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coastal_caniac

The Official 2011-12 Off-Season Thread

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There are two guys I like in particular:

1 - Joel Armia (RW-Right shot [we need more of those])- Big guy, can score - currently playing in the top professional league in Finland (on a first line too I think). He's doing pretty well there.

2 - Jamieson Oleksiak (Defense) - he's huge. 6'7, 244 lbs, drawing comparisons to Chara (obviously) and Myers. Really good shutdown guy.

I know we picked up a lot of dman in the last draft, but I really like Oleksiak. I think if you get a chance to take someone who could possibly be Chara-like, you do it.

Armia is a guy I think we will definately look at, not sure about the D as JRs history has been not to draft a D-Man in the early rounds, but at 6"7 244...dude has potential to be a beast if he can skate well. I think that this year's draft will be more like 2009 where the jury is still out on much of the 1st rounders taken that year.

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Do you want us to be the first overall pick next season? That lineup is terrible especially the D. Ladd isnt coming here. Skinner is not ready or built to be a center in the NHL.

It seems that the hatred for Pitkanen is so fierce among some people that you just replace him with a career #6 defenseman like Alberts and you suddenly haven't gotten considerably worse, but have actually improved.

Pitkanen was -2 playing 25 minutes a game for a team with a -7 even strength goal differential. Alberts was even (0) playing 15 minutes a night on a a team with a +51 even strength goal differential.

Simply removing Pitkanen and replacing him with bargain bin fodder does not help us. An argument can be made to replace him with a more consistent, more defensively reliable TOP-PAIRING DEFENSEMAN, but as was written earlier, icing a defense comprised entirely of #4/5/6 defensemen does not work.

Gleason-Corvo completely sucked this past year and had shown to be an extremely mediocre pairing even when Gleason wasn't playing like garbage, yet it's the top pairing in everyone's lineup. Does anyone not see a problem with that? And it only gets worse after that, with the only player who is arguably a top 4 defenseman in these lineups being McBain.

So, let's evaluate our D:

Gleason - #3 if he returns to form

Corvo - #4

McBain - #4

Allen - #5

Joslin - #5

Harrison (UFA) - #6

Forget that Pitkanen even exists for a moment. Please look at that D and tell me that you can add another middle/bottom-pairing D and you've got anything closely resembling a playoff-calibre lineup.

People really need to realize that 2006 was an exception and not the norm. The 'Canes had an absolutely elite offense and got out-of-this-world goaltending in the playoffs, and thus were able to ice a bargain bin defense full of second/third pairing. What happens if Cam Ward merely posts a respectable .910sv%, or the Hurricanes don't have a powerplay operating at 25%?

You either pay Pitkanen or you pay someone other quality defenseman his money.

Edited by ZCAB

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I tend to agree with you in general. We either upgrade or not. The thing is, we had Pitkanen in with those names you listed and our defense was bad. Pitkanen had a decent plus minus, though he is an offensive minded guy who directly contributed to a bunch of points, so I'd like to see it a bit higher ideally.

Anyway, it is nearly impossible to imagine the Canes paying Pitkanen and another new top pairing guy, so if we go with Pitkanen, we are by default keeping the defense about the same. But the same is not good.

Thus I favor letting Pitkanen walk BUT ONLY if we make a play for a more defensive minded top pair dman. McBain, Corvo and even Joslin are pretty offensive minded. We need a serious shut down guy in place of Pitkanen who plays a more conventional style. A Hurricanes version Glen Wesley type.

I have no idea who, but that would be the type of player.

Now the absolute "turn in my season tickets" worst thing would be let Pitkanen walk and replace him with a call up or a journeyman.

Edited by remkin

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I'm not sure what my opinion is about what the team should do with Joni. I do feel like he is going to continue to develop into a legit top line d-man, but the public opinion of him may already be so far gone that it may not matter.

