With the August doldrums of the NHL off-season officially upon us, Carolina Hurricanes’ and broader NHL news is sparse these days.
The big item still looming for the Hurricanes is a final decision on Justin Williams’ return. I would have expected that to be finalized within a week of Brock McGinn’s signing. At that point, the the financial situation remaining was finalized, and Williams had about two months to let go of the 2018-19 season, recharge and make a decision on his hockey future. But until that decision comes down, the Daily Cup of Joe will mostly be from the ‘random musing’ category that usually spurs great conversation at Canes and Coffee even in the dead of summer.
If anyone has specific topics he/she would like to see me address please include it in the comments or zip me a message. Also, if anyone would like to tackle a topic herself/himself in a guest post, please send a short description, so it can be considered. My tentative plan is to push about another week or so deep with daily posts before taking a week-ish break to recharge before the start of training camp.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a try at coming up with comparables for a few Canes players.
Sebastian Aho => Brayden Point
Both players are just completing their entry-level contracts and are a bit undersized but with more than enough skill and smarts to make up for it. I think a key difference is that that Point benefited from being able to break in somewhat as a complementary player because of the other elite scorers on the Lightning roster, whereas Aho really had to be the catalyst and the top dog offensively from the beginning. I have a half-writter article that compares Aho to a broader class of players who are similar in age and level of play, but if I had to pick one comparable, it would be Point.
Justin Williams => Patrick Marleau (before leaving Maple Leafs)
Never mind the one year diversion, but Justin Williams was brought in the help provide the leadership needed to get a young team up over the playoff hump. He did exactly that in his second year. Marleau’s role in Toronto was a bit different in that the team had already rebounded when he arrived also in that he was not so much tasked with being ‘the guy’ to lead a significant culture change. But the way both players took young stars under their wings almost like father figures is similar in my opinion.
Petr Mrazek=> Martin Jones
Not generally considered to be in the top tier of NHL goalies who are elite or close, Petr Mrazek and Martin Jones have been close enough. Mrazek had a strong second half of the 2018-19 season to help boost the Hurricanes into the playoffs. Jones did not have a great 2018-19 season but in general has been really close to the level of the goalies often considered to be in a tier above him. If they can keep it up, both players represent a key component in terms of being able to build a winner without having what many would consider to be a true top goalie.
I had good intentions of making a slightly longer list, but ran out of time today. That should leave more room for readers to build out a bigger list of comparables.
What say you Canes fans?
1) What do you think about the comparables listed above?
2) Who has additional comparables for Canes players to build a bigger list?