Chronological Blog List

Carolina Hurricanes quick hitters — Trading a defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, the future in net and room for improvement for Sebastian Aho

My hope is to get back to Micheal Ferland, Teuvo Teravainen and the interplay between them, but with a busy day and no time to write and the late Canes game that will have to wait. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers a short series of quick hitters.   On trading a defenseman For me it is like this…Jaccob Slavin is part of the core and not going anywhere. Calvin de Haan is unlikely to go because he is the only other proven left shot. The options would be one of the three top 4 type right shot defensemen — Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce or Dougie Hamilton. Though I could see the team partly seeing which yields the greatest return, I put Pesce in a different category. His $4 million annual salary for five more years is a huge plus and not something I would easily part with. And I also think he is the steadiest even if also most unspectacular of the bunch. Low salary and low downside in a proven 24-year old top 4 is not something that should be taken lightly.   On Dougie Hamilton Also on the topic of the blue line, I think it would be fair to say that Dougie Hamilton has been a disappointment thus far. In total through 49 games, he has not been a regular difference-maker offensively, has had intermittent issues defensively and rightfully fell to the third pairing. And based on the team’s logjam on the right side, I would not be against trading him for the right return. All that said, my preference would be to have a...

Gm49 @Cal: Hurricanes post strong effort but fall 3-2 in overtime to the Flames

So here is a late night analogy for the difference between the Hurricanes and the opponent in match ups against top teams in the league. The Hurricanes attack and quite often attack more than the opponent, But the Hurricanes are like birds pecking and pecking and pecking hoping that eventually it does enough damage whereas the elite teams in the league tend to be more like cobras. Oftentimes, top teams do not muster a ton of chances, but the chances are more dangerous and usually in the end outdo a bunch of lesser attacks. I feel like if Tampa Bay or maybe even Calgary played like the Hurricanes did on Tuesday that they would have walked away with a 5-2 win. On a more positive note, Aho did have a big answer late to at least claim a point. Late night analogies aside, the Hurricanes played incredibly well on Tuesday night in Calgary and easily could have earned a fate better than the 3-2 overtime loss that they suffered. The Hurricanes stared on time and were the better team by a significant margin the first period. But one early mistake when Brock McGinn turned the puck over on the side wall in the defensive zone and no one could recover in time and the Flames struck quickly like a cobra to go up 1-0 and interrupt what had mostly been the Canes outplaying the Flames. On the play, former-Cane Derek Ryan lifted Mrazek’s stick, but the goal stood after a Brind’Amour challenge. To their credit the Hurricanes kept pushing instead of easing up as they have at times this...

‘What I’m Watching’ — Gm49 @Cal: Canes face familiar foes in match up versus the Calgary Flames

After a bounce back win to end a tough 1-2 week that included two lackluster losses, the Hurricanes face a stiff challenge on Tuesday night against the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames. Though the team is a unfamiliar foe from the Western Conference, the faces will look very familiar when the Canes face Elias Lindholm, Noah Hanifin, Derek Ryan and Bill Peters for the first time. On the Hurricanes side, the game is a return to Calgary for Micheal Ferland and Dougie Hamilton. Aside from the family reunion aspect, the simple ‘points in the standings’ aspect is critical for the Hurricanes. After a setback with two losses last week, the Hurricanes still face a significant six-point gap (adjusted for games played) suddenly approaching the 50-game mark for the 2018-19 season. Tuesday’s game is very similar to the recent tough road match up against the Tampa Bay Lightning in that it is a game that maybe charts as a loss on the schedule and therefore represents a chance to make up for one past wrong with a win. The key from the Hurricanes side is to find the higher gear and consistency that was part of the recent winning streak before suddenly disappearing in consecutive losses last week. The Canes looked better in Sunday’s win over the Oilers, but it is hard to tell how much of that was simply facing a struggling team that had also played the night before. Regardless, the Hurricanes will need to be at the top of their game and do it for a full 60 minutes to beat a very good Flames team. My watch...

