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coastal_caniac

The Official 2011-12 Off-Season Thread

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While this season isn't "officially" over, it's not too early to start talking about next year's campaign. Pessimists, Realists, and Optimists all welcome here. Here are a few links that may help:

Salaries, Cap Hits, Free Agent Status, Pending Free Agents (from CapGeek):

Hurricanes Salaries and Cap Breakdown

Pending Unrestricted Free Agents-League

2011 NHL Draft Order (updated by change in standings and pending any transactions. From prosportstransactions)

2011 Entry Draft as of Now

Edited by coastal_caniac

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I'll be the first to say that we need to re-sign Cole and Stillman... they've been exceptional. Stillman brings that playmaking element that was left vacant after Whitney exited the building and Cole... well who hasn't been impressed with Erik this season? Plus, I think they have a great deal to teach the young guys on and off the ice. It's good to have a young team, but you need to garnish the squad with some seasoned vets.

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My guess is we could take advantage of some teams with cap issues like Chicago and more than likely wont be getting into any bidding wars in Free Agency. Also FA is limited.

Here is my xbox 360 to do list

Trade for Chris Campoli of the Blackhawks as I dont think there is any way he can be afforded and we can trade a couple of min contract specs that can fill roster spots (maybe Bowman and Sanguinetti). He will have to be signed and so will the 2 from us so little risk on both side. Probably to a Corvo type contract numbers.

Trade Gleason to a team that needs D men like the Blues who have a large amount of Centers. Patrik Berglund would be my target. He is a big 6'4 has a decent faceoff percentage and put up 46 points so far with about 17 minutes of ice time. I am not a fan of Gleason he is overpaid in my opinion and really seems to be lost out there but he is a A captain so he probably isnt going anywhere.

Re-sign Cole to about 2.4 mil for 2 years, Re-sign Jokinen 3 years 2.75 mil, Pits to about 3 years, Sutter, Tlusty, Dwyer, Harrison and Boychuk

My lines

Cole-Staal-Skinner

Jokinen-Sutter-Ruutu

Tlusty-Berglund-Boychuk

Bodie-Dwyer- ?

Pits-Allen

Corvo-Campoli

McBain-Joslin

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THANKS :)

So here is the list of ours who stays and who goes?

Pitkanen, Joni

27

$4,000,000

Keep but at a price?

Stillman, Cory

37

$3,533,333

Keep but at a discount?

Cole, Erik

32

$2,900,000

Keep he has returned to form and brings the veteran experience we need in the room

Larose, Chad

29

$1,700,000

Keep he brings heart to the team and gives it soul he is a soldier (lol)

Jokinen, Jussi

27

$1,700,000

Keep he is the only 1 we have for shoot outs (lol)

Rodney, Bryan

26

$525,000

Gone?

Harrison, Jay

28

$500,000

Keep Jay has earned his keep now what will he want to stay?

Dwyer, Pat

27

$500,000

If we can afford him I bet he stays "They like him,they really like him"

Now with that said who do we add???

Edited by Pkling40

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I'll be the first to say that we need to re-sign Cole and Stillman... they've been exceptional. Stillman brings that playmaking element that was left vacant after Whitney exited the building and Cole... well who hasn't been impressed with Erik this season? Plus, I think they have a great deal to teach the young guys on and off the ice. It's good to have a young team, but you need to garnish the squad with some seasoned vets.

echo that but no long-term deals

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Perhaps Brindy can do some one-on-one strength training with Skinner so we won't be so easily pushed off the puck. The kid has had an incredible rookie season, will be fun to see how he develops as a pro

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Here's what's frustrated me this season, and some questions about just what the Canes do going forward.

First, we were told to expect a rebuilding year, and that the organization was expecting the Canes to be a competitive, but maybe not a playoff team. We likely have the latter of the two, but I want to know when a true-on rebuild is going to happen. We did see multiple prospects get time on the fourth line, and occasionally more minutes with better players. But, by my definition, it wasn't a rebuild.

Offensively, does the rebuild start in earnest in 2011-12? If so, we've got little room up front to allow our top offensive prospects the best chance to fulfill their potential, and that is as top-6 players. Some of these UFA's will have to go to make room and give these kids serious minutes.

Second, I think JR rolled the dice with his defense and came up woefully short. Frankly, it's been turrible. Personally, I know where I would start, but that's been pointed out before. I'm tired of stick play from this group. I want somebody who can get in your face and take the body.