What I would love to see the team do on defense, and I know it may just be a pipe dream, would be to make a call to the Nashville Predators. All year, they have waivered about whether or not they could afford to resign Shea Weber. I would love to see the Canes put together as good of an offer as they could stand (picks, prospects, whatever) and try to get the rights to Weber. Then they could take the money they were gonna possibly give to Pits and instead put it toward a long-term deal with Weber. I realize that it's gonna take more to get Weber (reports I have seen are saying between $6 and $7 million), but to lock up a 25 year old d-man who's already a proven all star, I think it would be more than worth it. Again, I don't know that it's possible, but I feel it would definitely be worth the effort. I would also like them to bring back Joslin. I like what I've seen from him thus far.

The Canes' 5-on-5 offense, I felt, was pretty solid. I know there were definite issues in the face-off circle, but hopefully with another year of working with Brindy, the centers we have can improve. I would like to see the team resign Cole and Jussi to modest raises, possibly even Larose if the money is right, as well as Sutter and Tlusty. Then I would fill the remaining spots with Checkers like Boychuk, Bowman, and Dalpe. Give them an extended chance to prove they can make it with the big club. Just one man's opinion.

Doing all this would give you a line up something like this while keeping the payroll under $50 million:

Cole ($3M/yr)- Staal- Boychuk/Bowman

Skinner - Ruutu - Jokinen ($2M/yr)

Boychuk/Bowman - Sutter ($1.75M/yr) - Larose ($1.75M/yr)

Samson - Dalpe - Tlusty ($750K/yr)

Weber ($6.5M/yr) - Allen

Corvo - Gleason

Mcbain - Joslin ($500K/yr)

Edited by PenaltyKill26

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Yeah, remember what the philosophy of this organization is. We aren't going to get some big name defensemen from the free agent pile... and even if we tried, who in the list can replace Pitkanen at his best (which we didn't see last season)? I don't hate him, I just don't see paying him MORE after his decent at best play in a contract season (most guys in that situation play their butt off). And Alberts was a BEAST in the short time he was here - lead the team in hits, something Pits will never do, and he's cheap. Sounds like what we need/will be looking for, IMO.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have some top-tier defenseman, but knowing this owner I don't see it happening.

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I'm not sure what my opinion is about what the team should do with Joni. I do feel like he is going to continue to develop into a legit top line d-man, but the public opinion of him may already be so far gone that it may not matter.

What I would love to see the team do on defense, and I know it may just be a pipe dream, would be to make a call to the Nashville Predators. All year, they have waivered about whether or not they could afford to resign Shea Weber. I would love to see the Canes put together as good of an offer as they could stand (picks, prospects, whatever) and try to get the rights to Weber. Then they could take the money they were gonna possibly give to Pits and instead put it toward a long-term deal with Weber. I realize that it's gonna take more to get Weber (reports I have seen are saying between $6 and $7 million), but to lock up a 25 year old d-man who's already a proven all star, I think it would be more than worth it. Again, I don't know that it's possible, but I feel it would definitely be worth the effort. I would also like them to bring back Joslin. I like what I've seen from him thus far.

The Canes' 5-on-5 offense, I felt, was pretty solid. I know there were definite issues in the face-off circle, but hopefully with another year of working with Brindy, the centers we have can improve. I would like to see the team resign Cole and Jussi to modest raises, possibly even Larose if the money is right, as well as Sutter and Tlusty. Then I would fill the remaining spots with Checkers like Boychuk, Bowman, and Dalpe. Give them an extended chance to prove they can make it with the big club. Just one man's opinion.

Doing all this would give you a line up something like this while keeping the payroll under $50 million:

Cole ($3M/yr)- Staal- Boychuk/Bowman

Skinner - Ruutu - Jokinen ($2M/yr)

Boychuk/Bowman - Sutter ($1.75M/yr) - Larose ($1.75M/yr)

Samson - Dalpe - Tlusty ($750K/yr)

Weber ($6.5M/yr) - Allen

Corvo - Gleason

Mcbain - Joslin ($500K/yr)

Ya Ok, no one but Nashville is getting Shea.

:shakeshead:

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Yea getting weber would be sweet but I agree CHF88 no way Nashville lets Weber go. He isnt a locker room cancer like Pronger was with the Whalers, so there isnt a reason to let him go.

