Chronological Blog List

Thursday Coffee Shop: Leon Draisaitl and the run of impending Hurricanes’ contracts

Using a rare piece of mid-August hockey news in Leon Draisaitl’s re-signing yesterday, the Thursday Coffee Shop polls and discussion questions will use that as a jumping off point for today’s coffee chatter. The Daily Cup of Joe for today is a companion article with a couple Hurricanes’ angles on the Oilers’ deal. David Miller’s article projecting the Hurricanes’ financial situation out a few years is also great companion reading for today’s financial discussion. So get your calculators and Wall Street math models ready, and let’s go…   Carolina Hurricanes polls Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response.   How relevant do you think Draisatl's new contract will be when the Hurricanes re-sign Sebastian Aho either next summer or the one after? (Select as many as apply.) I think it will become a close comparable as Aho's offensive product rises and looks pretty similar to Draisaitl's. I think it will establish a ceiling and reference point and help push Aho into a range in a tier below. Between two more years passing and the two players being different, I do not believe Draisaitl's contract will be especially relevant in pricing Aho's next deal. Other (Add in comments) View Results  Loading ...   What do you expect for the price range (for annual salary) for Sebastian Aho's next contract? Less than $3 million $3.0 - 3.9 million $4.0 - 4.9 million $5.0 - 5.9 million $6.0 - 6.9 million $7.0 - 7.9 million $8 million or more View Results  Loading ...   What do you expect for the price range (for annual salary) for Noah Hanifin's next...

Couple Hurricanes’ angles on the Edmonton Oilers re-signing Leon Draisaitl

If you are catching up this week and wanting to look forward to training camp, I just completed a quick two-part training camp sneak preview that first looked at roster battles for the last three forward slots and then followed up with a look at the potential roster battle for the last slot on the blue line.   About a month ago, the Edmonton Oilers re-upped a year early with Connor McDavid signing him to might 8-year contract that will pay him $12.5 million annually. Today the other shoe dropped, so to speak, when Leon Draisaitl was re-signed to an 8-year contract that will pay him $8.5 million annually. In the process, the duo just became the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin of their generation at least contractually, and the process has begun to see if the Oilers can build a Stanley Cup winner around the two cornerstones. Below are a couple Carolina Hurricanes’ angles on today’s contract announcement   No offer sheet (no surprise) The deal with Draisaitl officially puts to rest any hope or speculation that the Hurricanes could or should extend an offer sheet to Draisaitl. Despite being a fun offseason discussion point, an offer sheet was never in the cards to begin with per an article on offer sheets all the way back on June 1.   A possible reference point and ceiling for Sebastian Aho’s next contract Sebastian Aho is still two years away from being a restricted free agent like Draisaitl was this summer; nevertheless, he could serve as a reference point when the time comes. Draisaitl’s 77 points in 2016-17 set a pretty high...

Training camp sneak peek: Carolina Hurricanes last defense slot

Though it was hidden from the main page by some weird ordering logic, there was a Daily Cup of Joe article for Tuesday for those who found it through the link on Twitter or simply went into the DCoJ tab. It was ‘sneak preview’ part 1 of 2 previewing potential roster battles for the last three forward slots. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes on the somewhat more straightforward battles possible to fill out the Hurricanes blue line to start the 2017-18 NHL season.   The assumed starting point for the blue line My math (and I think virtually everyone’s) says that Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin and Trevor van Riemsdyk are pretty much penned into the lineup. One of the big story lines to watch in preseason is how Peters decides to set his top 4 at least to start the season.   Penciled in right now Despite not having played an NHL game yet, I am on record as thinking that Haydn Fleury enters training camp as the player hoped and expected to seize the sixth and final defense slot in the lineup. Though Fleury will be given every opportunity to win this slot, I do not see Peters and/or Francis forcing the issue if he just is not ready yet. The goal for 2017-18 is to win, and Peters will build the lineup most capable of doing that whether it includes Fleury or not.   The potential battle for the final slot in the lineup If Fleury does not look ready in preseason, the door cracks open for a few other players to...

