Today’s Daily Cup of Joe has a quick batch of Canes odds and ends.
Each of the Hurricanes’ first two playoff games are 12pm starts. The wild cards are many with the odd situation, but if the Canes or Rangers struggle with the odd start time, that would almost be enough to decide the series.
The Hurricanes suffered a wild and abysmal 8-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in an afternoon game, but in total the Hurricanes were an impressive 6-1-1 in afternoon games during the regular season. Four of those eight games went to overtime, so the Canes were maybe not as dominant as the 6-1-1 record might suggest, but the regular season results still look positive in terms of afternoon games.
From the point when James Reimer was acquired in a deal with a primary benefit of unloading Scott Darling’s contract instead of having to buy him, I suggested that the best outcome would be a decent or better season in 2019-20 to pave the way for a trade before the 2020-21 season. With Alex Nedeljkovic due to get a real shot at the NHL level, such an outcome would have netted productivity from Reimer for a season and paved a way to cut costs at the position going forward. But two things have happened since then. First, James Reimer has played well. Second and maybe more importantly, the odd timing of the season means that the Hurricanes will have paid the majority of Reimer’s 2020-21 cost before being able to shop him on the trade market. Of Reimer’s $3.1 million salary (cap hit is $3.4 million), $2.25 million is in the form of a signing bonus. Those are most commonly due in July. If that is the case for Reimer, the Canes will have pay Reimer only $850,000 of out of pocket during the 2020-21 season. At that price, I would consider keeping Reimer for another season even with Nedeljkovic on the way up. The cost is minimal, and Nedeljkovic is unproven at the NHL. Though financially it could make sense, the challenge is the balancing act with three goalies.
Former Canes prospects
The match up with the Rangers could see the Hurricanes play against not one but two recent higher-end Canes prospects. Defenseman Adam Fox will most definitely play a role in the outcome of the series. Julien Gauthier would not figure to be in the lineup for game one of the series, but he is on the New York’s roster and could draw into the series with injuries or players testing positive for COVID-19. The potential for those two players to factor in the series just adds another level of drama.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Do you see the Canes success in daytime hockey as meaningful for the Rangers’ series, or do you think it is randomness over a small sample size?
2) With the majority of James Reimer’s 2020-21 pay already taken care of, would you consider keeping him as a third goaltender even if the intent is to give Alex Nedeljkovic a chance in 2020-21?
3) Who has other topics to bandy around today as The Coffee Shop members trickle back in?