If Pit goes, Brewer would get my vote on who we should go after. I hope the Canes keep Dwyer over Larose. Dwyer is a fine and cheap 4th line center. Larose's roster spot just needs to be filled by a Checker, saving money in the process.

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If Pit goes, Brewer would get my vote on who we should go after. I hope the Canes keep Dwyer over Larose. Dwyer is a fine and cheap 4th line center. Larose's roster spot just needs to be filled by a Checker, saving money in the process.

Rutherford isn't going to get involved in bidding for free agents. He has to cut budget before next season, while trying to resign several of his own free agents.

I'd also pick Dwyer over LaRose. But Rutherford won't. Dwyer is a good as gone unless he wants to stay here for a little as possible. And after hearing Pitkanen's exit interview, I'm 100% positive he's a goner as well. Which leaves the defense with a huge hole in it, that will likely be filled by players already in the system, here or Charlotte. I fully expect the defense of the 2011 Canes, to be as bad as we've EVER seen. No one in Charlotte has shown the ability to play anything higher than 5 minutes as a 3rd pairing guy. McBain has to improve drastically, and if Gleason can't improve, he's no netter than our #5 or 6 guy either. There are no top pairing guys in this roster. The defense needs an overhaul. It needs a true top pairing.

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It seems that the hatred for Pitkanen is so fierce among some people that you just replace him with a career #6 defenseman like Alberts and you suddenly haven't gotten considerably worse, but have actually improved.

Pitkanen was -2 playing 25 minutes a game for a team with a -7 even strength goal differential. Alberts was even (0) playing 15 minutes a night on a a team with a +51 even strength goal differential.

Simply removing Pitkanen and replacing him with bargain bin fodder does not help us. An argument can be made to replace him with a more consistent, more defensively reliable TOP-PAIRING DEFENSEMAN, but as was written earlier, icing a defense comprised entirely of #4/5/6 defensemen does not work.

Gleason-Corvo completely sucked this past year and had shown to be an extremely mediocre pairing even when Gleason wasn't playing like garbage, yet it's the top pairing in everyone's lineup. Does anyone not see a problem with that? And it only gets worse after that, with the only player who is arguably a top 4 defenseman in these lineups being McBain.

So, let's evaluate our D:

Gleason - #3 if he returns to form

Corvo - #4

McBain - #4

Allen - #5

Joslin - #5

Harrison (UFA) - #6

Forget that Pitkanen even exists for a moment. Please look at that D and tell me that you can add another middle/bottom-pairing D and you've got anything closely resembling a playoff-calibre lineup.

People really need to realize that 2006 was an exception and not the norm. The 'Canes had an absolutely elite offense and got out-of-this-world goaltending in the playoffs, and thus were able to ice a bargain bin defense full of second/third pairing. What happens if Cam Ward merely posts a respectable .910sv%, or the Hurricanes don't have a powerplay operating at 25%?

You either pay Pitkanen or you pay someone other quality defenseman his money.

This. This. Absolutely this.

We need Pitkanen or another $5M per year 1st pairing D-man.

Frankly, I'd sign Pits to 3 years for $15M. I know people think I'm crazy. But Pits is 27... 27, people!!! Have you seen how JR shies away from drafting D-men in the 1st round? Have you seen how he trades for other team's 1st round D-man (Sanguinetti) after they've played 2-3 years in the AHL?

D-men take time to mature. Was Pronger great at 27? Seriously, was he? The fact that he moved from StL to Edm to Ana. Chara was with the Isles, then Ott, now Bos. Would the Isles have given up on him if they'd known he was a future Norris nominee?

Is Pits an immediate Duncan Keith-like success? No. But I will say this: IT IS TOO EARLY IN HIS CAREER TO LET HIM WALK OUT THE DOOR.

If we were going to part with Pits, we should have done it when we could have traded him for something, because he has TREMENDOUS value.

I'd say even above Cole, Pits is our #1 priority.

