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Canes 2010 general off season talk

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And a little more from the N&O about Babchuk:

This Babchuk potential reaquisition is sounding more political than hockey related.  If the Canes weren't playing that 1st pre-season game against the KHL in Russia, would JR's tune regarding Babchuk have changed?    This is getting interesting....

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On Brind'Amour: well you all know what I think. Here's a question. Can the Canes "split the difference"? Brind'Amour retires, but the Canes give him a job in the organization with a very large signing bonus, say $1 million, to take the job? Are there rules against that kind of thing?

On Whitney: I'd love to have him back at 2-3rd line money, but we need to clear out Sammy and Cole if we do that. Otherwise there is not one open wing for Boychuk et. al. unless we drop Jokinen to third line center, which isn't good use of a 30 goal man. So, if we can move at least one of and preferably both Cole and Samsonov, then resign Whitney to a reduced salary, and expect him to play second or third line, fine.

On Babchuk: So interesting. At the least JR should get him back in the fold and let him play a while. We need defensive help. At worst he could be in the last paring and on the powerplay. At some point, if JR just doesn't want him on the team, trade him, or in the worst case wave him. What is lost?

On the draft: Moving up just one spot would assure we get either one of the top 3 defenders or Connolly. One never knows how players will develop, but there seems to be a lot of agreement on the top 6. If we could move into that group it would probably be worth it.

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Remkin, not sure I follow your logic on Brindy.  Bottom line, since Brindy signed his last contract when over 35 years of age, his salary still counts against the cap if he retires.  So we save money on his pay but still have the cap hit.  If we buy him out, the cap hit is there also but over double the number of years.  As far as cap space, pick your poison.

As far as Whitney, I hope JR is not willing to roll out the red carpet with a multiple year contract and a NTC.  I just don't see JR going to free agency for another top 6 forward.  Frolov's name has been bantered about here (not sure why) in that regard.  He didn't put up as many points as Ray last year.  Getting Ray for another year would be okay by me while we develop our younger prospects.  Not signing Ray to get Cullen back would be okay by me also.  I'm betting the farm JR doesn't do anything with Ray until after the draft.

The Babchuk saga still lives.  I thought the Babchuk thing was a done deal when JR first mentioned it, so no big surprises here.  When I say done deal I mean JR's willingness to pursue bringing him back in the fold.  I certainly don't think it's some kind of political move to thumb our noses at the KHL.  They've got there own problems, and are likely their own worst enemy anyways.  Just about every team in that league is losing money.  As far as Babchuk, we can get him cheap.  At worst, he's a third pairing guy who can play on the PP.  Then we can get rid of Potheir and one of Harrison or Picard.

And now to the draft.  I can't wait....just over a month away.  "JR, if defense isn't our top priority then why speculate on moving up to take one of the top 3 defensive prospects".  That's a head scratcher to me.  With all those second rounders we can make some moves on draft day, but what will they be.  I'll admit, I've warmed up some to the idea of moving up, but what will it cost to do it?  How about packaging one of Sammy or Cole to sweeten the pot a little?

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JR...The CANES...Will not buy out Brindy... I went back and found the presser where JR in his own words said ROD BRIND'AMOR will be a HURRICANE until HE decides not to be... He will RETIRE a HURRICANE. This was right when all the trades were happening... Roddy stays and finishes out his contract and gives the "young guns" the example they will need to survive in the NHL...anything else would just NOT be right...

GO CANES (but do it with class)

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So it looks like we will have Babchuk to kick around some more. Well we sure need someone to help get our PP going and Babs might be the guy. Just the threat of that rocket from the  point should open up some ice underneath.  I'm still not sure he will be with us long if indeed he is resigned.

A one year contract with a NTC or a two year without the NTC might be alright for Whitney. If we aren't going shopping for a top six winger then why not resign Ray. He hasn't slowed down yet. 

Brindy..I thought he would retire but now I'm not so sure. This is a tough one. My guess is if he wants to come back he can but not sure he will be with us for long. I still think he will retire before next season is over.

