I will put up an open forum type post for trade deadline day for any discussion of Canes or other NHL deals.
Over the past weeks, I have written about Monday’s 2019 NHL trade deadline from many different angles.
I finished by saying that I expected less rather than more though did keep open the possibility that the team uses the active period to finish off incomplete work from last summer moving a top 4 defenseman for a top 6 forward.
But what jumps out to me right now is this — The Carolina Hurricanes are in a playoff spot right now. The reason is because they have been at the top of the league for nearly two months now. And the team also just added a good forward in Jordan Staal who returned from injury. The momentum and trajectory are good right now. And chemistry should not be underestimated. Whatever inkling the team might have had to sell one more time should be diminished. And with the team winning, and sense of urgency to make a deal for the sake of doing a deal should be nonexistent.
Put more succinctly, this team has made an strong case over the past 6-7 weeks to just ride forward with the current group and see what happens.
Nonetheless, here are my watch points for Monday’s NHL trade deadline
1) Micheal Ferland
A month ago, I would have pegged his probability of being traded at 50 percent or maybe slightly more. While I would not be shocked to see Ferland dealt on Monday, I would be moderately surprised. The self-rental term that has been bandied about makes sense. That said, the management regime does have history of very quickly dealing players that they could not come to terms with easily when Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin were shipped out. So there is that. But I peg the odds of Ferland staying at 85%.
2) The defense for forward blockbuster
I still think it makes sense for the Hurricanes to do one more deal to add a top 6 forward at the expense of a top 4 defenseman. But again, with the team winning and Justin Faulk heating up offensively, I increasingly think the time to reopen that could be in the offseason. Whereas I would have put such a deal as a 20-30 percent probability awhile back I think it is lower now because a strong case has been made for patience.
3) Other Canes deals
I do not see the Hurricanes adding depth. The team has been solid on defense and in net such that a lower-tier player would not be an upgrade. And even at forward, the Hurricanes are now up to 13 forwards with Staal back in the lineup. I peg the odds as low, say 10 percent, that the Hurricanes make a deal for depth.
4) The Columbus Blue Jackets
The somewhat Canes-related story that I am most intrigued by right now is the Columbus Blue Jackets. Thought to be considering dealing Artemi Panari and Sergei Bobrovsky before they became free agents this summer, the Blue Jackets first move was to win one of the biggest chips in free agency in Matt Duchene. Was that a move to back fill? Or was that a move to just go for it in 2018-19 before the team has to retool a bit? Monday will answer that question when we see if Bobrovsky and Panarin go. If they do not, the Blue Jackets just took a step up talent-wise which is a negative for the Canes. My wild guess is that the Blue Jackets intend to go for it in 2019 but who knows.
5) The Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens
Those are the other two teams in the thick of the playoff chase with the Canes. I will also be watching to see if either team makes another deal.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Do you have any other Canes-related watch points for Monday?
2) Do you think the Hurricanes surprise with a deal? Or management content to ride with the group that has been good for some time now?