Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a small batch of quick hitters.
Micheal Ferland has reportedly signed a four-year deal for $3.5 million per year with the Vancouver Canucks. What started as a gap between the team and Ferland during the winter and seemed to grow as time passed likely made it impossible that Ferland was going to return, but on a simple financial level, the deal is in the neighborhood of something I would have considered. Even considering some injury risk $3.5 million per year is a fair price for a player with a unique skill set and capability of being a good complementary top 6 forward. That $3.5 million yearly salary is increasingly a third line rate, and even on a bad day Ferland is at least that. The tougher question is the risk that comes with the four year term. I would jump at that salary for two years. I would probably still take it at three years. At four years, it becomes a bit tougher and probably something I pass on with some hesitation.
I view Ferland as a player who proved capable of being a complementary player with the ability to match pace and finish enough to be a productive scorer. In addition, I think his ability to be a physical disruptor is underrated. Ferland’s combination of skating and brute force makes the ice dangerous for opposing players with the result being players peeking up from the puck and sometimes getting rid of it early.
The Hurricanes have not really replaced Ferland’s physical edge and role as ultimate policeman, and I think that will be missed, but with the four-year term, I am content to be happy for him and wish him well in Vancouver.
A lower key signing last week was 31-year old Brian Gibbons. Gibbons brings another veteran AHL center with NHL experience. The Hurricanes have had a good run identifying good fits first adding Greg McKegg at the trade deadline in 2018 and then adding Tomas Jurco last season. Gibbons slots nicely as a C5 down in Charlotte who would not be overwhelmed or in over his head if pressed into action at the NHL level. I view Gibbons as being veteran reinforcements to replace either Patrick Brown or Tomas Jurco but at half the cost in terms of guaranteed salary at the AHL level.
On Wednesday it was announced that Ryan Warsofsky had been named to replace departed Charlotte Checkers Head Coach Mike Vellucci. The move is an interesting one reaching from within the organization and making Warsofsky the youngest AHL head coach at only 31 years of age. He is only four months older than the aforementioned Brian Gibbons.
As would be expected or a 31-year old coach, Warsofsky’s resume is successful but fairly modest. At the ECHL level, he has three years as an assistant coach and another two as a head coach including a run to the ECHL finals. And last season as an assistant under Vellucci was his first at the AHL level.
I do not have enough visibility to Warsofsky to evaluate him as a coach, but a couple things jump out. I like the fact that he could be an up and comer having had success at the ECHL level despite limited experience (sounds like another coach we know). I also like the fact that he had a year under Vellucci and with AHL success. The big question will be whether he can match Vellucci in terms of player development.
What say you Canes fans?
1) If given the chance, would you have re-signed Micheal Ferland for four years at $3.5 million per year? If not, what price and term (if any) would you have offered?
2) What are your thoughts on Ryan Warsofsky’s hiring to be the head coach at the AHL level?