Training camp sneak peek: Carolina Hurricanes last three forward slots

If you missed it yesterday, I recommend checking out the interesting collection of comments in the Monday Coffee Shop. The open forum offers an interesting collection of comments spanning a number of Hurricanes comments from the Canes and Coffee Community.   I will undoubtedly dig into this and other similar topics in more detail as we get closer to the start of training camp and then again after we see preseason action, but in a fit of missing hockey, I took to scribbling out the Hurricanes forward situation over the weekend. Things can change, but I view nine slots as pretty fixed. Barring an injury, I would be very surprised not to see all of Jeff Skinner, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Staal, Victor Rask, Marcus Kruger, Elias Lindholm, Justin Williams and Lee Stempniak in the opening day lineup. That makes nine forwards and at least based on what position the nine played in 2016-17, it leaves one opening for each forward position. In addition, the lineup has a few players with positional flexibility such that they could move to make things work.   The assumed starting point Despite being the third center nearly assured of a roster spot, I actually view Kruger as being the anchor of a checking-focused line that is one of the bottom two lines (a 3A and 3B if you will) that is used somewhat situationally. So my starting point is that there is a hole at center on a 3A scoring-focused line and that the two openings at wing are on Kruger’s 3B checking-focused line. So math has the openings as a scoring-capable...

I think…

Nearing the midway point of hockey nothingness known as August, Hurricanes fans actually have something to track in the ongoing process to sell the team. If you were away for the weekend, I offered my thoughts on recent events in this article on Friday. You can also find links to other recent local coverage in the Sunday Canes Chronicle. The ownership situation receives top billing on any day that there is even a small blip of news. Past that there is not much, but with the aim of helping the Hurricanes faithful trudge through another hockey-less day in August, I managed to accumulate a list of what I am calling “I think…” type of thoughts similar to the more regular “random notes” that I occasionally post. The Monday Coffee Shop opens the floor for everyone else to offer their own “I think…” comments on anything Canes hockey.   I think… I think that it will be interesting to see where Coach Bill Peters slots Sebastian Aho position-wise in training camp and if Aho sees at least a short trial run at center. Peters was pretty firmly on record as seeing Aho staying at wing for the 2017-18 season when he spoke to the media in April shortly after the season ended. But at that point in time, there was at least some possibility and maybe even a likelihood that Francis would add a top 9, scoring-capable forward over the course of the summer. That did not happen. So if there is still potentially a need there and since Peters does still see Aho moving to center at some point, might...

Monday Coffee Shop: Open reader forum with “I think…”

Today we sit right in the middle of the slowest day of the hockey year. In true ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ form, the Monday Coffee Shop will mostly be taken over by the patients today (and that is meant in the nicest possible way). Following the theme from today’s Daily Cup of Joe, the game is for readers to put forward an “I think…” statement on Hurricanes hockey to be considered. Cool would be if we could get an ‘agree’ and/or ‘disagree’ comment on each one. Critical here is obviously to maintain the friendly coffee shop atmosphere that is respectful and considerate in disagreement. Without further ado, a couple quick polls to officially meet the regular Coffee Shop format, then the floor is open.   Carolina Hurricanes polls Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response.   Based on the continued reports on the team sale process, what is your updated estimate for a closing date for the sale of the team? By the end of August. Not before the end of August but before the start of training camp in mid-September. Not before the start of training camp, but in time for Chuck Greenberg to sound the siren on opening night on October 7. Not by the start of the season, but before the end of the year. Not until the second half of the NHL season. Never. This deal will ultimately fall through. Other (add in comments) View Results  Loading ...   What are the chances we receive new news other than the ownership situation in August? 0-20% -- Slim...really slim. 21-40% --...

