Today’s Daily Cup of Joe continues a series of posts considering options for re-signing or letting go the team’s group of players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this off-season.
Yesterday was Jordan Martinook.
Comparing/contrasting McGinn and Martinook
Up next is Brock McGinn. If one starts from an assumption that improving the team requires keeping some but letting some go from the middle/bottom half of the roster players with unrestricted free agents the easiest to move on, I think it is interesting to compare Jordan Martinook and Brock McGinn. Both players are coming off $2 million contracts. Both players have mostly slotted in the bottom half of the forward group but also been bumped up to higher lines when Brind’Amour shuffles the lineup a bit. And both score high marks for their every shift intensity that can be helpful when when the team is flat and needs a lift.
But despite the similarities, I see two significant differences. First, I think McGinn brings more in terms of scoring upside and ability to slot even if only intermittently on a scoring line. In 2020-21, McGinn had eight goals in only 37 games for an 18-goal pace over a full 82-game season. The peak was the burst he had catching fire on a lower line and then riding it for awhile longer on Aho’s line. In terms of raw production, I think McGinn brings more.
Like Martinook, McGinn is a good locker room presence, but I think the difference, per the post on Martinook, is that McGinn is more of a lead by example foot soldier who does his thing incredibly consistently which helps set a tone for the team. Martinook is different in that he is in more of an active leadership role both formally as an assistant captain but also just in terms of leadership style. In my post on Martinook, I referred to him as a glue guy who I think is integral to pulling the locker room together.
Where does McGinn fit?
Despite fitting into the lineup in a somewhat similar place and having nearly the same salary, I see McGinn as a different type of player/decision than Martinook. Whereas I see Martinook as preferable to keep at the right price less than his current salary for his leadership and glue factor but in a depth role possibly even in a #13 slot that is not always in the lineup. I see McGinn as a better fit production-wise as a consistent energy third-liner who can play up in the lineup at times. Also favorable for McGinn is the fact that he has generally played at a higher level in the playoffs with a couple clutch goals to boot.
Where do I land?
Of the group of players who are unrestricted free agents, I see McGinn as one who makes most sense to re-sign as long as he does not prefer to seek and ultimately gets a sizable raise from his just completed contract at $2 million per year. Though I do think the Hurricanes need to try to upgrade the middle/bottom part of the forward group, I think the space to be made comes from some of the players not yet covered.
What say you Canes fans?
1) To what degree do you think keeping McGinn and Martinook is an either/or choice giving their salary that is maybe a bit high or a depth role such that the team cannot afford to pay a premium for both?
2) Where do you land on Brock McGinn? Would you prioritize keeping him, and if so, what do you see as a reasonable salary and term?
Agreed. Prefer to keep McGinn on a similar deal. Our lack of production lower in the lineup is not because of him.
As for Martinook, he did exactly what RBA expected of him when asked to fill the leadership void, but at some level he was a transitional “A” that gave Aho a chance to grow into more of a leader over the past two years, which I believe he’s done. I would be somewhat surprised if Aho was not given an “A” next season. That doesn’t mean Marty won’t be back or won’t have an “A”, but it does mean that it’s not the same team and the requirements for the role are now different.
For the same price, or similar prices, I think on today’s team we lose more if we lose McGinn.
I also agree. McGinn is key on the Penalty Kill with Jordan Staal, seeing about twice the TOI as Martinook on the Kill. Although Martinook is like a Swiss Army knife able to play Center, it’s probably time to give Aho the “A”.
Before I write anything else, I am a fan of McGin and his game.
1. I do think that “McGinn vs. Martinook” is definitely a false dichotomy. We have a lot of depth players with limited offense – McGinn, Martinook, Fast, Foegele, and I would throw in Lorentz and Geekie. And I feel like I am missing a name – oh, yes, Paquette.
And I use the phrase “parts” a lot by which I mean replaceable parts – i.e., palyers who can be readily replaced. And there are any number of McGinns in the league who could replace Brock for a less money. Martinook is much less a “parts player” than McGinn for what he brings to the teamon and off the ice. But it’s not an either/or. We do need more depth scoring than we are currently. Maybe both go for better options – maybe neither goes and we pick up better depth than the other names I mentioned.
2. I would not prioritize re-signing McGinn but if we can sign him at a decient price for limited term – about what he made the last 2 seasons? – sure, he could be a good keep.
But you have to expect turnover in hockey teams – it is the way to improve and it is the way to push players, bringing in new players who are hungry for the chance.
I think Brock McGinn fits into a group of players that collectively needs an upgrade or a difference maker.
He is one of the more costly pieces in that group, though he also has more of the proven scorer mentality that is needed.
Most likely, two of Fast, Fogele, McGinn, or Sedrik have to go.
I think Sedrik is definitely going and I assume the team intends to keep Fast (for character and such).
I think it’s ultimately between McGinn and Fogele, and I am guessing McGinn will be the keeper and Fogele will be allowed to “fly away”.
Man, I don’t know what games some of you are watching, but no way do you let Brock McGinn walk unless someone pays him way too much. The guy does damn near everything right. Martinook may be a vocal leader, but McGinn leads on the ice. When things aren’t going so well McGinn always seems to show up….a big hit, a blocked shot, a crucial takeaway, a series clinching goal. He’s the warrior every team needs. I don’t think the Canes can give him much of a raise…3 years at $2.2-$2.5, but it would be awful to lose such a valuable player.