Thursday Coffee Shop: Brett Pesce day

Thursday Coffee Shop: Brett Pesce day

The big news of the week was obviously the Brett Pesce’s six-year contract extension. In my second article on Pesce and the signing (with link to my initial thoughts too), I called Pesce a “sixth star” in positive sense like Glen Wesley from Hurricanes’ history or Niklas Hjalmarsson from NHL success more recently. As a 22-year old with only two years of professional experience under his belt, Pesce could well find a higher gear offensively and gain more notoriety, but if he does not, he seems destined just to be a really good hockey player who makes his team win. The Thursday Coffee Shop makes sure that Brett Pesce gets his share of attention at least this week.   Carolina Hurricanes polls Remember to click ‘vote’ after each individual poll response.   Where did you expect Brett Pesce's extension to come salary-wise (per year)? $3.5-3.9 million per year. Basically a medium, bridge deal type of price. $4.0-$4.4 million per year. Right where it did; somewhat on the low end for a restricted free agent top 4 defenseman. $4.5-4.9 million per year. Just a notch below his partner Jaccob Slavin. $5.0-5.4 million per year. A matching (or very close deal) to Slavin's $5.5 million or more. At a premium even to Slavin. View Results  Loading ...   With regard to building out the top 4, how would you do it? 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' -- Leave Slavin/Pesce together. 'Balance wins' -- Separate Pesce and Slavin to solidify the second pair and the entirety of the top 4. View Results  Loading ...   What do you expect from...
Hurricanes sign Brett Pesce to six-year contract extension – A second level of detail

Hurricanes sign Brett Pesce to six-year contract extension – A second level of detail

A few hours after the news dropped, I posted my initial thoughts on the Hurricanes extending Brett Pesce for six years at $6.025 million per year. If you have not read that article, I recommend reading it before this article which starts more at a second level of detail. The “sixth star” (an ode to Glen Wesley) Things could change if Pesce finds his way onto the power play and/or boosts his scoring, but the current trajectory has him slotted to be an underrated glue player. A long time ago when Wesley was in his prime, I used to use the term “sixth star” to describe his play. Wesley rarely scored, mostly steered clear of the highlight reel and did not do enough on the stat sheet to regularly be a top 3 and earn a star of the game. But when the Hurricanes were good on home ice, he was very regularly steady and solid lining up against Crosby and/or Malkin one night, Kovalchuk and Heatley the next and Ovechkin and Semin the next. He just quietly did the defensive work necessary to make it possible for a few players to rise up with a few plays on the score sheet and win a hockey game. Players like this are generally underrated but critical to a team’s success. Niklas Hjalmarsson long filled this role on perennially successful Blackhawk teams, and the Penguins have always had a knack for having a capable defense-first defenseman to sit behind more offensive-minded blue-liners like Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang. It is reasonable to hope for continued development from Pesce who is entering...
Hurricanes sign Brett Pesce to six-year contract extension – Initial thoughts

Hurricanes sign Brett Pesce to six-year contract extension – Initial thoughts

As happens sometimes, my personal schedule does not line up so well with breaking news Canes coverage today. If someone could tell Ron Francis to check with me before making any announcements, it would be appreciated. (Hah!) I will follow up probably late tonight with more detailed thoughts on the transaction and what it means for the Carolina Hurricanes blue line, but here are my initial thoughts.   Brett Pesce contract extension The contract — $4 million annually for six years is a fair price for Brett Pesce. The number is about what I would have expected at teh front part of the summer, but then I adjusted upward slightly when Jaccob Slavin was re-signed for $5.3 million annually. $4 million is a fair price for a defensively sound top 4 defenseman and is a discount if he remains solid as more of a #2 and/or he boosts his offensive production. As a pair — If you assume that Slavin/Pesce is a long-term thing (which is not at all unreasonable), the Hurricanes have a good young top defense pairing signed long-term for a modest total of $9.3 million per year. That is a really good price in a league that is seeing more individual players pushing up to $8 million per year by themselves. Jaccob Slavin’s deal as a ceiling — As I wrote way back in early April before the 2016-17 season even ended, I think Slavin’s deal established the ceiling for the other contracts to follow. In short, I viewed him as the Hurricanes best defenseman in 2016-17 and quite likely going forward. As such, Slavin’s salary has...
Brett Pesce: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

Brett Pesce: 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes report card

For anyone catching up, a menu of previous player (and also coaching and GM) report cards can be found at the bottom of the article. Brett Pesce’s starting point for the 2016-17 season During a 2015-16 season that saw a transformation of the Carolina Hurricanes’ blue line to a younger group, Brett Pesce was actually first on the scene. He had a strong preseason and looked surprisingly calm and capable despite making a big jump from NCAA to NHL (preseason anyway) hockey. He and Jaccob Slavin were a couple of the last cuts, and he headed off to Charlotte to continue his development in the AHL. That changed quickly when veteran second pairing, right shot defenseman James Wisniewski was felled by a a season-ending knee injury in his first shift in a Hurricanes uniform. The Hurricanes tried a couple other options first. And Francis did not follow my initial call to at least give Pesce a look in the hole previously filled by Wisniewski on the right side of the team’s second defense pairing but did recall Pesce soon thereafter which prompted me to write this optimistic article on the eve of Brett Pesce’s NHL debut. And from the category of ‘every once in awhile even a blind squirrel finds a nut,’ it actually worked. John-Michael Liles proved to be an incredibly good fit and an even better mentor and partner while Pesce worked to adapt and bring his game to a much higher level. Initially, Liles did a tremendous job of playing a cautious game with the puck on his stick and being careful not to put Pesce...
Sunday Canes Chronicle: The Jaccob Slavin/Brett Pesce edition

Sunday Canes Chronicle: The Jaccob Slavin/Brett Pesce edition

There are other candidates including Cam Ward’s resurgence in net, Jeff Skinner leading the way offensively and Sebastian Aho hopping straight into the NHL without missing a beat. But thus far in 2016-17, my favorite Carolina Hurricanes story line is the emergence of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce as a legitimate top defense pairing comprised of a couple 22-year olds in their second seasons in the NHL. This week’s Sunday Canes Chronicle features articles about Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin both past and present.   Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce on the ice Chris Miracle at Fansided’s Cardiac Cane offers this assessment of Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce’s strengths that have enabled them to excel at the NHL level. On November 3, Matt Barlowe at Fansided’s Cardiac Cane called Brett Pesce the Canes’ best defenseman at that point and offered statistics to back it up. Shortly after the duo was united in mid-October, I offered this early evaluation of their play together on October 24. Cory Lavalette at the North State Journal profiles the Hurricanes league-leading penalty kill which features Slavin/Pesce in a key role.   Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin – The early days As part of my ‘7D in 7 days’ series on the Canes blue line, I offered this detailed article on Brett Pesce in early November of 2015 after his initial run of games at the NHL level. Similarly, in late November of 2015 with first impressions at the NHL level in hand, I asked if Jaccob Slavin was the “greatest harbinger of the Hurricanes future.”   Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce off the ice...