Will JR give us a back end to back up the front end? Again, it doesn't matter how may goals you score if your net is full of pucks. Minus goal differentials don't a playoff team make. See the current standings.

Third, again on JR. I think he also rolled the dice on faceoffs. Regardless, what a hole he left in this lineup. Staal's improved, but as a unit it's just killed us. That has to be addressed.

How do we fix the faceoff situation?

Finally, Coaching. I am under no illusion that Mo will go anywhere, given PK isn't likely to pay for another with a year left on Mo's contract. But, I think you have to look at the assistant staff and at least consider making some changes. I put the PP situation directly in the lap of Francis. We are told it's his baby, so I hold him responsible. Again, it's just killed us, and could be the biggest reason we could fail to make the playoffs. Although, I still give the nod to the faceoff situation and the defense. Similarly, the penalty kill has been at the bottom of the league all year. The staff has to have accountability here. That brings me to our "system". I look no farther than the constant line changes.

Is Mo to go? Do we look at assistant staff changes? Does Mo's "system" really fit our players? I hate constant line shuffling, how about you?

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Mo has no better chance of being let go than Moe's has of turning into a Chinese buffet. There are many issues that keep this team from being a strong playoff contender and they have been discussed here this way; :deadhorse: The key is who in the Canes organization the one to address these issues?

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Why on god's green earth would we resign Stillman? There's just no room for him, that is, if you support a rebuild. Not to mention his age, the problems he has staying in the lineup, and the salary he made last year.

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Why on god's green earth would we resign Stillman? There's just no room for him, that is, if you support a rebuild. Not to mention his age, the problems he has staying in the lineup, and the salary he made last year.

1. The team recycles, JR will take someone who knows will work versus taking a risk

2. Whens the last time we signed a big FA?

3. He is the easy choice

4. With JKs budget, JR is forced to make the cheaper choices

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1. The team recycles, JR will take someone who knows will work versus taking a risk

2. Whens the last time we signed a big FA?

3. He is the easy choice

4. With JKs budget, JR is forced to make the cheaper choices

You've listed exactly the opposite of something the organization would do if they are rebuilding, which is my point. If we are going to rebuild, we don't need a 37-year old, oft injured vet who's likely looking at his last contract. He was making over 3 million before he came here. No thank you, he's a rental and nothing more.

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You've listed exactly the opposite of something the organization would do if they are rebuilding, which is my point. If we are going to rebuild, we don't need a 37-year old, oft injured vet who's likely looking at his last contract. He was making over 3 million before he came here. No thank you, he's a rental and nothing more.

Maybe he retires and "resign" will not even be on the table.

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So far almost everyone seems to want to keep the same team for next season. Why?

I know you've all heard the definition of "insanity".

At least two of the Canes UFAs will be let go. Harrison, Dwyer, LaRose, Cole, Pitkanen, Stillman, etc.

I expect Cole will be made an offer. I think Harrison will get better offers from elsewhere.And at least one d-man has to go. Harrison and Pitkanen are the only ones not under contact. I think Dwyer will get better offers from someone else. LaRose will stay no matter what offers he gets...he ain't going anywhere anytime soon. Pitkanen will sign for less than he could get elsewhere, around 4.25 for 3 or more years. And at least two Checkers will be full time NHLers next season....to be determined in the fall between Bowman, Boychuk, Dalpe, etc. No Checkers d-men will play here except as callups for injuries.

Heck of a rebuild!

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There are a couple of issues that will likely have an impact on the immediate future.

1. Re-signing our UFAs. I think Cole is a top priority. He was the best player on the ice in the 2nd half of the season. He's going to warrant a raise. If JR doesn't offer it, he could go to arbitration. Let's face it; he's a top line winger scoring 20+ goals, bringing his game every night. One of the fastest skaters on the ice, with amazing breakaway speed. If he pots even half the breakaways he missed, he'd have 30 goals already. I think JR will need to go 2 years, $7M at least, or maybe 3 years, $10M. I think the Juice and LaRose will be back. LaRose is a fan favorite, can give you 15 goals and constant energy. He doesn't belong in the top-6, but he's a good fit opposite Tlusty on the 3rd line.