Sunday Canes Chronicle: Kids and ownership edition

More news bubbled up on the ownership transition front in the middle of an otherwise quiet week in mid-August. Despite the slow time of year, some digging still yielded a decent mix of Hurricanes hockey reading to help pass another slow day in the dead of the offseason.   Carolina Hurricanes prospects Brock Otten from OHL Prospects shared a deep dive on the five Hurricanes prospects who played in the OHL in 2016-17 (scroll to August 12 if you check this later) and shared Martin Necas’ likely destination for 2017-18 along the way. Kevin LeBlanc from Dobber Prospects did his annual 31-in-31 on the Hurricanes prospects from a fantasy hockey angle. Tom Gulitti from NHL.com also chimed in with a 31-in-31 update on the Hurricanes prospect pool.   2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes projections Also from NHL.com, Rob Vollman dug into the statistics and suggested that the Hurricanes could be much-improved. Finishing the trifecta, Pete Jensen from NHL.com shared an early fantasy hockey look at the 2017-18 Hurricanes.   Chuck Greenberg, Peter Karmanos and the ownership situation Chip Alexander provided his latest update on the ownership situation in his August 9 article at the News & Observer. Also on August 9, Cory Lavalette at the North State Journal chimed in with an article that shared unprecedented detail on the team’s financials for the 2016-17 season. Here at Canes and Coffee, we shared our thoughts on possible angles on the most recent batch of news to break.   Go...

Peter Karmanos and Chuck Greenberg play a public chess match through early August

For those who have been tracking everything daily in the North State Journal and News & Observer and on WRALSportsFan.com and Twitter, you can skip past history lesson at the ————— toward the end.   For those catching up or looking for a refresher, check out my original article on July 13 (only hours after the rumor broke). Though almost a month has passed since that article, I stand by my general assessment of what I think a Chuck Greenberg-led acquisition could mean for the Hurricanes organization and fan base. Against the backdrop of hot weather, back to school sales and slowest month of the hockey year, the wheels continue to turn on a deal that would see the Carolina Hurricanes sold by the only owner that Canes fans have ever known in Peter Karmanos and acquired by a group led by Chuck Greenberg. Details and specific are outside of the public domain, but I think we have enough snippets of verified information that the positive but intentionally vague assessment of “wheels continue to turn” is accurate.   Chuck Greenberg prairie dogs in and out of Raleigh Throughout the process, Chuck Greenberg has yet to say anything formally or publicly on the deal or where it stands, but he has still managed to toss out enough evidence that something is in fact in process with Twitter and the local media serving as communications platforms.   July 24, 2017 – Chuck Greenberg appears in Raleigh making hockey stops. Potential Canes owner Chuck Greenberg took a look at Raleigh Center Ice on Monday, in town for meetings. #canes pic.twitter.com/dL48L3ntfh — Chip...

Thursday Coffee Shop: Assessing 2017-18 Hurricanes’ expectations

The Daily Cup of Joe today is entitled, “The double-edged sword of optimism.” The aim is not to squash the good vibe that has been building over the summer. Rather, the aim is to question whether the dial could flip too far into the positive, maybe a little bit too soon and pave the road for another even bigger round of disappointment. The Thursday Coffee Shop opens the floor to bandy around whether the expectations being built for the 2017-18 Carolina Hurricanes are underdone, overdone or maybe just right and also take the temperature of the fan base in terms of where the bar is set for the current season to be a positive one. Without further ado, to the polls we go…   Carolina Hurricanes polls Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response.   Where do you think the broader NHL hockey media prognostications will land for the Hurricanes for the 2017-18 season? Underrated. The rest of the hockey world will still see the Hurricanes as a lottery contender and will not believe until AFTER the team wins. Just right. I think most are starting to get that the Hurricanes are rising but rightfully will not anoint them as much more until they prove it. Overrated. The Hurricanes are destined to become the 2017-18 everyman's dark horse such that the buzz grows and they really are not a dark horse anymore. View Results  Loading ...   What, for you, are reasonable expectations for the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2017-18 season? An easy playoff berth (Top 3 in the division) and at least one playoff series...

