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  1. I hate putting the cart before the horse regarding getting to the playoffs, BUT the benefit of the Canes getting to the playoffs is building the culture to expect getting there from now on AND to learn what it takes to finish a series on top. It would be my hope that the Canes avoid playing Tampa in round 1. Take 1 game at a time, they can do it. They are every bit as good as most of the other squads, and I am excited about the game tomorrow evening against Pitt. We need to bring it to them physically, so Nino, Ferland, Martinook, Samu, etc. will be key. Nails in their coffin.............
  2. After a such a long absence, making the playoffs, even as the #8 seed, is the mission. Looking back at championship teams in other sports, getting that playoff experience, whether winning tough games and tough series or building up the knowledge of what will it take to get us over the next hump, is what we are after this year. Anything can happen in any series once two teams meet in he post season. Teams get hot, key players get injured. Do I expect the Canes to win the Cup this season? NO. Would I prefer them to not have to play Tampa in the 1st round? YES. That said, making the playoffs is priority #1, so Montreal losing is most definitely a good thing.
  3. It is fun to play GM. With, or without (I prefer with), the signing of Fox, the Canes have excess at D. All of the currently on board, plus Bean, Fleury, McKewon, and (Fox) gives them 10; 6RH, 4LH. Williams is the team's only RH shooting forward, so I, as GM, plan to try and trade my excess D for a RH shooting forward. I am not looking to make a trade just for the heck of it, I would like to improve the team. Good trades (see the Calgary/Carolina deal) usually mean both teams giving up something they like. Point being that Faulk has been on the trade market for the past two years, and they have not found a partner. It is true that his stats and stature are up right now, but at the same time only 1 year shall remain on his current contract come the season's end. IF the team signs Fox, I can see McKewon doing the same type of role as TVR, if injuries required him to. Thus, Hamilton and TVR out will bring the best return in, IMO. After Fox signs, that would still leave us with 4LH and 4RH shooting defenders, and hopefully a good RH forward in return.
  4. Pesce has played with several defensive partners AND from both sides. His regular partner from previous seasons, Slavin, is currently at -3. Slavin probably plays most often with Hamilton now and against the opponents top pairing, so Slavin at -3 and Hamilton at -1 is not a poor reflection. Pesce is mostly playing on the left side with Faulk at the moment, which may be the reason Faulk's numbers have climbed into the + side this season. He has also played with TVR and de Haan. Bottom line is that none of the other 5 defenders have anywhere in the neighborhood of Pesce's +30. Aho and Turbo have the best numbers of the forwards. In my mind the 3 most untouchable players on the team are Aho, Slavin, and Pesce, with Svechnikov sneaking up due to his potential.
  5. The idea of signing Fox is juxtaposed with the thought of trading one, or two, RH defenders for asset(s) (either physical forward to replace Ferland if he leaves or goalie). Right now the Canes have 4 RH defenders along with McKeown down in Charlotte, so with the addition of Fox they would have 6 NHL ready RH defenders. They also have 2 LH plus Fleury and Bean . It is easy to see them using 2 of their RH defenders as trade barter should they bring in Fox. Let me just make my point. Under no conditions would I trade Brett Pesce. In 60 games played this season he is +30. That is crazy good, and leads the team. Of the other RH defenders, Hamilton is -1, Faulk +7, and TVR -5. If they were trading 2, it seems to me it would be TVR (to unload contract and get draft pick) and either Hamilton or Faulk (for current asset). Hamilton and Faulk bring a similar skill set to the team, so whomever brings back more in return would be the way to go.
  6. Even though I like Ronnie Francis, and have followed him since he was drafted, and admired his patient approach, I admire the overall moves Waddell has made in the past year. The Martinook trade was so far under the radar to us, but was the start. Moving up to the 2nd pick in the lottery was brilliant, haha. Signing TVR to a 2 year deal when McKeown might have been elevated seemed odd, to me. At the time signing de Haan with Fleury and Bean knocking on the door seemed odd, but he has been solid. Giving Darling a 2nd chance and bringing in Mrazek on a 1 year deal was right. Trading away Skinner's contract for not much but a change of culture did not hurt the team. Not trading Faulk for cr_p showed patience. The Calgary trade was huge for both sides. Fox is the large *. Claiming McE and giving up on Darling was wise. Getting Nino for Rask was shocking. Not making any dumb trade deadline deals was patient. Lot of good moves.
  7. I agree. The fact is that even without Skinner, Hanifan, Lindholm, and Ward, I like this version of the Canes going forward more. All 4 of them would be FA's by this season's end, and we got some value (from Calgary) and some salary space and picks to change the roster and culture. In any case we have realized the importance of solid goaltending and physical play this season.
