If I can find time to sort of outline the path forward and write an article with some depth, my usual “Building the 2018-19 Roster” series will kick off in earnest on Friday which is officially the beginning of June.
So that means, I have one more May Daily Cup of Joe with only fumes for fuel at this late hour and no concrete topic. So today’s Daily Cup of Joe will offer a few ‘Canes comments’ on a couple different matters being bandied around right now in the Canes and Coffee comments and elsewhere.
1) Bill Peters as a Jeff Skinner scapegoat
First, I do think that Rod Brind’Amour will be a better motivator of players than Bill Peters if for no other reason as I do not think this was a strength for Peters. So just like with any other player, the potential exists for Rod Brind’Amour to be a positive for Jeff Skinner’s 2018-19 season. That said, I do not get the regular party line right now that Bill Peters is to blame for Skinner’s sub-par 2017-18 season. Logic would seem to suggest then that Skinner’s much stronger 37-goal 2016-17 season and step up defensively in 2016-17 were also due to Peters. Instead, much of the fan base seems to give Skinner credit for his play in 2016-17 but then blame Peters in 2017-18. The two are inconsistent.
2) The possibility of trading the #2 overall pick
I continue to think that the probability of the #2 overall pick being traded is significantly overestimated. The current situation where the broad NHL community ponders and discusses the potential of a high draft pick being traded is simply a May and early June ritual. As the NHL playoffs shrink, fewer fans have a vested interest in what is happening on the ice, so attention shifts off the ice. And blockbuster trades on the draft floor are as exciting as speculation comes and hence a great way to fill up days of mostly nothing for news. But historically, the ratio of rumblings and rumors compared to actual top draft pick trades is incredibly high. That is to say that actual trades rarely materialize. Though anything is possible, the greatest probability by far is the status quo which is a bunch of speculation but ultimately the Carolina Hurricanes stepping up to the podium to use the #2 draft pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
3) Hope for an opportunity for Trevor Carrick
Earlier this week, the Hurricanes announced that the team had re-signed Trevor Carrick to a one-year, two-way contract. Carrick has a going concern in the Charlotte Checkers’ strong 2017-18 campaign. Despite being passed on the way to the NHL depth chart by other young players three years in a row, Carrick has played well enough to earn an NHL audition. My scouting of him has him as a player who could possibly play a depth role at the NHL level but not too much more. But then, players can and do surprise when given a reasonable opportunity to prove themselves. Whether I am right or wrong, I always root for players like Carrick to get one decent audition to make a case for an NHL role. As such and be it with the Hurricanes or another team, I hope Trevor Carrick gets an NHL audition with enough time to state his case.
4) How many rookies is enough? Too many?
One of the debates that has made the rounds a couple times in the Coffee Shop is how many rookies the Hurricanes should plan for and ultimately have on their opening day roster. Many seem to be in favor of Valentin Zykov, Warren Foegele and Martin Necas. Then there are still other players like Lucas Wallmark and Roland McKeown. Depending on what the team does in terms of adding veterans, it is not inconceivable that the Hurricanes break camp with 4-5 rookies on their roster. Personally, I do not too much get bogged down on allocating a certain number of roster slots. Rather, I hope the Hurricanes get to a point where players earn NHL ice time with successful auditions (reference Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce) and are not thrust into NHL roles regardless of readiness or success in auditions (reference Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin). In this vein, ideal for me would be if the Hurricanes have some inexpensive veteran depth available to fill the last couple roster spots, but that they can easily become plan B if rookies rise above them. My wild guess is that the team adds a veteran or two, but does see 2-3 rookies on the opening day roster and that other players see NHL ice time when injuries open more slots.
What say you on these topics, Canes fans?