Defining the Carolina Hurricanes’ core

On Monday, the Carolina Hurricanes re-signed Teuvo Teravainen for five years. I covered that deal HERE. At the same time, debate rages on about whether the Hurricanes should re-sign or trade Micheal Ferland. That topic was the subject of Monday’s Daily Cup of Joe.  This week the Hurricanes also parted ways with Victor Rask to add Nino Niederreiter which I addressed HERE. All of this follows an off-season that saw the Hurricanes bring in six new players. The team is working hard to find a winning combination that can forge a playoff return. All of the turnover and to some degree the success that 2017-18 Hurricanes are having elsewhere this season begs the question of whih players should form the core that the new team is built around. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe offers my two cents in terms of identifying the centerpieces that the team should be building around.   Forwards Sebastian Aho He has become the offensive leader on this team and in my opinion will be the team’s next captain. He is 21 years old and on pace for 90+ points and would be the player I would start with the build a core.   Teuvo Teravainen Partly because of how well he meshes with Aho but also partly because of his versatile skill set and reasonable contract that now has him signed up for five more years, I think Teravainen is also part of the core.   Andrei Svechnikov I will start by saying that Svechnikov has not yet played his way up to a level where he would be considered a core player. But he...

Hurricanes re-sign Teuvo Teravainen for 5 years at $5.4 million per year

On Monday morning, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that the team had extended Teuvo Teravainen for five years at $5.4 million per year. Scroll down a bit for more details if you already read my initial reaction on Twitter: 2/? Teravainen is still only 24 years old and is established as top half of roster player. $5.4M/year for 5 years through his prime is a low-downside deal with upside to boot. — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 21, 2019 3/? Especially with chemistry with Aho, making Teravainen a permanent part of the mix was a no-brainer and gives you 2/3 of a true 1st scoring line. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 21, 2019 4/? Interesting timing in that deal highlights the risk of the Ferland situation. Ferland has a stretch of 40ish games and a stretch of 25ish games as legit top 6 scoring forward and possibly prices at north of $6M per year. #TakeWarning — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 21, 2019   The deal itself The term and price are very fair in today’s NHL. William Nylander is a couple years younger and might arguably have a bit more upside because of that, but if you simply look at them head to head for the 2017-18 season, Teravainen had 64 points to Nylander’s 61 with Teravainen having an edge in terms of power play scoring (20 points to 12) and Nylander an edge otherwise (49 points to 44). When one considers how much better Toronto’s offense was in 2017-18, the gap could be considered a tiny bit higher in Teravainen’s favor. Both are similarly good second...

Considering Micheal Ferland

Happy Martin Luther King Day! I hope that everyone who has the day off enjoys it and also that everyone pauses for a moment to consider what Martin Luther King stood for and accomplished.   Over the past couple weeks, the Carolina Hurricanes have been a newsworthy bunch. We are now multiple weeks deep into the team being regularly mentioned in the trade rumor mills that are starting to kick up with the trade deadline just over a month away. To no surprise, the Hurricanes are allegedly open to trading a right shot defenseman to add a forward. But the bigger news has been rumors and rumblings that impending free agent Micheal Ferland could be on the trade block. Elliotte Friedman has mentioned Ferland a couple times as have others. Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks at the Micheal Ferland situation from multiple angles.   Micheal Ferland’s contract situation and trade value Ferland is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so if the Hurricanes keep him but do not re-sign him, they run the risk of losing him or nothing to free agency on our after July 1. His current contract is only $1.75 million. That number could be relevant to the situation in two ways. First, that low salary cap amount should be a positive for trade value. That amount should fit into even the tightest of salary cap budgets which could boost the return if the Hurricanes choose to trade him. Second, the low salary makes it more likely that he goes for the maximum payday next summer which likely means testing free...