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I have no problem bringing back Babchuk next year, but we still need another solid 2nd pairing guy.  Right now the depth chart looks like this -

Pitkanan - 1st/2nd pairing player

Gleason -  1st/2nd pairing player

Mcbain - potentially a 1st/2nd pairing player, but we've only seen him play 14 games at the NHL level

Carson - 3rd pairing player

Babchuk - 3rd pairing player or borderline 2nd pairing player, plus power play specialist

Harrison - barely NHL caliber player

Rodney - barely NHL caliber player

Picard - barely NHL caliber player

The Hurricanes had the 27th ranked defense in the league last year.  On paper, this one doesn't look like much of an improvement.  If McBain's play was just a fluke last year, or one of our top two guys gets injured, it gets even worse.

Our offense should be fine next year (even without that top line winger) and if Ward is healthy our goal-tending should be good as well.  Our defense is where we will need the most work.

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Whitney. One year max and only if Sammy and or Cole are moved somehow. Everyone dies, until then everyone ages (except Chelios). Whitney will slow down. Probably next year, and definitely the next. Still, right now a slowed down Whitney is better than Cole or Sammy. Bottom line, if we carry all three of these guys there is NO rebuild at all. I'm not sure what if anything Cole/Sammy bring in trade, but if say the Islanders or Tampa would take one or both and a lower round draft pick to flip top picks with us: done.

Brind'Amour. At what point has he already taken what he "deserves"? He's been carried for 2 years, and probably had a role in what became of last year's staggering free-fall start. I know he has a contract, but he is a significant liability even on the 4th line. It would be best if he saw the light and retired gracefully, but if not, JR needs to help him see the light. The thing about the money for a job was this. If he kind of wants to retire, but is thinking, "how do I walk away from $3 million?", maybe, even though it won't affect the cap, the Canes soften the money loss by overpaying him in management. I have no idea if this is possible or makes any sense.

I know it is tempting to think "our offense will be fine" and it might be, but if no moves are made it probably won't be. Our offense is based on a lot of hopes and dreams as is. Jokinen will repeat his mega career year, Whitney won't age, Cole will find his game (all indications are the opposite), Sammy will find his game, LaRose will return to 20 goal form, Sutter will not regress, one of our kids will break out and get 20 goals, someone will center the third line...etc. We have very little in the way of playmakers (one main reason to resign Whitney), and only one guy who is a proven, year after year scorer who is not pushing 40 years of age. At least get Cullen back, and lose one of Cole/Samsonov. With Cullen back, we can try to get by without the top winger, and maybe pick one up later.

Babchuk. Head case or not, we can't just walk away from that kind of offensive talent. At the very least get him in the fold and trade him.

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Eklund has his top 40 UFAs up. I realize it's Eklund and therefore needs to be taken with a truckload of salt, but that being the case, he lists Carolina as having interest in the following three d-men: Paul Martin, Willie Mitchell and Andy Sutton.

Mitchell hasn't played since his January concussion, so I hope our interest is minimal. Martin or Sutton would be a nice add in the top 4.

As for offense, other than us obviously having an interest in keeping Whitney, Ek lists Carolina as having interest in Lee Stempniak. Let it be known that I called this the night after he roasted us for 2 goals. I can see Stempniak fitting in here; he's that kind of player, with the whole "most teams see him as a 2nd line guy but if he over-achieves then we stick him on the 1st line."

Babs coming back is interesting, but I see him paired with either Carson or McBain on the 3rd pairing, depending on whether we make any waves in UFA for a top 4 d-man.

As for the draft, I'm still holding out hope that we get Nino. I mean, what's more prophetic than a dude with a nickname of El Nino playing for the Hurricanes? :-)

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^^ Not to get all meteorological on you, but El Nino actually has a negative effect on hurricanes. wink.gif

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^^ I was afraid of that. I couldn't remember which it was. Oh, well. He still would be a great pickup. He's mostly compared to Erik Cole... and frankly, if we could get a younger, stronger Erik Cole then we would... because the one we traded for wound up being older, slower and unable to finish around the net.