2. What to do with 2nd line center? Is Skinner the 2nd line center of the future or is he a 1st line winger? Is Ruutu really a 2nd line center? Or is it Jokinen? If none of these guys is the 2nd line center, then does Sutter move back up? The answer to this question has, quite frankly, been a work in progress all season. I don't think this team knows the answer yet, and it will have an impact on what JR does in the offseason in the FA market. You see, on the one hand, JR could say "we're still a year away from Skinner assuming 2nd line center"... which might mean offering Stillman a one year deal, would keep our lines similar to what they are today. This isn't a rebuild; it's a "our offense isn't broken, so we're not gonna try to fix it." On the other hand, maybe Skinner isn't ready to be center but should move up to 1st line wing. That leaves a 2nd line wing (or 2nd line center) open. You could go Ruutu - Sutter - Juice on 2nd line. That means you need a 3rd line center.

And let's not forget that the answer to these questions might actually already be in the system: Bowman has looked pretty good in this recent callup, Boychuk has top-9 potential, Matsumoto and Riley Nash have had a year in the system, Samson has played well and could be top-9 potential as well.

In short, the answer to the question: who is 1st line wing? who is 2nd line center? will play a huge role in what -- if anything -- JR does in the FA market.

3. Defense. This is the major hole on this team. Will Pits be back? On the one hand, he's not a gritty hitting d-man, he's a puck mover. He's good at that. He doesn't shoot enough; he can work on that. And frankly, he's 27. What I'd hate to see is us pass on re-signing him and then see him turn his game, over the next 3-5 years, into something magical. I'd rather have him learning that role here. I've liked Joslin's game quite a bit as well, and Harrison has proven that he's a solid 3rd pairing d-man. Given all that, I'd really hate to see us stand pat on D. We don't have stellar shot-blockers like we used to (A. Ward in his first stint, Seids, etc). That's why so many shots get through. Too many puck movers, not enough hitters. I think Gleason has had an off year, but we've seen the same for Cam and Eric in years where they've become a daddy. Hopefully he'll bounce back. Do we move Corvo? Do we switch these pairings up? Do we choose not to re-sign Pits and use the money we would have spent on him on a 1st pairing d-man who's more of a hitter/shot-blocker?

In short, I can see JR looking at the offense, looking at the system, and standing pat. We have an offense that was in the top 10 in scoring. I do think, however, that some answer needs to be made on where Skinner plays, and depending on that answer there could be an FA pickup made (perhaps a 3rd line center).

The D is where the focus needs to be. When I look at it, you can almost scrap everyone and start over. But JR won't do that. I think McBain is safe. I think Harrison is safe because he's cheap. But I could see JR shopping Corvo, Gleason or Allen depending on what he could get in return. I could see him going after an FA or two on D and dealing one or more of these guys out.

Top 10 in O, Bottom 10 in D. Makes it obvious where the focus needs to be, but doesn't mean the O can't get some improvement.

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There are a couple of issues that will likely have an impact on the immediate future.

1. Re-signing our UFAs. I think Cole is a top priority. He was the best player on the ice in the 2nd half of the season. He's going to warrant a raise. If JR doesn't offer it, he could go to arbitration. Let's face it; he's a top line winger scoring 20+ goals, bringing his game every night. One of the fastest skaters on the ice, with amazing breakaway speed. If he pots even half the breakaways he missed, he'd have 30 goals already. I think JR will need to go 2 years, $7M at least, or maybe 3 years, $10M.

I completely disagree about Cole. JR will be foolish to sign him to another contract longer than 1 year at more than $2.5. Cole earned his current contract for all of 3 months. The other season and a half he was worthless. Why saddle yourself with another potentially backbreaking contract again? 2 year $4-4.5 million tops. If he wants more, go elsewhere and get it. I hear Edmonton is nice in the fall.

I think Rutherford should really consider trading a defenseman. An obvious choice is Gleason. Someone surely would be willing to take a risk on him.Currently he's nothing more than a fan favorite 3rd pairing guy. 2nd pairing potential, but he's been the worse Canes defender most of this season. He's never going to live up to the Jack Johnson trade IMO.

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In addition to all the previous and well known "wants"...how about a back-up goalie that actually gets some playing time! I don't see how we can continue to ride 1 goalie for over 90% of the games. Ward has played very well this season in my opinion...but needs some help in front and the knowledge and trust that he can take a day off and the team still be "in good hands" with a good back-up.

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There are a couple of issues that will likely have an impact on the immediate future.

1. Re-signing our UFAs. I think Cole is a top priority. He was the best player on the ice in the 2nd half of the season. He's going to warrant a raise. If JR doesn't offer it, he could go to arbitration. Let's face it; he's a top line winger scoring 20+ goals, bringing his game every night. One of the fastest skaters on the ice, with amazing breakaway speed. If he pots even half the breakaways he missed, he'd have 30 goals already. I think JR will need to go 2 years, $7M at least, or maybe 3 years, $10M. I think the Juice and LaRose will be back. LaRose is a fan favorite, can give you 15 goals and constant energy. He doesn't belong in the top-6, but he's a good fit opposite Tlusty on the 3rd line.

