In addition to the big news of Bill Peters’ resignation on Friday and his fast landing in Calgary on Monday (My article on Peters’ resignation is HERE.), the news wire for the Carolina Hurricanes has been pretty busy otherwise with smaller news too.
Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen join Team Finland for world tourney
On Monday, it was announced that Teravainen and Aho would be joining Team Finland. I am in favor of these young players, especially Aho extending their season by a bit. My hope is that Aho gets more time at the center position, and it also should help him to play some games after the regular 82-game slate to season length with playoffs.
The Charlotte Checkers win first two games in their playoff series
After what seemed to be a losing effort through two periods in Friday’s series opener, the Checkers stormed back for two goals in the third period and an overtime game-winner to steal game one in the series. The Checkers then followed that up with a 2-0 win on Saturday. The series now moves to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where the Checkers just need to win one of three on the road to win the five-game series and advance to the next round of the playoffs.
The first win saw Aleksi Saarela finally break the ice in the third period, Valentin Zykov score the tying goal on the power play and Lucas Wallmark score on a tip to win the game in overtime.
Haydn Fleury scored early and Josiah Didier scored later to stake the Checkers to a 2-1 lead. Two empty-net tallies resulted in a 4-1 final that looked wider than the realty of the closely-contested battle.
Jordan Staal was named a Masterton Trophy finalist
For being a model player and Canes hockey citizen despite hard times personally for him and his wife Heather with the loss of their infant child, Jordan Staal was the Hurricanes nominee for the trophy give to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. The veteran group of finalists includes Roberto Luongo and Brian Boyle.
Chuck Fletcher from the Minnesota Wild is latest general manager to become available
On Monday, the Minnesota Wild relieved long-time general manager Chuck Fletcher of his duties. He represents another experienced candidate who will at least be considered as the Hurricanes’ search continues.
Paul Krepelka named Vice President of Hockey Operations
In a move that seems to push Ron Francis farther to the outside of the group running the team, agent Paul Krepelka has been hired by the Hurricanes with the title of Vice President of Hockey Operations. At a short-term, tactical level, Krepelka figures to be the person responsible for negotiating new contracts. The summer figures to be a big one on that front with Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin up for new deals and Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Jeff Skinner eligible to be extended past their current contracts that end after the 2019-20 season.
The move also adds another person who would normally be hired by the general manager and as such could represent another step in the direction of riding the ‘GM by committee’ approach longer rather than shorter.
Martin Necas scores championship game-winner
Martin Necas scored the series winner to capture the Czech Extraliga championship and put an exclamation point on his career in the Czech Republic. He should compete for an NHL roster spot next fall and land in the AHL if that does not work out. With his Czech season over, he could also be a candidate to join the Checkers.