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Eklund has his top 40 UFAs up. I realize it's Eklund and therefore needs to be taken with a truckload of salt, but that being the case, he lists Carolina as having interest in the following three d-men: Paul Martin, Willie Mitchell and Andy Sutton.

Mitchell hasn't played since his January concussion, so I hope our interest is minimal. Martin or Sutton would be a nice add in the top 4.

As for offense, other than us obviously having an interest in keeping Whitney, Ek lists Carolina as having interest in Lee Stempniak. Let it be known that I called this the night after he roasted us for 2 goals. I can see Stempniak fitting in here; he's that kind of player, with the whole "most teams see him as a 2nd line guy but if he over-achieves then we stick him on the 1st line."

Babs coming back is interesting, but I see him paired with either Carson or McBain on the 3rd pairing, depending on whether we make any waves in UFA for a top 4 d-man.

As for the draft, I'm still holding out hope that we get Nino. I mean, what's more prophetic than a dude with a nickname of El Nino playing for the Hurricanes? :-)

I think the most interesting name here is Paul Martin. He is definitely an offensive minded defenseman. One may question our need in another o-defenseman since we already have the likes of Pitkanen and McBain; however, it's my belief that the status of Pitkanen as a Hurricane down the road is going to be very interesting.

Lets face it, the trade rumors around Pitkanen definitely elevated last year, especially around the trade deadline, meaning this is a player a lot of teams are looking for, and may give a lot up for. JR mentioned in one of the latest articles that roster players may be moved around more this year. Since Pitkanen is in the last year of his contract, if JR has a feeling it's going to be hard to keep Pits here, why not go after Martin? Pitkanen on the trade block would definitely open the eyes of the GMs picking before Carolina, and they may be willing to part with their #1 pick.

Oh, I'm definitely not taking away that some of the roster players that should be moved are Cole and Sammy. And I think we all believe Stempniak would be a nice add on..only if the price is right. We shall see..

A player like Sutton is also a need for this team - big stay at home defenseman. He would definitely add the grit Gleason wants more of for this team. Mitchell would too, though you are right about his injury..

  

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In a recent vote by the Boston fans, they overwhelmingly want Seidenberg re-signed.  Sounds like a deal will be done within the next 2 weeks according to NESN so that would take him off the UFA market if anyone had ideas about him as the next JR recycle project.

Dennis Seidenberg

Status:
Unrestricted free agent

Case for:
Was a strong complementary defensive player acquiredat the trading deadline who paired well with captain Zdeno Chara. At28, likely in the best years of his career.

Case against:
Healthy salary ($2.25 million in 2009-10) makeshim a difficult decision due to limited salary cap space. Ability torebound from season-ending injury (slashed tendon in wrist) will alsobe a concern.

What should the Bruins do about Dennis Seidenberg?
Keep him
red.gif
82.4%
Let him go
blue.gif
17.6%
Total votes: 11649

Just as an FYI, Mark Recchi is also a wanted man by the Boston fans:


Mark Recchi

Status:
Unrestricted free agent

Case for:
Had 18 goals and 25 assists, but more important washis leadership in the dressing room, especially late in the season whenhe called out teammates for their effort. The Bruins responded with astrong finishing push to lock up a playoff spot.

Case against:
At 42, it's inevitable that age becomes a concern, although he played 81 of 82 regular-season games.

What should the Bruins do about Mark Recchi?
Keep him
red.gif
93.4%
Let him go
blue.gif
6.6%
Total votes: 12336

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Some pretty candid thoughts from Rod Brind'Amour courtesy of Luke at the N & O:

 

As things stand right now, he has a year left on his contract, and he plans to fulfill it. That doesn't mean he hasn't thought about retiring. It just means he's not ready to retire yet.