If we let him walk and field a team of low-budget D-men, we cannot hope to finish higher than 12th next year. Look at Toronto; look at their D. Look at NJ; look at their D. Those teams will be playoff contenders next year. If we're going to jump from 9 to 6 then we need to make key moves, and re-signing Pits is #1. I would trade Gleason and/or Corvo in a heartbeat before letting Pits get out of Carolina. I would have Pits re-signed before 7/1 before he starts getting offers we can't match.

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Rutherford isn't going to get involved in bidding for free agents. He has to cut budget before next season, while trying to resign several of his own free agents.

I'd also pick Dwyer over LaRose. But Rutherford won't. Dwyer is a good as gone unless he wants to stay here for a little as possible. And after hearing Pitkanen's exit interview, I'm 100% positive he's a goner as well. Which leaves the defense with a huge hole in it, that will likely be filled by players already in the system, here or Charlotte. I fully expect the defense of the 2011 Canes, to be as bad as we've EVER seen. No one in Charlotte has shown the ability to play anything higher than 5 minutes as a 3rd pairing guy. McBain has to improve drastically, and if Gleason can't improve, he's no netter than our #5 or 6 guy either. There are no top pairing guys in this roster. The defense needs an overhaul. It needs a true top pairing.

I'm going to wager we keep LaRose because for under $2M per year he's a solid 3rd line guy. Just keep him on 3rd line. Stop moving him up. He, Sutter and Bowman would make a solid shut-down 3rd line.

I like Dwyer too, but frankly if he wants to walk then bring up Matsumoto for 4th line center duties. We'll forget what Dwyer's number was in a year, especially given 4th line duties/minutes on this team.

In short, re-sign Cole, Jussi, LaRose. Cole and Jussi get raises, LaRose right around what he's making now. Let Tlusty, Dwyer walk, fill their two spots with Checkers.

We still need to find out whether Skinner is moving up to 1st line with Staal and Cole, or if he's staying 2nd line. I believe this team will try to fill from within. I believe Stillman, Dwyer and Tlusty could be outs, with some combo of Bowman, Boychuk, Samson and Dalpe coming in.

As for D, I've made it clear that I think our #1 priority is to re-sign Pits. Assume McBain gets better with his rookie season behind him. That's the 1st pairing, regardless of the weaknesses of it. But after that, between Gleason, Corvo, Harrison, Joslin and Allen... that's a mess. Lots of 4/5 guys there. Corvo is a good 2nd pairing guy. Gleason had a horrible season. Harrison is solid. I don't know... I'd maybe play Allen and Corvo together, keep Harrison and Joslin on 3rd pairing and trade Gleason. JR won't do that, but I'd consider it.

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Rutherford isn't going to get involved in bidding for free agents. He has to cut budget before next season, while trying to resign several of his own free agents.

I'd also pick Dwyer over LaRose. But Rutherford won't. Dwyer is a good as gone unless he wants to stay here for a little as possible. And after hearing Pitkanen's exit interview, I'm 100% positive he's a goner as well. Which leaves the defense with a huge hole in it, that will likely be filled by players already in the system, here or Charlotte. I fully expect the defense of the 2011 Canes, to be as bad as we've EVER seen. No one in Charlotte has shown the ability to play anything higher than 5 minutes as a 3rd pairing guy. McBain has to improve drastically, and if Gleason can't improve, he's no netter than our #5 or 6 guy either. There are no top pairing guys in this roster. The defense needs an overhaul. It needs a true top pairing.

BK, I would agree, in general, that getting into a bidding war for out of market UFA's is not JR's style. But I don't understand your comment about cutting budget? Admittedly, I haven't looked too deeply at the current cap situation as it pertains to the Hurricanes. But it's my understanding the cap is expected to increase in 2011-12, which automatically raises the cap floor.

With Brindy's and Kaberle's cap hits coming off the books, I'm pretty sure the team will be forced to raise it's budget to meet the cap floor, even after signing guys like Cole, Jokinen and Sutter. With that said, I think this year could be a year that it could happen, assuming we let Pitkanen walk. Not saying it will, but it's possible. One thing's for sure, if we don't put a first pairing defense on the ice, things won't likely change too much, IMO.

