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Thanks.  Love this part.

 

Beneath that upper tier of stars, though, lies a messy, inefficient and coattail-riding landfill of depth contributors.

 

Thank you JR for your drafting and development prowess.

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Guys, now I'm certainly no expert, but before we crucify Muller,while drawing and quartering him, I think that we have to understand the hierarchy, specifically in the Canes system. Don't get me wrong, as I am completely frustrated with most of this team's actions and play, but the point I raise, is this, How much are Kirk's hands TIED by his superiors, namely one JR?

 

Now I know that Kirk has seemed extremely "laid back" thru this and last year. And I think most, if not everyone on this board feels that some hint of a fiery display is long overdue. But, again I ask, as a relative neophyte to the NHL coaching ranks, how encumbered has he felt under Rutherford's watch? Has JR insisted on a "hands off" policy to some players or has Muller been given free range to shape this team thru any and all  means necessary?

 

I think that a truer indication of Muller's true self, and thus, how much he has been curtailed by his superiors, would be to look back on his demeanor as a player, and see if his on ice persona was Staal-like or fiery. Someone more hockey knowledgeable than I please do this.

 

Based on the 2 coaches we've seen in this organization, Maurice x 2 and Laviolette, it would seem to me that this organization's hierarchy, namely PK and JR want more of a "yes man" that a free thinker/fiery personality to coach their minions!!

 

Just a thought for y'all to mull over.

I agree with you on this, I myself also think that the higher ups want this team to be a "politically correct" Team. They definitely need to go back to some Old School style hockey,, Add some grit to there game & roster. You can tell other teams have no fear going into the corners , along the boards, across the blue line, in front of the net,, against the Canes. We need some size and some physicality on the Canes and get away from small fast players like they are now!!

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I think we do have some bottom 6 pieces worth keeping.  Dwyer is the ideal 4th line right wing.  He has great speed, can score if you don't play him tight, and he is an excellent penalty killer.  One of Nash or Manny would be a fine 4th line center.  I would say keep both unless you could get something for Nash in a trade (unlikely).  Bowman is pretty solid as a 4th line left wing.  He can also kill penalties, play solid defense, and he is fast.  He also seems to have more skill than he has shown.  A fourth line of Bowman / Manny / Dwyer with Nash as the 13th forward would be fine going into next year.  Before I get thrown under the bus by people saying that line is the same players that were unsuccessful this season, keep in mind that Dwyer was mostly used on the 2nd and 3rd lines this year.  He is a major upgrade to the 4th line.  They are all defensively sound and each of them bring value in addition to thier role on the 4th line.  Dwyer is an excellent penalty killer.  Manny is excellent in the faceoff circle and is a good leader.  Bowman is an okay penaly killer and seems to have a bit more skill waiting to breakout.

 

The 3rd line needs help.  We need more production from this line to help carry the scoring load and to keep other teams from complety selling out against the top two lines.  I have liked what I have seen from Loktionov so far.  He might be able to center the 3rd line.  He seems like a capable two-way center with some playmaking skill.  He is a risk though because it is so hard to evaluate offensive potential that has been playing in New Jersey.  I like the idea of bringing back Nathan Gerbe to play on the 3rd line.  His scoring is just about right for the 3rd line and he plays with a ton of heart.  For the right deal, I would definitely bring him back, but I would slot him on the 3rd line.  Tlusty is interesting.  I would take Nathan Gerbe over Tlusty as the 3rd line left wing, but if either of them is comfortable playing the off wing, I wouldn't mind signing him, as long as it's for 3rd line duties and the price is right.  He wins a lot of board battles and plays a responsible two-way game.  A third line of Tlusty / Loktionov / Gerbe looks reasonable to start.  If Loktionov is not up to the task, that should be the first move of the season.  Now again, before you start beating me up for this line being the same as we had this season, consider that Gerbe was mostly used as a 2nd line wing and Tlusty was used as a 1st line wing.  If you slot them on a 3rd line, they actually look pretty strong.  They each also bring something in addition to their 3rd line roles.  They all have the potential to play on specialty teams and they are all capable of moving up to the top six in case of a SHORT TERM injury. 

 

I am not going to give my opinion on where anybody should play in the top 6.  The bottom line is that we need to put people where they have the best chance to succeed without regard to a line number.  We have Staal, Staal, Semin, Skinner, and Lindholm.  I was pretty happy with the Skinner / E. Staal / Lindholm line.  They could really develop something there especially if they were put together from day one.  It is a real advantage having a left handed and right handed face off man on the same line.  That lead to a lot of puck control and it would only inprove with time as Lindholm gets better.  J. Staal and Semin also looked pretty good together.  If Jordan goes to the net, he willl put up much better offensive totals playing with Semin.  That leaves the top 6 one player short.  The difference between success and failure could very well the this one addition.  If this player is a fringe player, equivillent to anybody mentioned in the third and fourth line discussions above, then we are probably going to be looking at 2013-14 all over again.  If this player is a legit top 6 forward, we should see a real offensive surge next season.  The ideal candidate would be a someone with a similar skill set to Elias Lindholm only left handed and more experienced.  I'm not going to waist time talking about who it should be because I have no idea.

