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...
Watch points for Wednesday

Watch points for Wednesday

Usually, my ‘What I’m watching’ is a game day article.But with hockey now only a day away after a four-month layoff, I think it is fair to jump into it a bit early especially given the unprecedented circumstances with the game being the lone exhibition game before parachuting straight into playoff hockey only three days later. So today’s Daily Cup of Joe has at least a first set of watch points for the Canes exhibition game against the Capitals on Wednesday at 4pm.   General team level Jump Under Rod Brind’Amour, the Hurricanes have generally been fast out of the gate in preseason. Other teams catch up by the start of the regular season which is all that matters, but under normal circumstances that is three weeks later. Is that preseason advantage mostly a function of the fact that the games do not matter? Or is it something that will repeat even when the games matter? Teams that take a week or two to get up to speed will likely exit the bubble quickly and start looking toward the 2020-21 season. So on Wednesday, I will be watching closely to see if the Canes seem to have the same advantage in terms of jump and intensity.   Crispness After a four-month layoff from real games, there is likely to be some sloppiness. The question will be which teams can shake off any rust and find at least a mid-season rhythm sooner rather than later. Wednesday represents a first look at how ready the Canes are to play real hockey with a good measuring stick on the other bench.  ...
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....
Coffee Shop polls: Build the Hurricanes forward lines (polls and discussion)

Coffee Shop polls: Build the Hurricanes forward lines (polls and discussion)

With the start of training camp upon us, we will dust off The Coffee Shop category and given everyone a chance to build out the Hurricanes 2019-20 forward lines. To keep there from being too many variations, the starting point is assuming that Sebastian Aho, Jordan Staal, Erik Haula and Lucas Wallmark start the season at center. If injuries do not disrupt things, I think that is highly likely to hold true. The Hurricanes do have a couple other options at center, but I view Aho, Staal and Wallmark as locks and Haula as the preferred choice for the other slot. So with no further ado, who plays where come opening night? Polls are below, but even better would be to hear everyone’s reasoning in the comments for why they would build the lines as they would.   Who will play on Sebastian Aho's wings? Clark Bishop Ryan Dzingel Warren Foegele Saku Maenalanen (unsigned) Jordan Martinook Brock McGinn Martin Necas Nino Niederreiter Andrei Svechnikov Teuvo Teravainen One of the AHL young guns rising up View Results  Loading ...   Who will play on Jordan Staal's wings? Clark Bishop Ryan Dzingel Warren Foegele Saku Maenalanen (unsigned) Jordan Martinook Brock McGinn Martin Necas Nino Niederreiter Andrei Svechnikov Teuvo Teravainen One of the AHL young guns rising up View Results  Loading ...   Who will play on Erik Haula's wings? Clark Bishop Ryan Dzingel Warren Foegele Saku Maenalanen (unsigned) Jordan Martinook Brock McGinn Martin Necas Nino Niederreiter Andrei Svechnikov Teuvo Teravainen One of the AHL young guns rising up View Results  Loading ...   Who will play on Lucas Wallmark's wings? Clark...
Carolina Hurricanes sign defenseman Jake Gardiner for 4 years at $4.05 million per year

Carolina Hurricanes sign defenseman Jake Gardiner for 4 years at $4.05 million per year

Four days after the announcement that Justin Williams would not be returning at least for the start of the 2019-20 season, the Hurricanes spent the $4M-ish available salary cap in signing defenseman Jake Gardiner to a four-year contract with an average salary of $4.05 million per year. My initial Twitter-size comments are way at the bottom for anyone who cares to start with those. In my article about Justin Williams’ decision, I devoted an entire paragraph to the possibility of targeting Jake Gardiner with the salary cap freed up when I wrote: Also in a Leafs vein, could Jake Gardiner be a bargain basement add. To be clear, I do not see the Hurricanes adding a higher cost defenseman with term to the mix. The team has decent depth for the third pairing. But if Gardiner suddenly becomes available on a one-year ‘prove it’ type deal for say $2 million, he could help the Hurricanes get back to five top four defenseman like 2018-19 and also add much-needed power play help. I missed on the fact that the Canes would not be willing to commit to term, but the basic thesis of continuing to opportunistically add players who are discounted for whatever reason came to fruition.   On Jake Gardiner Gardiner is a proven NHL defenseman who has filled a top 4 role for the Maple Leafs for multiple years. He is a left shot who is capable of playing an offensive game but has at times times been much-maligned for his defensive play. The burning question with Gardiner is whether his defensive play is that problematic or if...
Hurricanes trade Calvin de Haan and Aleksi Saarela to Blackhawks for Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling

Hurricanes trade Calvin de Haan and Aleksi Saarela to Blackhawks for Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling

On Monday night, it was announced that the Carolina Hurricanes had traded Calvin de Haan and AHL level prospect Aleksi Saarela to the Chicago Blackhawks for goalie Anton Forsberg and defenseman Gustav Forsling. I offered my Twitter-sized thoughts shortly after the deal the was announced and will add a layer or two of detail to them below.   First and foremost a financial move 1/? More than anything this is a financial restructuring deal. At some point, team needed to cut some salary on blue line. #TakeWarning https://t.co/yNcd5AM8vR — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) June 25, 2019 The crux of this deal is making a move to take a step toward restructuring the team’s salary costs. My best guess has always been that the original plan last summer was to trade both Justin Faulk and Jeff Skinner last summer. The moves to add both Calvin de Haan and Dougie Hamilton in my opinion presupposed that Faulk would eventually be dealt. When that did not happen because the market just was not there, the Hurricanes entered the season with five top 4 defensemen and salaries to match. For the 2018-19 season it worked. The team did not yet need extra salary cap space, as it was barely above the salary cap minimum, and the depth proved to be a positive. But longer term, the math will not work. Raises for Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen will take the Hurricanes’ salary up a notch. The team still needs to add at least one goalie and might not get off as cheap as last summer. There are additional players who will be up...