughing. I have had beverages spew out of my face a couple times on this type of occasion. At the most basic level, Hurricanes fans are incredibly lucky to have a top-notch broadcast team. Also significant is the fact that the primary players have been with the...
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...