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Canes - better or worse?

  

51 members have voted

  1. 1. Based on the recent trades/signings, what do you think of the Canes?

    • Better than last season
      23
    • Worse than last season
      9
    • The same
      4
    • Undecided
      15


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Gonna have to wait till after the first 15 games or so before I can make a judgement. Always give them 15-20 games before I make any decisions to how good they are.

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Well, it shouldn't take long. Thirteen of our first 20 games are against playoff teams from last year including two against TB, Wash, Buff, and Philly, and single games against Boston, Chicago, Rangers, Penguins, and Canadiens.

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This could be a very interesting poll if we give our answers on opening day before the first game. At that point, camp will be ended and the opening day roster set.

I'd then do a follow up poll at the 15 game mark to see how close we ended up. 25 games is the standard I go by before passing full judgement but with that schedule, the truth should shake out fairly quickly within that 15 game period.

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I know I'll be labeled a Negative Nancy, but I went with worse. Now, I'm not necessarily saying that because of what we've done, but when I look at the other teams in the East, I find it difficult to see us leap-frogging anyone.

Tampa Bay - ECF finalist and I think they are gonna be tough again

Washington - I think they addressed some of their glaring toughness needs, added Vokoun in goal. Gonna be good.

Pittsburgh - Provided Crosby and Malkin are back, this team will be solid. Best D in the league, possibly.

Boston - SCF winner, team pretty much back. Gonna be tough to beat.

Philly - made some drastic changes to their lineup, but Bryz in goal makes them better on the back end.

NYR - young team adds Brad Richards. Ouch.

Buffalo - Regehr/Ehrhoff added in front of Miller, already had solid offense. Roy back.

Montreal - well, they added Cole. Definitely a formidable team.

Then you throw into the pot the fact that the Devils are likely to make a solid run next year, Florida has improved, Toronto made a run late last year and could contend from the outset....

I think the East is going to be ridiculously competitive next year. I think teams in the Southeast are going to be at disadvantage having to travel all the way to Winnipeg for divisional games. I think we need another top-6 forward to really be a competitive team this next year.... and that's just competitive to be in that 6-8th playoff spot.

If Skinner suffers any kind of sophomore slump, we'll be in the 12-14 range.

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Skinner-Staal-Rutuu

Poni-Dalpe-Jokinen

LaRose-Sutter-Stewart

Tlusty-Brent-Dwyer

Gleason-Kaberle

Allen-Pitkanen

Harrison-McBain

Ward

Boucher

Ok the good thing is we have added more size and grit and will be able to sustain a forcheck a lot easier without being out muscled due to being smaller. perhaps Rutuu will be moved down to the 2nd line and Poni up one. But I think honestly what it all comes down to is if Steward and Poni can each put up at least 40 points each. If so we will make the playoffs...

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I am actually ok with the acquisitions, will miss Cole but given the UFA's we needed to sign I like the outcome. Most importantly we got a veteran backup so Cam won't be ridden into the ground.

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Stewart has potential. 39 points last year with Atlanta, and 31 points each of the last two seasons with the AHL Wolves and Amerks respectively. He may not score that much on a defense/checking line with Sutter and LaRose but we'll see. LaRose has shown flashes of offense so he could pick up some assists and pluses on that line.

Obviously it's too early to tell. We've seen years where a similar roster has gone from bad to good and from good to awful (06 to 07 ring a bell.. we only lost the two rentals Recchi and Weight I believe). Who knows what will happen with significant changes to the roster.

I like the Brent signing, I love the Boucher signing, Stewart looks like a good pick up, Poni I know nothing about and look forward to seeing him play, I like Kaberle, but I hate losing Corvo. But that's hockey, thems is the breaks. I also hate losing Cole, but again, that's the game. As my dad would say, you dance with who brung ya, so the team we have now may or may not get it done we just have to wait and see.

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It is just to early to tell right now. I like the moves we have made to address our problems of moving the puck out of our zone, trying to fix the PP and have a 4th line that can kill penalties. Cole's departure has left a new problem to be fixed. I have hope. Until they play together this team is an unknown.

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I'll wait and see. But my inclination aligns mostly with what Witchking posted. I think it's going to be an uphill battle to keep pace with the better 8 teams in the Conference.

One thing is for sure, the transition/rebuild/restructure has life.

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I have to go with undecided right now but the potential is there for this to be a disaster or be really successful. If Poni and Stewart contribute nothing and don't work out then we've seriously cut into offensive production. Same goes if Skinner doesn't have another crazy year. The defense in front of Cam Ward last year was terrible and its not any better with the addition of Kaberle, but its not worse either. If the powerplay can get rolling and our new acquisitions can score like we hope then even with the defense staying the same scoring should go up. IF we end up not being able to score and our defense isn't any better then it will be a catastrophic failure of a season. We could finish as well as 4-6 in the East. We could finish as poorly as 10-12. Averaging that out has us fighting for one of the last playoff spots as usual. I hope that things click and work out but right now I'm not so sure.

