The Hurricanes’ trade deadline got off to an early start only a couple hours after part 1 of my trade deadline preview went up. In that article, I actually had the injury-depleted Penguins’ blue line named as a top destination and said I would be happy to get a third round pick in return. So obviously collecting a second-rounder was a big win for Ron Francis in my book.
Hooray! for Ron Hainsey
At the beginning of the week in the down times after the Maple Leafs loss, I posted a “5 wishes” article. First on the list was getting Ron Hainsey to a team certain to make the playoffs, so the long-time veteran could rightfully and finally get a taste of playoff hockey toward the tail end of his NHL career. In that regard, this trade is a huge win! The Penguins are certain to make the playoffs, have a good chance to stick around and can make as good of a claim to the Cup as anyone before it all starts.
As I said above, getting a second round pick was a big win for Francis. The Hurricanes now have 2 extra second round picks and an extra third round pick for the upcoming 2017 NHL draft and should collect a few more extras over the next week. Also included in the deal was 26-year old right wing Danny Kristo. Kristo has yet to play in the NHL and is more of an addition for AHL Charlotte than a prospect expected to make a big difference at the NHL level.
Though the work on the 2017-18 puzzle is more likely to happen in June or July, the move does start the process of building the 2017-18 blue line in multiple ways. First, it opens up a try out spot for the top 4 for the current roster.
A possible trial for Hanifin in the top 4 to try spark his development: Best guess is that Peters elevates Hanifin into that spot. I have written about the possibility of trying to spark Hanifin’s development by putting a top 4 challenge in front of him and seeing how he reacts. With good timing, this was in my wish list for today’s Daily Cup of Joe and #2 out of 10 in the bullet list.
Another slot at the NHL level: The move also makes room for another defenseman at the NHL level. With the Checkers trying to push up into a playoff spot, I do not think Francis will raid the Checkers’ roster, but I do think McKeown, Fleury and possibly Carrick will see NHL ice time this season.
Another deal? My math says that the Hurricanes are now down to 3 proven top 4 defensemen. Though it is possible that it waits until summer, I think there is a chance that Francis actually adds another #4/#5 type veteran defenseman on a short-term contract to build a bridge to the youth. I wrote about that in some detail in my February 9 Daily Cup of Joe post.
What do you think about the deal? Are you both happy for Ron Hainsey and thrilled to get a second round pick in return?
And looking forward, I also posted an afternoon article that jumps to the next step and looks at options for Ryan Murphy.