On Thursday, the Carolina Hurricanes recalled Finnish forward Saku Maenalanen. The timing is interesting in that there had been recent rumors that Maenalanen might be headed back to Europe. Based on that, one have to wonder if perhaps this is a consequential audition for Maenalanen.
So my jumping off point from there uses today’s Daily Cup of Joe to question the Hurricanes use of the AHL.
The article adds to a busy week of Charlotte Checkers coverage.
On Thursday, the second of two Charlotte Checkers ‘week in review’ type articles with detailed game recaps by Brandon Stanley was posted. You can find the first article covering Thanksgiving week HERE. And you can find the most recent week HERE.
Right now, if there is one thing that the Carolina Hurricanes need, it would be scoring punch.
Canes forward call ups
Based upon that, I have been perplexed by the Hurricanes’ moves with regard to AHL call ups.
=> The choice to call up Maenalanen might be driven by the need to give him an audition or lose him, but at the same time, I question calling up yet another forward whose calling card is two-way play not dynamic scoring.
=> That is in addition to Clark Bishop. Bishop is a good hockey player, and as a fifth-rounder who worked his way up to the NHL level, his story is a great one. But Bishop has exactly zero points in 10 games and makes for yet another line where the center is light on offense relative to his slot/role.
=> Ditto for Warren Foegele. Foegele earned an opening night roster spot by playing phenomenal hockey in preseason. He followed that up with a fast start, but Foegele has now gone 19 games without a point. Foegele’s game in general has been okay, but one has to wonder if the team would be better with more offense in that slot.
=> Meanwhile in Charlotte, the Checkers are winning, and the team is scoring. Yet the Hurricanes have regularly passed on scoring and instead called up a checking line forward. When you do that enough times, the lineup starts to look like run of checking lines that cannot score. So why not Janne Kuokkanen who had a strong preseason and now leads the Checkers in scoring. Aleksi Saarela also fits the bill as a sniper. And if team wanted to go off the chart, they could recall Andrew Poturalski.
Instead matching needs and players
If I were suddenly given the keys to the Canes offices, the first thing I would do is call up Janne Kuokkanen. Past that, I would look to add one more higher ceiling type player to the mix at the NHL level. Aleksi Saarela is potentially the best fit as a pure sniper. In addition, could an AHL center like Andrew Poturalski and/or Greg McKegg ride an adrenaline rush for a burst of scoring? Or could someone like Julien Gauthier suddenly arrive?
What say you Canes fans?
1) Are you surprised with the call ups thus far? If not, what would you change?
2) What do you make of the rumblings about Maenalanen and what that could mean for his upcoming audition?
3) If you could have only one AHL call up right now, who would it be?