Just a thought.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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USA Today's top list of UFA's

Kevin Allen, USA TODAY

Here is a preliminary list of unrestricted free

agents of interest as we head toward July 1:

1. Brad Richards (Dallas): If he doesn't re-

sign, he will be the only premium center in

the marketplace.

2. Ilya Bryzgalov (Phoenix): He is a game-

changer, and any team with a goaltending

need will be interested.

3. Brooks Laich (Washington): Considering

the shortage of scorers on the unrestricted

list, he would be very attractive.

4. Christian Ehrhoff (Vancouver): If the

Canucks have a long run in the playoffs, his

marketability will grow.

5. Roman Hamrlik (Montreal): Veteran D men

are always in demand.

**6. Joni Pitkanen (Carolina): He's still only 27,

and he has offensive tools.

7. Alex Tanguay (Calgary): Clearly, the

Flames would like to re-sign Tanguay to play

with Jarome Iginla. But money and terms

could get in the way.

8. Jason Arnott (Washington): He's a big

center whose play in the postseason will

determine his value.

9. James Wisniewski (Montreal): He's ultra-

competitive and his skill level is always better

than people realize.

10. Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix): He's a leader

and he still plays with an edge.

11. Kevin Bieksa (Vancouver): Can add some bite to a defense.

12. Tomas Kaberle (Boston): His defensive

play will concern teams, but they will like his

offensive numbers.

13. Michal Handzus (Los Angeles): He's a big

6-4 center who can play 20-plus minutes.

14. Curtis Glencross (Calgary): He would be

higher if not for the belief that Calgary

general manager Jay Feaster will get him re-

signed.

15. Tomas Kopecky (Chicago): He's 6-3,

scored a career-high 15 goals and he plays

with some aggressiveness. He's a desirable

role player.

Other significant players include Florida

goalie Tomas Vokoun, Carolina forward

Cory Stillman, Tampa Bay forward Sean

Bergenheim, Buffalo center Tim Connolly,

Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov, New

York Rangers defenseman Bryan McCabe

and Detroit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

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Rutherford isn't going to get involved in bidding for free agents. He has to cut budget before next season, while trying to resign several of his own free agents.

I'd also pick Dwyer over LaRose. But Rutherford won't. Dwyer is a good as gone unless he wants to stay here for a little as possible. And after hearing Pitkanen's exit interview, I'm 100% positive he's a goner as well. Which leaves the defense with a huge hole in it, that will likely be filled by players already in the system, here or Charlotte. I fully expect the defense of the 2011 Canes, to be as bad as we've EVER seen. No one in Charlotte has shown the ability to play anything higher than 5 minutes as a 3rd pairing guy. McBain has to improve drastically, and if Gleason can't improve, he's no netter than our #5 or 6 guy either. There are no top pairing guys in this roster. The defense needs an overhaul. It needs a true top pairing.

No doubt Pitkanen will be a loss for this team however I believe the loss will be overcame. It always seems as though the Canes have more success with six solid D-Men instead of a D with one or two standouts.

In both runs to the cup finals we were good defensively with guys like Wallin/Hedican/Ward/Hill. In years that the team did poorly we had guys like Ozolinsh and Coffey. Same thing goes for our forward lines, a team built like ours has to roll four lines. Had Maurice gone with four lines on a regular basis I believe the team would have made the Playoffs. It would limit the ware and tare on our key guys like Staal and Ruutu.

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No doubt Pitkanen will be a loss for this team however I believe the loss will be overcame. It always seems as though the Canes have more success with six solid D-Men instead of a D with one or two standouts.

In both runs to the cup finals we were good defensively with guys like Wallin/Hedican/Ward/Hill. In years that the team did poorly we had guys like Ozolinsh and Coffey. Same thing goes for our forward lines, a team built like ours has to roll four lines. Had Maurice gone with four lines on a regular basis I believe the team would have made the Playoffs. It would limit the ware and tare on our key guys like Staal and Ruutu.

