Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a minute to offer up a batch of Canes hockey opinion quick hitters.
(Not in any particular order)
1) I think the fan base is greatly overestimating the probability that the team will trade the #2 draft pick and the chance to draft Andrei Svechnikov.
Every year, the same thing happens. Teams with the top few picks say that they would consider trading their high pick for the right deal. The right deal is something crazily exorbitant. As such, while their might be some maneuvering with mid-late first round picks, the top few picks are never moved. In addition, talking about draft trades is fun, so it is significantly overblown in the media.
I feel like our fan base thinks this is a 50/50 chance. I think the reality is more like 99/1 that the Canes keep and use the #2 draft pick.
2) I think the Hurricanes fan base underestimates how sizable the gap was between high-end “scorer” and high-end “player” as relates to Jeff Skinner’s 2017-18 season and therefore prospects for the future.
Yes yes…The team needs scoring, and even in a down season, Jeff Skinner notched 24 goals to finish second on the team for the 2017-18 season. But as his scoring stalled a bit and he regressed in terms of risk/reward decision-making and attention to detail without the puck, he became a minus player in terms of winning hockey games. The team could replace the 2017-18 version of Skinner with a reasonably sound 18 goal scorer and be better off. The question is whether Skinner can both boost his scoring and improve on the soundness of his decision-making and two-way play.
3) I think whom the team hires to fill the assistant coach vacancy could be critical to 2018-19 success.
As Rod Brind’Amour tries to make a significant leap from no head coaching experience and only four years of assistant coaching experience, the brain trust could greatly benefit from another significant contributor coaching-wise. I think one of Peters’ failings was an inability to see the forest from the trees when things turned South. I clamored last summer for the team to bring in a veteran in someone with head coaching experience in a consulting or similar role to provide a sounding board for Peters. I think Brind’Amour could similarly benefit from another solid helper.
4) I think one key to the next leg up for Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen scoring-wise will be finding a complementary forward for their line.
The TSA line was solid, balanced and maybe even the best that the team could do with the personnel available. But as much as Jordan Staal is a solid player, he just is not a great complement on a scoring line, and it showed by the fact that he collected only 46 points while his (most of the season) line mates were up almost 20 points on him (also noting that more often than not centers are the top scorer on scoring lines because of how often they touch the puck).
Valentin Zykov assured that he would be considered for a place on this line with a decent run of hockey with the Finnish duo at the end of the season. James van Riemsdyk is arguably the most interesting free agent option available this summer because of his ability to play mostly without the puck and be productive finishing at the top of the crease. Regardless, I would not underestimate the importance of the third player on that line. Reaching point per game scoring usually requires a line with three players working well together.
5) I think many overestimate the need for a high-end prospect like Noah Hanifin to develop for numerous years before reaching up to or near his potential.
Players who are on the elite track at an early age tend to develop much more rapidly. Players are working with special coaches as young teenagers and playing against elite competition in world tourneys only a few years later. As relates to Hanifin, Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov who were drafted behind him in the 2015 NHL draft have both established themselves as every game top 4 defensemen. If you roll forward another year and consider players a year younger than Hanifin, Mikhail Sergachev, Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Chychrun have similarly played their way up int the top 4 at the NHL level. No doubt, there is the possibility of Hanifin being more the type who just puts it all together suddenly and vaults upward, but I also think entering his fourth season, Hanifin is officially on the clock development-wise.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Which of these opinions do you agree with?
2) Which do you disagree with?
3) What opinion quick hitters would you add if making your own list?