Gm48 @Edm: Canes awaken and surge to 7-4 win over the Oilers

After mostly sleeping through consecutive games earlier in the week, the Hurricanes awoke in a big way on Sunday night in Edmonton. The Canes scored first when Nino Niederreiter scored his first as a Hurricane on a Sebastian Aho pass off the rush on the first shift of the game. The Hurricanes are a completely different team when it scores first, so sure enough the early goal was the start of more good things to come. Next Andrei Svechnikov who had been mostly invisible in January scored on a tip of a Jaccob Slavin point shot. That also seemed to get him going. Then a strong first period saw Niederreiter score again on a power forward’s delight. He was second to a dump in behind Adam Larsson, but he rode Larsson into the boards separating him from the puck and then deftly wheeled off the boards and out to the front of the net where he made no mistake finishing. The goal was equal parts physical play, nice footwork and finishing. Meanwhile, the Oilers elicited Bronx cheers when they mustered their first shot on net midway through the first period. The Oilers did score late in the first period to make it 3-1.When the dust settled on the first period, the Hurricanes led 3-1 on the scoreboard and had fired 19 shots on net to Edmonton’s 10 mostly late in the period. The Hurricanes pounced again in the second period when Brock McGinn finished on a heady Svechnikov odd angle shot aimed at generating a rebound which it did. Lucas Wallmark scored on the power play, and then Jordan...

‘What I’m Watching’ — Gm48 @Edm: Canes seek to salvage something from tough week versus the Oilers

After consecutive disappointing efforts and results, the Hurricanes head west to try to salvage something from a tough week and rebound during a three-game road trip before an extended layoff for the NHL All-Star break and the team’s bye week. The Hurricanes have recent experience with this situation. Twice in late December, the Hurricanes entered a Sunday game winless heading into it. In both cases, the Hurricanes pulled out a win to salvage something from a negative week. With the distance below the last playoff spot back at seven points (adjusted for games played), the team desperately needs a win to try to stop the bleeding before playoff hopes die. The game is an interesting match up schedule-wise in that the Oilers are playing the second half of a back-to-back, and the Hurricanes are playing their first game after the long trip out West. But more than scheduling, the opponent or anything else, the Hurricanes need to demonstrate that they are still engaged after what was one of the team’s worst outings this season. My watch points for the first of three #CanesAfterDark games follow.   ‘What I’m watching’ for the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Edmonton Oilers 1) A response and a pulse The Hurricanes were lifeless in Friday’s loss. The team failed to start on time and really never mustered much of a push back once they fell behind. After a similarly ‘meh’ effort in a loss on Tuesday and with a deficit still to be made up, the effort and level of play was both inexcusable and inexplainable. So on Sunday I will be watching to see...

Gm47 Vs. Ott: Canes lay an egg in 4-1 loss in important game versus the Senators

After reeling off seven wins in eight tries to start January, the Hurricanes had reversed course after an abysmal December. The team was still on the outside looking in, but the gap up to the playoff cut line had shrunk significantly. Then on Tuesday against the Rangers the Hurricanes failed to launch and laid an egg. With very little margin for error, that set Friday’s game to be a big one. The Hurricanes had a home match up against a bottom third team in the Senators and desperately needed a win to avoid giving back too much of what was earned in the front part of the month. Inexplicably, in that situation and desperately needing a win, the Hurricanes again failed to launch. The result was a debilitating 4-1 loss. Per a tweet shortly after the game ended: This week is eerily reminiscent of #Canes recent past. Team is able to muster a push after it digs a hole, but for whatever reason (increased pressure? taking foot off pedal? Or…?) getting close again triggers floundering each and every time. This is the next hurdle… — Canes and Coffee (@CanesandCoffee) January 19, 2019 The Hurricanes just seemed a step slow from the beginning. Early on, the Hurricanes had a decent amount of offensive zone time but seemed to shoot everything into Senators players’ shin guards. Ottawa scored first late in the first period on a rebound chance and then posted two goals in the span of 13 seconds in the front half of the second period to run out to a commanding 3-0 lead. The Hurricanes maybe pushed a bit...

