Today’s Daily Cup of Joe continues a series of posts considering options for re-signing or letting go the team’s group of players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this off-season.
Comparing/contrasting McGinn and Martinook
Up next is Brock McGinn. If one starts from an assumption that improving the team requires keeping some but letting some go from the middle/bottom half of the roster players with unrestricted free agents the easiest to move on, I think it is interesting to compare Jordan Martinook and Brock McGinn. Both players are coming off $2 million contracts. Both players have mostly slotted in the bottom half of the forward group but also been bumped up to higher lines when Brind’Amour shuffles the lineup a bit. And both score high marks for their every shift intensity that can be helpful when when the team is flat and needs a lift.
But despite the similarities, I see two significant differences. First, I think McGinn brings more in terms of scoring upside and ability to slot even if only intermittently on a scoring line. In 2020-21, McGinn had eight goals in only 37 games for an 18-goal pace over a full 82-game season. The peak was the burst he had catching fire on a lower line and then riding it for awhile longer on Aho’s line. In terms of raw production, I think McGinn brings more.
Like Martinook, McGinn is a good locker room presence, but I think the difference, per the post on Martinook, is that McGinn is more of a lead by example foot soldier who does his thing incredibly consistently which helps set a tone for the team. Martinook is different in that he is in more of an active leadership role both formally as an assistant captain but also just in terms of leadership style. In my post on Martinook, I referred to him as a glue guy who I think is integral to pulling the locker room together.
Where does McGinn fit?
Despite fitting into the lineup in a somewhat similar place and having nearly the same salary, I see McGinn as a different type of player/decision than Martinook. Whereas I see Martinook as preferable to keep at the right price less than his current salary for his leadership and glue factor but in a depth role possibly even in a #13 slot that is not always in the lineup. I see McGinn as a better fit production-wise as a consistent energy third-liner who can play up in the lineup at times. Also favorable for McGinn is the fact that he has generally played at a higher level in the playoffs with a couple clutch goals to boot.
Where do I land?
Of the group of players who are unrestricted free agents, I see McGinn as one who makes most sense to re-sign as long as he does not prefer to seek and ultimately gets a sizable raise from his just completed contract at $2 million per year. Though I do think the Hurricanes need to try to upgrade the middle/bottom part of the forward group, I think the space to be made comes from some of the players not yet covered.
What say you Canes fans?
1) To what degree do you think keeping McGinn and Martinook is an either/or choice giving their salary that is maybe a bit high or a depth role such that the team cannot afford to pay a premium for both?
2) Where do you land on Brock McGinn? Would you prioritize keeping him, and if so, what do you see as a reasonable salary and term?