So why did they miss the playoffs in 02-03, 03-04, 06-07, and 07-08 with this approach? And why did they make it to the ECF without it? And for the record, Coffey made the playoffs in one out of his two seasons here and same with Ozolinsh, while the seasons after without the lack of "standout D" prior to Pitkanen's arrival resulted in two playoff appearances in six seasons.

Seems to me that intentionally icing a defense full of second/third-pairing defensemen and hoping that some combination of a goaltender standing on his head, a powerplay operating at 25% over the course of four series, or trapping your way to the finals isn't a good idea.

To be honest, what you have is mostly a record of missing the playoffs here regardless of what the approach is, because the approach always results in a substandard defense. Either they put a defense of four second pairing defensemen and two bottom pairing D, or a defense of one top-pairing, two second-pairing and three bottom-pairing defensemen. Both approaches are destined for failure, but it's only the extremely myopic Carolina Hurricanes fan viewpoint that believes the the Option A rather than "none of the above" should be the approach.

It's great the 'Canes made two trips to the Finals without a top-pairing defenseman. But find me one other Cup winner that didn't have a top-pairing D. Or another recent Cup fianlist. Or even Conference finalists. Since the 'Canes won the Cup, the Cup winners have had Pronger/Niedermayer, Lidstrom/Rafalski, Gonchar and Keith/Seabrook all as legitimate top-pairing defensemen. The Conference finalists have had Redden (back when he didn't suck), Gonchar, Lidstrom/Rafalski, and Pronger/Timonen.

There are lots of teams every year that miss the playoffs with top pairing defensemen, but there are very few who make the playoffs or go far without them.

Edited by ZCAB

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Changing the subject a bit from the D--or players to re-sign--------I wonder why we have had no " summary

of the season" statement from JR. Doesn't he usually have something to say !

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I was going to post the same thing. Haven't we normally gotten something from JR following the exit interviews? It's been awhile. No big deal, but it is a good question.

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I was going to post the same thing. Haven't we normally gotten something from JR following the exit interviews? It's been awhile. No big deal, but it is a good question.

Me, too. I thought we normally got a "here's what I think of the season, here's our offseason priorities" etc. Maybe they're gnashing their teeth over what to do about Mo.

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I was going to post the same thing. Haven't we normally gotten something from JR following the exit interviews? It's been awhile. No big deal, but it is a good question.

He's too busy texting Babchuck :lol:

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Well, we have to entertain ourselves somehow... This is perhaps the most humorous posting on a TSN message board ever:

"BTW Wilson is the reason for no playoffs in Toronto. Had Paul Maurice still been behind the bench, the Leafs season would have been a lot better. Burke and Wilson need to go. Nonis is the only keeper" - In response to the news article of Ruff's contract extension in Slugtown.

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I read the Canes Now (News and Observer blog) today 5/14.

That article says JR will give his "state of the team" remarks to the press on

Tuesday (5/17).

So heads up everyone.

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I read the Canes Now (News and Observer blog) today 5/14.

That article says JR will give his "state of the team" remarks to the press on

Tuesday (5/17).

So heads up everyone.

Thanks for posting this :) . I believe its scheduled for 11am.

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Chip has reported most of the topics for tomorrow's press conference.

Mo haters....be prepared to keep hating.

Ron Francis will be replaced by either Jeff Daniels or an ex-defenseman who has NHL coaching experience. Guesses anyone?

Here's the lowdown from Chip:

http://twitter.com/#!/ice_chip

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Well this is interesting. At least we have some Canes hockey and speculation to keep us occupied again. The Francis move back to the front office makes sense to me. Francis IMO always seemed more suited for the front office. I could also see Daniels back in Charlotte for another year while Maurice works out his contract. Daniels is more valuable right now to help complete the rebuild that I'm guessing is still a work in progress for another season. I would have thought Glen Wesley might have gotten the nod as an assistant but the way the tweet is worded doesn't make it appear that this will happen.

I'm little surprised that we might sign Stillman for another year but I'm not unhappy about it.

Can't wait until tomorrow to find out more.

The speculation that jussi may not be resigned is a little surprising

Edited by OBXer

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no, say it aint so, jussi so good on PP, faceoffs, big goals.. i donr get it.. someone explain this please..

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