The double-edged sword of optimism

Last week I said the following on Twitter: 1/2 #Canes have RAPIDLY transitioned from bad to rebuilding to promising to trendy pick to win. September will be FILLED with similar. https://t.co/asVd1mlHYA — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) August 3, 2017 2/2 Double-edged sword is that w/optimism, expectations are ratcheting up significantly for fan base that has endured long run of setbacks. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) August 3, 2017   Early positives have already started to trickle in from the outside NHL hockey world, and by early October I think the Hurricanes are destined to become 2017-18’s trendy pick for a surprise playoff team, a dark horse or whatever other term writers want to tag to an up-and-comer. And the pundits are right. With the NHL team improving and the prospect pool incredibly deep with players with top half of the roster potential, the trajectory is unmistakably upward right now. And I fully believe that the path to the playoffs in front of the Canes faithful is much shorter than the eight years of misses behind us. All of these things are good, and in the long run the optimism will be rewarded. But short-term, the surging optimism is a double-edged sword. With boundless optimism comes the risk of painful disappointment. Even if the Hurricanes do improve again in 2017-18 as expected, the difficult Metropolitan Division probably still makes a playoff berth a 50/50 possibility. I took an early look at the Metropolitan Division on July 20. I will not reshash all of the details, but in short I see even lesser Penguins and Capitals teams as at least playoff-worthy...

Interesting Carolina Hurricanes contract situations

Among other random things during the hockey dog days of August, one of the places I have spent some time is CapFriendly which is easily among the most underrated resources available to us as hockey people. My browsing started me thinking about a few interesting situations for the Hurricanes both now and also looking into the future. For anyone who needs a refresher on some of the legalese related to contracts especially for prospects and young players, here are a few resources. Followed by a fairly detailed legal prelude, here are a few situations that come into play for our very own Carolina Hurricanes.   The significant financial advantage of having players on entry-level contracts at the NHL level One of the advantages with the structure for prospect contracts is the fixed amounts for these contracts. Players like Connor McDavid who are elite at age 18 or 19 can tack on a bunch of bonuses that escalate total salary including bonuses to the $3 million range, but the vast majority of even good young players earn $800,000-900,000 per year for their first three years of their NHL career on their entry-level contracts. The three years of the entry-level contract basically start when a player starts playing professionally either at the NHL level or at the AHL level (though players earn a lower AHL salary if they play there). The result is that players like Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Sebastian Aho who make a quick jump to the NHL are often incredible bargains for a couple years while still playing out their entry-level contracts. Can...

Is Janne Kuokkanen the next Sebastian Aho?

Monday wrapped up my series of articles on the Hurricanes prospect pool. There is much to be optimistic and excited about, but perhaps the player rising most rapidly right now is Janne Kuokkanen. At the risk of overhyping Kuokkanen, today’s Daily Cup of Joe takes a look at the parallels between Kuokkanen’s development thus far and the path taken by fellow Fin Sebastian Aho.   Sebastian Aho With the 35th draft pick in the 2015 NHL draft, the Carolina Hurricanes selected Sebastian Aho. He was a bit off the board in terms of the mean draft rankings and also a bit of an unknown being a European prospect. In fact, the first step in the process of welcoming Aho into the Hurricanes prospect pool was clarifying that the Sebastian Aho in question was the forward from Finland and not the defenseman from Sweden. When the Hurricanes passed on a handful of bigger names, bigger players in terms of size and more well-known players from North America, there was a mini-uproar on Twitter from many of the June draft experts who had Aho nowhere to be found at least this early in the mock drafts. Aho first arrived in Raleigh for the 2015 Carolina Hurricanes prospect camp. He had a strong week but not really anything that screamed “super star…and very soon.” While some were still transitioning from whoever it was they thought Francis should have selected instead of Aho at #35, I rated his play at prospect camp top of the class in this article that was one of Canes and Coffee’s first on our July 29, 2015 official...