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Better. Last year we entered the season with O'Sullivan, Samsonov, Kostopoulous, Babchuck, and I can't even remember who centered the 4th line until we obtained Ryan Carter.

The Canes improved all year, but really stumbled after the All Star break. That awful time was the reason for no playoffs, not the Tampa game.

I'll miss Cole and Corvo, but they wre inconsistent. Who knows what they would do if still with us. No assurance we'd see the Cole of Dec-Apr. Same with Corvo, who faded at the end, yet had a good first 3/4 season.

I'm expecting a far improved PP (can't get worse) and a better PK, too.

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I wouldn't stencil their names in on the Cup just yet, but I'd say the Canes are improved. The most important things were the minor ones. First is a competent back-up goalie to take the load off of Ward. That alone is huge. Tim Brent is a glue guy who kills penalties which is always helpful. Kaberle will improve the power play. Stewart has 20-goal potential which I think was a little untapped in Atlanta. Overall, I'm pretty excited about the way the team is coming together. Again, we're not looking at a Stanley Cup contender but I'd say a playoff spot is a reasonable goal. After that, you start to build towards something.

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I too am undecided. I like the signings. I don't know a thing about Poni, looking forward to seeing what he can do (instead of just youtube'ing him and seeing highlights, lowlights, etc.. and seeing how he meshes here).. I expect a trade in midseason for a winger, despite how we look. Anyway, hopefully this will be the year I can get a jersey. :P

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I like what JR has done. We've added some penalty kill/face off help with Brent, size with Stewart/Poni, backup goaltending help, PP help with Kaberle, and scoring touch throughout the lineup. I still feel like we make some kind of final move. Dalpe's likely slotted into the 2nd line for next year, but Boychuk has nothing left to prove in the AHL I'd like to see what he can do at the NHL level with the 'Canes or trade him while his value is still high.

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Rutherford laid out his plan in his end of season presser. He has lost one piece in Cole he wanted to keep. He has a backup goalie that can play 20 games and had a sub-3 GAA last season, now Peters can go back to AHL and continue his career rather than play 9 games per season. You have guys like Boychuck primed to step up into the bigs and make an impact.

Now let's talk about the bonuses. Kabrele is a good defenseman with 11 point in the playoffs last season. We all watched Tim Brent come into our house last year and just blister us, so we know what he is capable of. Stewart also had good success last season at Atlanta, I was impressed with his game when they played against us. I do not think Stewart would have been available if the Winnipeg Jets had not come into being, they just let him walk away as a free agent. He states that one of his biggest improvements was conditioning for his increase in production, and Carolina has always been a conditioning team. I think he will be a good additions.

The biggest factor though. Last year 11 out of 22 players on the roster had never played a full NHL season. That number will drop this year, because they got one last year and missed the playoffs by one game.

From a financial standpoint Rutherford is buying out his former partner's shares from his estate and looking for local minority owners. This will help from many different fronts, including maybe some more corporate sponsorship.

Now look at the division. Atlanta's Winnipeg move will be difficult for them. Washington is loading up, but as long as they have the superstar mindset up there, I think they will have ego issues in short order. Much the way Tampa did when Melrose showed up. The biggest thing I saw Florida pick up was Cu Jo in the free agent pool, and they dealt a lot away. Tampa will be about like last year, and we will be better than last year, but that should be a good fight.

You also have Ryan Murphy throwing down a challenge to himself to walk in Skinner's footsteps and make the team and have an impact.

Finally, you have Stillman sitting in the wings trying to decide to retire or go for one more. He is the one piece we never replaced when he went away. We saw what he did last year in the stretch. Maybe Cole's departure will open up space for him. I like him on a 1-2 year deal.

I do not see much downside here and think we will see a more seasoned and stable team. Not a team that wins 5-0 one night and looses 5-0 the next. This will be a better season and we will make the playoffs.

Edited by slatesplace

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No doubt this team will be better. The Canes average 20th or so all year in defense, and were very predictable on the P.P. So it was time to say goodbye to some players and go in a different way. Still think this team needs a real leader on the ice.

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Better and here' why:

1. Got bigger, we got pushed around ALOT last year, adding podnik and stewart help up front , esp the forecehck and actually coming out of the corner with a puck

2.Our PP STUNK, and it stunk on all levels, getting brent helps with the problematic F.O problems, kaberle helps on the Point and passing on power play, stewart really helps on getting on ront of net to cause problems and block goalie's vision( when was the last time we saw that?)