"Everybody thinks about it, whether they're two years in or 10 years in," Brind'Amour said Tuesday. "You assess where you're at, what your goals for the future are. The only thing I would say, had things gone differently this year, I don't think anyone would be asking me what I'm doing next year. It sounded kind of weird when everyone was asking me at the end of the year, just because I still had a year left to play."

Now, Brind'Amour is willing to admit that on the first day of June, it's easy to look forward to next season with optimism. When he starts getting into his offseason workouts in earnest, if he can't keep up with Chad LaRose on the ice, he's prepared to walk away.

But it is not a decision he's ready to make right now.

"If we crank it up in June, July, August, if I get to that point and say I can't do it, then it's a different story," Brind'Amour said. "There's a whole different thought process that would come into play. Until I get in that situation, I'm preparing to play."

Remkin:   Exhale....breath.....it'll be ok.  Give the man his chance to come to his own decisions. wink.gif

"I know that because I'm 39, we all know that's getting to the end, but if you look back to even the summer before this last year, I was in the best shape on the team. Age, to me, isn't the determining factor. Obviously, the ability to play, the role you have, all these things come into play.

"At the end of the day, we all know - you, me, everyone that knows anything about hockey - that this is coming to the end. I never planned to play past the end of my contract. ... In my head, it's always been that way."

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Well, this is really the key quote from the whole story...

"I know that from their point of view, I may not fit in," Brind'Amour said. "They might have to do something about that. They've done it with other guys, too. It isn't shocking."

DeCock came to the same conclusion I did after reading that, and pretty much where I figured it was headed...

Brind'Amour was willing to give up the captaincy to Eric Staal in midseason to help the youth movement along, but he isn't willing to step aside entirely. Not yet. If the Hurricanes want him gone now, they will have to buy out the final year of his contract for $2 million.

And as hard as it may be for JR, I think he'll do it.

The whole "we'll see later in the summer" thing would be after the buyout period ends, so that's not realistic. That would force JR into either playing him or waiving him, and I think he'd rather take the buyout than have to waive the guy.

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And as hard as it may be for JR, I think he'll do it.

The whole "we'll see later in the summer" thing would be after the buyout period ends, so that's not realistic. That would force JR into either playing him or waiving him, and I think he'd rather take the buyout than have to waive the guy.

That seems to be the concensus around here JLP, but I have my doubts he will be bought out.  I certainly agree he won't wave him.  But if JR does decide to buy Brindy out, then he has what, until June 30th I think?  So, if it does happen, we should know by the end of the month.

Interesting tidbits coming out in the last couple of days.

  

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What the!...Why I ought to....Gak...No way...

Just kidding.

Buy out, retirement, nicely paid job, give him a small piece of the team...whatever, just not on the ice. If JR has to make it go then make it so.

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The buyout period is tricky. It gets extended if you have a pending RFA arbitration case, which is what happened last year when Kaberle was bought out at the end of July. So there could be as much as another month to decide.

It is possible they will keep it like it is now, with Dwyer on the third line and Brindy the fourth. That would save them signing Cullen or a FA. The richest fourth line in hockey doesn't sound like a recipe for success though, especially for the Canes.

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Mike Sundheim is reporting that Jim Rutherford will be on 99.9 TheFan at 5:25pm, we should hear some interesting comments in rebuttle to Rod Brind'Amour's from this morning.

Also, Chip Alexander has had some interview time with The Big Guns (PK and JR) this morning, keep an eye out for his blog/twitter updates.

Edit:  Chip just updated

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"If we crank it up in June, July, August, if I get to that point and say I can't do it, then it's a different story," Brind'Amour said. "There's a whole different thought process that would come into play. Until I get in that situation, I'm preparing to play."

The thing is, he thought he could do it last year, and the year before. He was in the "best shape" of the team last year. We will soon near the point where this is a JR and only JR decision. Brind'Amour will only bow out if he is beyond embarrassing in practice, which he will not be.

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