2. What to do with 2nd line center? Is Skinner the 2nd line center of the future or is he a 1st line winger? Is Ruutu really a 2nd line center? Or is it Jokinen? If none of these guys is the 2nd line center, then does Sutter move back up? The answer to this question has, quite frankly, been a work in progress all season. I don't think this team knows the answer yet, and it will have an impact on what JR does in the offseason in the FA market. You see, on the one hand, JR could say "we're still a year away from Skinner assuming 2nd line center"... which might mean offering Stillman a one year deal, would keep our lines similar to what they are today. This isn't a rebuild; it's a "our offense isn't broken, so we're not gonna try to fix it." On the other hand, maybe Skinner isn't ready to be center but should move up to 1st line wing. That leaves a 2nd line wing (or 2nd line center) open. You could go Ruutu - Sutter - Juice on 2nd line. That means you need a 3rd line center.

And let's not forget that the answer to these questions might actually already be in the system: Bowman has looked pretty good in this recent callup, Boychuk has top-9 potential, Matsumoto and Riley Nash have had a year in the system, Samson has played well and could be top-9 potential as well.

In short, the answer to the question: who is 1st line wing? who is 2nd line center? will play a huge role in what -- if anything -- JR does in the FA market.

The American Hockey League announced today that Charlotte Checkers center Zach Boychuk has been named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week This would be the needed Center :)

3. Defense. This is the major hole on this team. Will Pits be back? On the one hand, he's not a gritty hitting d-man, he's a puck mover. He's good at that. He doesn't shoot enough; he can work on that. And frankly, he's 27. What I'd hate to see is us pass on re-signing him and then see him turn his game, over the next 3-5 years, into something magical. I'd rather have him learning that role here. I've liked Joslin's game quite a bit as well, and Harrison has proven that he's a solid 3rd pairing d-man. Given all that, I'd really hate to see us stand pat on D. We don't have stellar shot-blockers like we used to (A. Ward in his first stint, Seids, etc). That's why so many shots get through. Too many puck movers, not enough hitters. I think Gleason has had an off year, but we've seen the same for Cam and Eric in years where they've become a daddy. Hopefully he'll bounce back. Do we move Corvo? Do we switch these pairings up? Do we choose not to re-sign Pits and use the money we would have spent on him on a 1st pairing d-man who's more of a hitter/shot-blocker?

In short, I can see JR looking at the offense, looking at the system, and standing pat. We have an offense that was in the top 10 in scoring. I do think, however, that some answer needs to be made on where Skinner plays, and depending on that answer there could be an FA pickup made (perhaps a 3rd line center).

The D is where the focus needs to be. When I look at it, you can almost scrap everyone and start over. But JR won't do that. I think McBain is safe. I think Harrison is safe because he's cheap. But I could see JR shopping Corvo, Gleason or Allen depending on what he could get in return. I could see him going after an FA or two on D and dealing one or more of these guys out.

Top 10 in O, Bottom 10 in D. Makes it obvious where the focus needs to be, but doesn't mean the O can't get some improvement.

Edited by Pkling40

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I wanted to wait until we were more out of it, but I can't help myself.

The top need is to rebuild the defense. I hate to say it, because I like offense, but we have an AllStar goalie. If we build a strong defense in front of him, well look at Boston.

The million dollar question is what to do with Joni. He brings a lot to the table, but at the end of the day, I have to side with the idea that it is time to pull the plug on the Joni plan. He has a ton of assists, and I do remember the days of no puck movers, but now we have Corvo, McBain, and even Joslin to fill that role. Plus our prospects are mostly puck movers. Time to take Joni's money and buy a marque stay at home bruiser who can at least get the puck out of the zone.

Up front my grand plan: a top line center. Wha? Yes a legit playmaking, faceoff winning top line center. Move Staal to wing. Will Staal go for it? Probably not, but if the team offers to get him a legit puck distributer in his prime Staal could put up some pretty impressive numbers potting the feeds from that guy. And not have to worry about face offs or the defensive side of being center. He might consider.

If Staal balks then fine, get a top line playmaking winger. Like Stillman, BUT NOT A 38 year old. Love Stillman in his prime. Also loved Brindy in his prime. This team needs a guy in his prime.

