With the first round of the 2016 NHL playoffs wrapping up on Wednesday night, here is a quick rundown of Canes-centric impacts from the first round results.


The draft picks

Los Angeles first-rounder

The most direct impact to the Hurricanes future is the what the winners and losers did to a couple draft picks that the Canes have acquired in trades. If my math is right, the Los Angeles Kings first round loss combined with the other results pushed the Kings 2016 first round pick that the Canes acquired in the Andrej Sekera trade all the way up to #19. [EDITED APRIL 29: PICK WILL BE #21] (Basically, the 8 first round winners will draft behind the Kings as will fellow first round losers Florida, Chicago and Anaheim who all had better regular season records. In the process of the Kings losing, the Canes also lost a conditional fifth round pick that was part of the Kris Versteeg trade and contingent on the Kings making it to the Western Conference Finals.


New York Rangers second-rounder

The New York Rangers’ early ouster at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins maximized the 2016 second round pick that the Canes obtained in the Eric Staal trade. That pick will now be eighteenth pick in the second round and 48th pick overall.

When you net it out, the Carolina Hurricanes will draft 4 of the first 50 prospects taken in the 2016 NHL draft and another 4 picks from the next slightly more than 50 (Canes, Jets and Bruins 3rd-rounders and Canes 4th-rounder). I expect some of these picks will be used as trade collateral, but Ron Francis will still continue his effort to stock the system with more depth.


Trade winds


After Frederik Andersen was named the game 3 starter for Anaheim with the Ducks down 2-0, I tweeted the following:

2/3 If Andersen seizes reins & ride him deep into playoffs, he is less likely to be available.

3/3 If drop out early & Andersen is ‘meh’, more likely they want cap space to improve elsewhere in which case maybe Andersen goes.

Does Chicago’s early exit make Blackhawks more likely to tinker again next summer? There were other issues and the St. Louis Blues also deserve credit for playing a great series, but I do not think their 2015-16 try to go with 3 defensemen was viable. After being forced to part ways with solid #4 Johnny Oduya because of salary cap reasons and then striking out with replacement Trevor Daley who ultimately ended up in Pittsburgh, the Hawks never really found and answer for a #4 and instead were forced to try to some combination of just having Duncan Keith play the whole game and trying to hide incapable players in the flow of the game for a shift here and there.
At a workable $2.8 million salary cap could Ron Hainsey be a short-term fix? At a bargain basement ___ for 2 more years on his entry-level deal, could the Blackhawks try to pry loose Brett Pesce who looked capable in a top 4 role next to veteran help in John-Michael Liles for most of the 2015-16 season? If they called, would Hurricanes GM Ron Francis entertain the possibility of trading a good young defenseman since he has a stockpile of them right now?
With the Wings’ early exit and the expected departure of long-time leader Pavel Datsyuk, might the Wings move aggressively to retool or even rebuild? If so, might Jimmy Howard be available, and if so would Ron Francis and his scouting team see him as an upgrade over Cam Ward for the second goalie slot?

Eric Staal’s next destination

I covered the Eric Staal situation in some detail in my Daily Cup of Joe post yesterday. The short version is that despite extenuating circumstances due to his role/usage, Eric Staal likely hurt his market value with his time in New York and likely eliminated the Rangers as a possible 2016-17 destination in the process. Is it possible that Staal’s value decreased to the point where it could fit in the Hurricanes budget? Are there better options anyway? Has GM Ron Francis already decided to move on regardless of price? These are some of the many questions addressed in yesterday’s post.
Go Canes!
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