‘What I’m Watching’ — Gm47 Vs. Ott: Canes try to regain the force versus the Senators

After a spectacular run of seven wins in eight games with even the loss being an admirable effort, the Hurricanes fell flat for the first time in 2019 with a lackluster effort and loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. On the one hand, the team was not just going to storm through the rest of schedule without losing. But on the other hand, the abysmal December still has the team teetering on the edge of playoff extinction and unable to absorb another losing streak. So a home game against an Ottawa Senators team that sits at the bottom of the Atlantic Division standings is well-timed. The game is definitely one that the Hurricanes should win and really must win. But in the NHL there are no guarantees and games like this can prove to be a trap. On the Canes side, there a couple key developments since the Hurricanes left the ice in New York on Tuesday. Most notable is Thursday’s trade that sent Victor Rask to Minnesota for forward Nino Niederreiter. Also of significance is injury news at the goalie position. Curtis McElhinney is out with a lower body injury. That development has Alex Nedeljkovic recalled theoretically to be the backup. But in addition, Petr Mrazek was part of a crease crash collision in practice. Check in with the team’s preview to see if Mrazek is good to go or if Nedeljkovic could be pressed into action for his first NHL start. For a bit of extra fun, the game is the regular rendition of Star Wars night which makes for some great photo ops and other fun....

Additional thoughts on Hurricanes acquisition of Nino Niederreiter

Shortly after the Hurricanes announced a trade that sent Victor Rask to Minnesota for Nino Niederreiter I posted my initial reactionto the trade HERE.  Today’s Daily Cup of Joe looks at Nino Niederreiter’s deal from a couple other angles.   Where does Nino Niederreiter fit in the current lineup? The potential is there for Niederreiter to be a top 6 forward in the Hurricanes current lineup. He would need to rebound and score at a pace in the high end of his range to be slotted appropriately on one of the Canes first two lines. While there are no guarantees that it works, there is at least the potential that the Hurricanes upgraded scoring-wise. Though it is possible that Niederreiter starts on a lower line while he adjusts to a new team, I would expect that he will at least receive an audition on Aho or Staal’s line.   What, if any, are the financial implications? The additional salary cap of $1.25 million per year is modest, but I still think the Niederreiter’s acquisition could have a couple significant ripple effects. First, compared to the possibility of trading Rask away for futures, Niederreiter does cost $5.25 million for three more years. With the Hurricanes at the bottom of the NHL in terms of 2018-19 salary cap, this lone addition does not automatically spell the end for any Canes players. The current cost structure can fit Niederreiter without forcing the team to trade or not re-sign another player. In that regard, nothing changes with Sebastian Aho or Teuvo Teravainen who are both restricted free agents this summer. And at a...

Carolina Hurricanes trade Victor Rask for Nino Niederreiter

On Thursday afternoon the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they had traded center Victor Rask to the Minnesota Wild for wing Nino Niederreiter. At a basic level, the trade was a ‘change of scenery’ type swap of two mid-priced players who were underperforming relative to their salary and currently struggling to find a role with their current teams.   Victor Rask Less than two years ago, Victor Rask was signed to a six-year contract for $4 million per year. When signed, Rask was 22 years old and coming off of a 21-goal, 48-point season. Equally significantly, at the time he seemed to be still on the rise. That 48-point season was only his second in the NHL and was a nice step up from the 33 points that he scored as a rookie the year before. But the 2016-17 saw him plateau with a similar 45 points and five fewer goals. Then the 2017-18 season saw Rask take a significant step backwards especially in the first half of the season. When the dust settled on the 2017-18 season, Rask had rebounded enough late to offer some hope but was very clearly headed into the 2018-19 season needing to find a higher gear. With Sebastian Aho moving to center, Jordan Staal anchored in the second slot and the team hoping that Martin Necas would be ready for the NHL, Rask slotted as a depth forward ideally to end up in the C4 slot and hopefully rebound and play his way up from there. But then a kitchen accident delayed the start of his 2018-19 season. Now 26 games deep into the...