I am talking about ONE net major FA acquisition (Joni is simply replaced). But what a difference it would make.

Then, all top 9 spots are filled with guys who can score. Yes defensive responsibility must be coached up front, but we can have a top 9 where everyone can either score 20 goals or is a young gun with that kind of upside. That is a lot of firepower, but we could do it. That means LaRose and Dwyer are either gone or 4th line. That also means resigning Cole and Jussi. They are both critical and both "our own". Cole at his current play level is a game breaker. Jussi is our only true playmaker.

Despite all of Cole's sizzle and I am loving Cole now, Jussi has as many points in 12 fewer games. He is only one behind Staal in most assists despite 11 fewer games (and some 4th line time mixed in).

Yes Jussi and Cole might need a raise, but LaRose would take a paycut, and Dwyer likely not return. The guys taking their places are on entry contracts.

So my idealized plan:

Staal-FA playmaking 1st line center-Cole

Skinner-Jussi-Ruutu

Bowman (Boychuk)-Sutter-Tlusty

LaRose*-Dalpe-Dwyer*

Corvo-STUD SHUT DOWN BEAST

McBain-Gleason

Joslin-Allen

Those dpairings are loose, but the basic idea.

We probably need to buy a back up goalie. Cam cannot play this many games and hope to have any effect in the playoffs.

* or let them go and use Bodie, AHL'ers, etc.

That team up there should be an instant contender. 7 of the top 9 have proven 20 goal chops, and the other two probably do also. And 3-4 would have proven 30 goal potential.

JR I know you're reading this! As our jumbo tron says: Do it. Do it. Do it.

Edited by remkin

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I wanted to wait until we were more out of it, but I can't help myself.

The top need is to rebuild the defense. I hate to say it, because I like offense, but we have an AllStar goalie. If we build a strong defense in front of him, well look at Boston.

Welcome to the dark side, better late than never. ;)

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I don't see us going after a 1st line center. That's Staal. I'm sure the offseason plan will be to continue working on FOs. He's up to 47% and that's after starting the year in the basement, sub-40% range.

Sutter hasn't been stellar on FOs either.

If the Juice is the 2nd line center, then I'm ok with that. I still think knowing where Skinner goes makes a huge difference on how the lines work.

Could be:

Skinner - Staal - Cole

FA/Bowman/Boychuk - Jokinen - Ruutu

LaRose - Sutter - Tlusty

Bodie - Dwyer - Checker

Or it could be:

FA Scoring Winger - Staal - Cole

Skinner - Jokinen - Ruutu

LaRose - Sutter - Tlusty/Bowman/Samson/Boychuk (I really don't think we'll see LaRose out of the top 9)

Checkers sandwiching Dwyer (or Dalpe or Matsumoto)

The point is, offensively we can fill all 12 spots with some level of quality. Given that JR will be working under a PK-provided cap, you have to assume that there will be some additional dollars spent on these line-ups. Regardless of what you say about how Cole performed last year, he could take his case to arbitration, like Ruutu did with similar numbers a couple of years ago, and get a similar contract (i.e., $3M+). I know everyone wants to ship guys out of here if they don't stick to the program, but frankly, this team needs some stability. Having Cole lined up alongside Staal has been productive this season. Cole is one of JR's guys. He went and got him back from Edmonton. MARK MY WORDS: Cole will get at least 2 years, if not 3, at upwards of $3M per year (average). The only way I can see that not happening is if Cole decides to give a Corvo-like hometown discount to stay. But it will be somewhere in that ballpark in terms/money.

LaRose isn't going anywhere. 19 goals 2 years ago, 11 last year through an injury-plagued season, sitting at 15 this year. He's the new Sammy. He's going to give you effort every night; he's going to get you 15-20 goals with very few assists. My bet would be another 2 years at what he's making now or thereabouts. I will say this: teams need guys that provide energy on the ice, regardless of the result. If you keep Chad under $2M per year, you're getting a lot out of him. Just keep him on the 3rd line.

Enough about the O. It's the D. Maybe we call it quits with Joni. I agree we have too many puck-movers. I like Joslin; he seems to "get it" in terms of being able to move the puck, jump in on a rush, but still throw his body around. Is he a 1st pairing guy? No. But I could see him slotted with McBain on a 2nd pairing. Move Corvo up to 1st pairing with, as rem said, a major 1st pairing busting heads kind of guy. The problem with all of this is what to do with Allen. He's not making $2.9M to be a 3rd pairing guy. Something's gotta give on the D. There will be an odd man (or two) out of the picture.

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