Last we covered the primary additions of Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty.
Today’s Daily Cup of Joe covers the other players acquired in those deals and takes a look at building the lineup based on players currently under contract.
Kase adds another middle of the roster wing and indirectly replaces Nino Niederreiter. His $1.5 million salary helps fill the top 9 forward slots while also being part of the equation to be able to add a player like Pacioretty and still squeeze under the salary cap ceiling. In only 50 games in 2020-21, Kase scored 14 goals and had 27 points for a solid 23-goal and 44-point pace for 82 games. Interesting is that the Canes are not maybe a bit overstocked at right wing with Svechnikov, Jarvis, Necas, Fast and Kase. He could be a candidate to move to the left side and replace Niederreiter on Staal’s line, or otherwise Brind’Amour will likely try him in a few different places during preseason. Regardless of where he slots, Kase brings a capable middle of the roster player with decent depth scoring potential for a budget salary.
Coghlan who arrived as part of the Max Pacioretty trade is an interesting addition. One would figure the Canes would be adding AHL depth, but Coghlan played each of the last two seasons at the NHL level with the Golden Knights and is signed to a one-way contract for the 2022-23 season. Though it is still possible that the team could try to send him through waivers to the AHL and bury/not take the salary cap hit on his contract, he could also be in the mix for the third defense pairing of #7 slot. In 59 games in 2021-22, Coghlan averaged 14:12 of ice time and collected 13 scoring points. At 24 years old but with about a season of NHL games under his belt, Coghlan could also still have a bit of upside longer-term.
The Canes seem to have a logjam with right shot defensemen with Burns added presumably to slot into the top 4 and the Ian Bear, Jalen Chatfiel and now Dylan Coghlan in the mix for the third pairing and #7 slot. Chatfield is still on a two-way contract for the 2022-23 season, so he could be the odd man out if he does not outright win an NHL roster spot in preseason.
A bit like Coghlan, Pederson who was added in the Brent Burns deal figures to be fringe AHL/NHL depth at forward. With Josh Leivo and Andrew Poturalski leveraging the Wolves’ Calder Cup Championship and already signing elsewhere, Pederson figures to add another veteran forward to the mix at the AHL level. In addition, he has 44 games of NHL experience, so he would also provide #14-#16 type help at the forward position from the AHL level.
State of the Hurricanes fringe AHL/NHL depth
The upside of winning a second consecutive Calder Cup is the benefit that prospects get competing and winning in the playoffs. The success also usually means that at least a few prospects are NHL-ready. But the one downside is that strong seasons by veteran AHL players and success in the playoffs often opens opportunities for them to receive better contracts and/or compete for NHL roster spots for the next season. Though that latter part can be a strain for the Hurricanes, it is absolutely my favorite part of the success. Professionals who are elite, in the top 500 to 1,000 people in the entire world at their profession but are not on track to retire independently wealthy like regular NHLers earn the chance for a sizable raise. Exiting the Chicago Wolves’ 2023 championship, the Hurricanes were able to keep Stefan Noesen by offering him a two-year contract that is one-way in the second season and has a premium $500,000 guarantee in the first year. But leveraging their success, other key AHL veterans Josh Leivo, Andrew Poturalski, Roland McKeown, Spencer Smallman and Alex Lyon moved on. That leaves the Hurricanes needing to restock the veteran portion of the AHL roster ideally with some players with NHL experience who could slot #8-10 on the blue line or #14-16 at forward and be ready in the event of injuries.
Coghlan and Pederson will either help back fill the AHL roster or push other players down from the NHL to accomplish the same.
What say you Canes fans?
1) Where do you see Ondrej Kase fitting into the 2022-23 Hurricanes lineup? What, if anything, do you make of the Canes suddenly being overloaded on the right side with Svechnikov, Jarvis, Necas, Kase and Fast all currently on the roster?
2) With Gardiner, Chatfield and now Coghlan as potential third pairing/#7 defensemen, do you think there is a chance that this means Ethan Bear is still destined to be traded?
3) Or with the Canes now a team that will spend to win, do you think the team views players like Coghlan this year and Chatfield next year who are on inexpensive one-way contracts as players that they can still bury in the AHL despite having to pay the full NHL salary?