From off the radar to key contributor

When one considers the Carolina Hurricanes roster and difference-makers for the 2018-19 season to date, one of the things that jumps out is the number of players who were not expected to be part of the NHL mix at all but are instead playing key roles   Curtis McElhinney Top of the list of surprise difference-makers is Curtis McElhinney. He was not even on the roster toward the end of training camp but was added via waivers when Scott Darling was injured. Right now, the Hurricanes are three games above .500. Scott McElhinney is five games above .500. It is difficult to say where the Canes would be if they were instead still trying to convert Darling into a serviceable NHL goalie. Replaced: Scott Darling   Lucas Wallmark Wallmark had a strong preseason but still seemed destined for a return to the AHL if not for Victor Rask’s injury. Fast forward to today, and Wallmark is filling the difficult match up line role usually filled by Staal who is out with an injury. The jury is still out on whether he can find a higher gear offensively as he settles in at the NHL level, but regardless, Wallmark is already playing a significantly larger role than expected. Replaced: Victor Rask initially and then later Martin Necas (though indirectly).   Greg McKegg Despite being in the Hurricanes organization heading into training camp, Greg McKegg seemed very unlikely to factor in at the NHL level. Right now, the sample size is small but McKegg’s Canes debut and short burst of four points in seven games is worth watching. Replaced: Jordan Staal...

Checking In by Brandon Stanley: Charlotte Checkers New Year’s edition 1/7 – 1/13

In case you missed it yesterday and want to catch up, part 1 of 2 which you can find HERE had recaps of the Charlotte Checkers games from the first week of January.   In a year that had seen more downs than ups (until recently) for the Hurricanes, it was a little hard to get too excited about what’s happening in Charlotte. Sure, they’ve been utterly dominant at the highest level of hockey in North America outside of the NHL, but at times it felt a bit hollow with little improvement being visible with the parent team. But there’s a reason we pretty regularly hear and see quotes saying something along the lines of “they’re building something in Carolina”. When guys like Greg McKegg and Saku Maenalanen come up and show off the depth within the organization, adding some grit and jump to a struggling team, and a 7-in-8 streak gets ripped off, it starts to really feel like that quote is coming true. And they’re not even the prized prospects everyone is waiting on, lest we forget. Now, I am starting to get excited. It’s really getting easy to believe the Canes are well on their way. The next couple years the team is only going to strengthen with the incoming graduations, as guys like Saarela, Roy, Gauthier, Bean, and others continue to show incremental growth down on the farm. Not to mention the growth in store for Svechnikov, Wallmark, Foegele, and even the yep-he’s-still-only-21 Sebastian Aho. Oh, and in the pipeline, we’ve still got Mattheos, Fox, Geekie, Luostarinen, and so on. I don’t mean to pander....

The state of the Canes’ 2018-19 season

Now halfway through January and a full five games past the halfway point, today’s Daily Cup of Joe assesses the current state of the Carolina Hurricanes, where the team stands with regard to pushing back up into the playoff chase and what lies ahead.   A December that very nearly killed the season The Hurricanes came within inches of completely ending the 2018-19 season in an abysmal December. After a rousing three-game winning streak at home over Thanksgiving, the Hurricanes then sputtered. The team did manage to go 1-1-1 in the last three games of November, but the team’s December was brutal. The Hurricanes were 1-4-1 in the first half of the month, and no better going 2-4 in the second half of the month. The 3-8-1 December was the kind of month that puts teams in the middle of the standings definitively on the underside of the playoff cut line.   An attempt to recover Just when the season seemed to be officially over at least in terms of playoff hopes, the Hurricanes surged. Counting a win on the last day of December, the Hurricanes won seven out of eight. The front part of the winning streak benefited from a weak schedule, but the second half featured impressive wins over the Blue Jackets, Islanders, Sabres and Predators in addition to a loss to the Lightning that was more good than bad. But even with the massive surge the Hurricanes entered action on Tuesday still four points out of a playoff spot (adjusted for games played). In rough terms, even after winning seven out of eight, the Hurricanes really...
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