Monday Coffee Shop: Carolina Hurricanes prospects

Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe was the sixth and final article evaluating and even taking a shot at ranking the Hurricanes’ promising prospect pool. The Monday Coffee Shop is the companion for that article. The prospects have been discussed along the way with the series, but especially with the dog days of August upon us, another round of bandying around something so promising seems like a great way to spend a Monday.   Carolina Hurricanes polls Please remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response.   Which of the the top 5 rated prospects do you think has the most promising future? Julien Gauthier Martin Necas Haydn Fleury Janne Kuokkanen Jake Bean View Results  Loading ...   Which prospects ranked #6 to #16 do you think have the most promising future? (Select up to 3.) Lucas Wallmark Nicolas Roy Aleksi Saarela Warren Foegele Roland McKeown Matt Filipe Valentin Zykov Alex Nedeljkovic Callum Booth Eetu Luostarinen Luke Martin View Results  Loading ...   Which prospect(s) do you think are most underrated per the rankings? (Choose up to 3.) Haydn Fleury Janne Kuokkanen Jake Bean Lucas Wallmark Nicolas Roy Aleksi Saarela Warren Foegele Roland McKeown Matt Filipe Valentin Zykov Alex Nedeljkovic Callum Booth Eetu Luostarinen Luke Martin Other unranked player (add in comments). View Results  Loading ...     Discussion questions   Which prospects will play a role in the Hurricanes 2017-18 season either right out of the gate or possibly as injuries create opportunities later in the season? Of the prospects ranked below the top 10 or not ranked at all, who do you really like to move up...

Ranking the Carolina Hurricanes prospects — Part 4: Overall top 15 and parting comments

If you were away from Canes and Coffee for the weekend, on Saturday I posted part 3C of my prospect evaluations and rankings which featured that last group of forwards. That article also includes links to the previous parts if you are catching up. My wrap up today will combine the rankings for all three positions to create a top 15 and it will also offer a few parting thoughts on the rankings and various players.   Complete Carolina Hurricanes prospect rankings                   **Goalies Nedeljkovic and Booth are boosted above what “Totals” would rank them to account for importance of goalie position and adjust for high uncertainty for almost all young goalie prospects.   A few comments on the rankings Here are a few random observations on the rankings and the project in total. It is less about where a player is today, and more about how rapidly and significantly he can improve from here. Had I created  similar list at this time two years ago today, Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin would probably have probably been battling for the #5 slot among defensemen below Noah Hanifin, Haydn Fleury, Trevor Carrick and even Ryan Murphy. And against a lesser prospect pool two years ago, they might/might not have pushed into a top 16. The depth at forward jumps out. Seven of the top 9 are forwards, and there are a at least a few players who did not make the top 16 who are quite promising as well. Despite being ranked #1 and #5 overall respectively, I do not consider Julien Gauthier or...

Sunday Canes Chronicle: Brett Pesce and an early August Caniac grab bag

As I write this, we have inched almost a full week into August and closer to September when we can see the light at the end of the tunnel with training camp leading fairly quickly into real hockey. Yet again, Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis generously offered up a bit of significant hockey news this week, when he inked defenseman Brett Pesce to a six-year contract extension. Today’s batch of reading from around the internet includes a few articles on Pesce and his new contract and also a couple other Canes reading items to get us through another hockey-less day in August.   Brett Pesce contract The Hurricanes website has audio from the phone interview with Brett Pesce after signing his new deal. Jared Clinton at The Hockey News chimed in on the Pesce contract in this article. Here at Canes and Coffee our second article on the Pesec contract went a level deeper looking at his role, the merits of keeping him and Slavin together and finally his offensive upside.   Peter Karmanos and Hank Greenberg Chip Alexander at the News & Observer offered the latest update on the potential sale of the Carolina Hurricanes to a Chuck Greenberg-led group.   More Hurricanes goodness Shayna Goldman at FanRag Sports has Jaccob Slavin at #22 in their top 25 under 25 rankings and includes a statistics and a few good visuals to show why. Dan Rosen from NHL.com is the latest to join a growing herd of people who are optimistic on the Hurricanes 2017-18 season. I predict that by late September, the Hurricanes will have cemented the #1...
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