  8. 1. They have tried moving Faulk for 2 years. He will be down to 1 season left on his contract, and the return will be marginal compared to Hamilton. 2. Mrazek came him on a 1 year deal to bridge over to a longer term deal, there or elsewhere. Doubt 2 years will retain him, but we will see. Hard to imagine them offering McE 2 years based upon age and knees. When will Ned ever get a chance? 3. Canes and /Williams may want to go year by year mutually. 4. I think Ferland's value may be declining somewhat due to his inability to stay in the lineup. 5. Right, meaning about $9M per.
  9. I was pleased that the Canes effectively made no changes at the deadline. They have many player moves t consider in the offseason, including contracts for: a) Aho b) Mrazek c) Ferland d) Williams e) McE f) Fox Obviously signing Aho long term is priority #1. Goaltending (save one debacle against Winnipeg) has been a primary reason for the team's rejuvenation, so signing Mrazek and cutting ties with Darling should be priority #2. A short term deal with Williams should be made. After that I hope they sign Fox. While I like Ferland, I hope they do not go overboard in any offer. If they sign Fox, they can still try and move Hamilton in exchange for a power forward similar to Ferland. In fact, I hope they sign Fox and try to play him right away in lieu of TVR. Lots of decisions, but it should work out.
  10. The beauty of this game is that it counts in the standings exactly the same as losing 1-0 with the losing goal coming at 19:59 of the 3rd period. The Canes got crushed, it is a good wake up call. The Canadiens also got crushed. The Canes get to immediately do something about it tonite in Nashville, so they do not have time to dwell upon the ugliness of it all.
  11. From one old Whaler fan to another, what is your favorite Whaler memory? Mine is game 6, 1986 playoff round against Montreal, down 3-2 in games, all on the line, Kevin Dineen steals the puck from Larry Robinson, skates in on Patrick Roy and scores the winning goal to send the series to Montreal for game 7. The entire Civic Center erupts, and at that moment it felt like the entire City of Hartford exploded it was so loud. Montreal went on to win game 7, 1-0, and also go on to win the Stanley Cup, but the Whale never played better. Ferland is listed as doubtful for tonite's game, while Backes plays on. This is having a direct effect on the standings. The NHL has been talking as if safety is of some importance to the brand of the sport. If so, Ferland getting injured after making a great, clean play, due to the opponent stopping the game in order to inflict injury upon him is a stain upon the sport. When it gets to the point where one team has to lose a key player due to the offense of another, the league should step in and punish the offending team.
  12. Just because Backes is a stand up guy does not make this action right. Ferland made a great play. No one from the referees or linesmen to Backes himself deemed the play dirty; a good old fashioned hard clean check. The right play would be to accept it and try to make the right play back at ya, not the Bruin way of let's stop everything so I can show my teammate what a stand up guy I am and at the same time send the opponent packing. If a player started a fight in any other sport from baseball to basketball to football, after the opponent made a play not deemed in any way as an offense by the officials (and in this case the player himself), he would immediately get tossed from the game, MINIMUM, and probably face league sanctions. I don't get you. You have a Whaler logo associated with your tag, and if you have been watching the Whalers/Canes play for as long as I have against the Bruins, which in my case is for their entire NHL history, then you know that the Bruins have been doing this forever, and forever is way too long when it results in our player getting injured after he makes a clean play.
  13. Ferland's hit was 100% clean, a great hockey play. The follow up fight with Backes and subsequent take down rendered him unavailable for the remainder of the game. Wake up, NHL. Backes action should be punishable by a Game Misconduct AND a suspension of X games PLUS the number of games Ferland remains unavailable. I have followed hockey since the original 6, and Boston never changes. The NHL needs to take action.
  14. I agree 100% regarding the schedule. First of all, if you flip that around, I doubt anybody wants to play the Hurricanes right now. The Canes are playing like a team, and their chemistry is counting in the W department. This is indeed a week facing 3 tough teams in Boston, Winnipeg, and Nashville, and I agree with one poster who said he would be happy coming out of that with 3 points. That said, the mindset should be 1 game at a time, 1 period at a time, 1 shift at a time. The two main differences the Canes have right now is their willingness to hit and their goaltending. Against Boston and Nashville, there should be two physical games, the type we would not have prevailed in over the past few seasons. I think Columbus may have the toughest go of it for 2 reasons: 1) A few new players to integrate into the locker room 2) 5 more road games than home to play. Pittsburgh is a little beat up. I like the Canes chances.
  15. I am assuming that was a joke. You don't swing a trade with the team you are tied with for the last playoff position, especially JR's team, to help fortify their weakness.
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