3. Cam played too much, mostly because couldn't trsut peters, getting a real legit back up in boucher allows Mo to rest Cam more and have more confidence in using boucher in games. could be big down the tertch with a more rested cam

4. Skinner in year 2 will be bigger/stronger with another year under robert's training, should see him more aggressive and not wilt somewhat in 2nd 1/2

5.Deoth much better- with the returning players + maybe one of the checkersor 2 aking squad should be a better balanced and depth team in 2011 with whoever wins the boychuck/dalpe/bowman sweepestakes

6. Ony question will be replacing Cole's production, but can see that coming from various sourcs and not that much of an isse, thought would still like another top 6 scorer, but on the whole do see a bigger, stronger and more deoth in 2011-2012 than 2010-2011

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Things are looking up to me. Bigger, tougher and deeper on back side were what I thought the canes needed. Boucher was a big pick up. Staal needs to set the tone quickly since hes the sole leader now.

Edited by Nega_chin

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I agree with the too soon to tell for one reason. We don't know if we are done.

If we are done the answer will remain "unknown" for a while. If JR finds one more piece up front, then we are emphatically better. Despite a huge loss in Cole, JR did sign everyone else and added some nice pieces. If he can replace Cole with a similar guy in terms of production, then all the other moves along with improvements from our young'uns will make us significantly better.

The equation is this:

Cole + Corvo < > or = Poni, Stewart, Kaberle, Brent + key yutes getting better: Tlusty/Boychuk/Dalpe/Bowman/McBain, and more scoring from Sutter.

If it comes down to that equation, I'd say it's probably a push, but with a lot of upside built in. It's impossible to say with any confidence because there is no way what to predict from so many guys with significant upside that have not consistently proven themselves yet (excepting Kaberle/Poni, but both coming off recent "set backs").

The forward problem is the same as always, lacking a legitimate top 6, if not top line.

IF the majority of these guys with potential break out and produce, we will be better than last year. If not, we will be worse.

BUT, to those who say "we're not one guy away", I beg to differ. One solid top 6 forward (either a top line winger, or a second line center) makes us extremely competitive up front. We will have to solidify the back end a touch, but with Cam in goal, and Staal, Skinner at 30 goals, Jussi at near 30 and assists, Ruutu and the NEW GUY at 20+,

then Poni/Dalpe fighting it out for the #6 slot, and the other one on the third line, with Sutter and Stewart, we would have a top 9 where every one of them has a legit shot at 20+ goals. If that new guy can win faceoffs, then between him and Brent our faceoffs will come up also. Further, the 4th line could have all kinds of options, and even if we move a winger or two, we would have serious depth to address the injury issue.

However, it does not look like JR is moving this way. He pretty much HAS to trade a winger or two in this scenario, or our prospects will stay bottled up in Charlotte. So he has to find a team purely wanting to dump some salary to pick up prospects, or lower paid guys (Dwyer/Tlusty?). Despite Murphy and Faulk in the wings, for this year are not deep on the blueline and can't trade d for o. That limits options when trying to pick up a forward. While I do think a guy like Hemsky makes us instantly viable serious playoff contender, I think that the combination of "rebuild" which has us stocked on prospects that need ice time, retool, which saw us bring in two new wingers, while also resigning both Dwyer and LaRose (and Tlusty), and el cheapo, and JR's general propensity NOT to add the proven guys from other teams, see us going into the season as is.

We have 4 forwards that are locked in producers: Staal, Skinner, Jokinen, Ruutu. We have Sutter locked in at least as a shut down guy, possible scorer also, so those 5 forwards are locked in to the top 9. That leaves 4 spots for:

Poni, Stewart, LaRose, Tlusty, Dalpe, Bowman, Boychuk to battle for and that assumes Dwyer and Stlllman are not top 9 options.

So let those 7 battle it out and see if we can find 4 that look good enough to go with. My guess is that's the plan. Does it make us better? Depends on if 3-4 of the seven step up, and to what extent. Very interesting, but lots of unknowns.

All that said, I still try to move at least 2 of the seven and pick up a guy like Hemsky, because he is already all you could ask of any of the 7, plus we still get to keep our best prospect even with that deal. But while I do think as JR is more and more resigned to no more moves he will be sniffing around for the deal he can't refuse. If he finds that deal, I will be one happy camper. If not, we'll have to wait and see.

Edited by remkin

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I feel that, though Cole & Corvo are gone and will be losses, the guys who re-upped & the new recruits have made the team depth stronger.

I mean, with exception of the top 2 lines who pretty pick themselves, 3 & 4 will be tough decisions to make. What with the likes of Dalpe, Boychuk, etc coming up & down from the Minors & the strong guys signed from free agency, makes for real sore head for Coach Mo.

I'm excited for the new season, I think it's gonna be a great season!

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