 

So while I agree with the Bleacher Report acticle that is is our lack of bottom 6 scoring that is hurting our offensive production, I think the real cause is playing our bottom 6 capable forwards in our top 6.

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cc10, While I applaud your insightful analysis, as you yourself point out more than once in it, you've essentially made no or very few changes from this year?

 

Whether it is a foible of a relatively newly formed franchise(what 17 years now) and fans not accustomed to player moves, or more characteristic of our NC culture, it often is very difficult to envision our team without player x or player y. Don't misinterpret this post as a disagreement with your's, as I, too would/will be devastated should Dwyer, Manny or Gerbe be moved in the off season(particularly Manny whose camaflouge jersey I successfully bid on), but somehow, this team needs to improve, no matter whose favorite player(s) are playing for someone else next year!

 

I think that I'm transitioning into that mindset slowly, but going thru season after season of not making it to  the playoffs certainly is making acceptance of losing one of my favorites much, much easier.                               GO CANES

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I agree with you on this, I myself also think that the higher ups want this team to be a "politically correct" Team. They definitely need to go back to some Old School style hockey,, Add some grit to there game & roster. You can tell other teams have no fear going into the corners , along the boards, across the blue line, in front of the net,, against the Canes. We need some size and some physicality on the Canes and get away from small fast players like they are now!!

dj, your message for this change is painfully clear every game I watch that we play the Bruins or like last night's game vs the Blue Jackets!! Too, unless one sits in the north end of our arena, which I don't, you have to invest in a good pair of binoculars to even see our players in games against these types of constructed teams. Heck, it almost makes me want to call my ticket rep, and insist on some type of refund for games that are played largely at the opposite end of the ice from where I sit. Comical or embarrasing, take your pick!!

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"Just when I thought I was out.... you pull me back in!"

Technically, this is not a newly formed franchise. We relocated from Hartford. Much like Dallas (Minnesota North Stars) and Colorado (Quebec Nordiques) to name a couple.

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"Just when I thought I was out.... you pull me back in!"

Technically, this is not a newly formed franchise. We relocated from Hartford. Much like Dallas (Minnesota North Stars) and Colorado (Quebec Nordiques) to name a couple.

hopper, while I don't intend to quibble over semantics, I did qualify my statement to state "relatively new". Also, again not to belabor this issue, but in terms of fans IN THIS AREA, the game and the emotions surrounding player attachment is new to us. Thus, although fans in Hartford were accustomed to see players traded away, and understood the necessity for the changes, I'm not sure people in this area, and I count myself in this lot, are quite at that point yet.

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cc10, While I applaud your insightful analysis, as you yourself point out more than once in it, you've essentially made no or very few changes from this year?

 

Whether it is a foible of a relatively newly formed franchise(what 17 years now) and fans not accustomed to player moves, or more characteristic of our NC culture, it often is very difficult to envision our team without player x or player y. Don't misinterpret this post as a disagreement with your's, as I, too would/will be devastated should Dwyer, Manny or Gerbe be moved in the off season(particularly Manny whose camaflouge jersey I successfully bid on), but somehow, this team needs to improve, no matter whose favorite player(s) are playing for someone else next year!

 

I think that I'm transitioning into that mindset slowly, but going thru season after season of not making it to  the playoffs certainly is making acceptance of losing one of my favorites much, much easier.                               GO CANES

 

The "nibbling around the edges" approach has resulted in year after year of missed playoffs.  I'm thinking that there needs to be a little more in depth look at players and what is needed to win in today's NHL.  This team is/has been soft, pitiful on the PP, porous on defense, and limited on scoring.  Other than that, we like our group.

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On the bottom six forwards and what I would like to have again.

 

I want one line in the bottom six that has one mission - create havoc on the ice.  Find 3 guys with some sandpaper and who understand that is their sole mission and will give that on every shift. Grinding, hitting, wearing guys down.  That fires the other lines up to match that intensity.  We don't have those 3 guys on this roster, IMO.

 

JR is building bottom-six lines with guys that were projected to be top-6 guys and not guys that know what their role is and are fine with it.  And if we had prospects pushing the bottom-six guys all the better.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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On the bottom six forwards and what I would like to have again.

 

I want one line in the bottom six that has one mission - create havoc on the ice.  Find 3 guys with some sandpaper and who understand that is their sole mission and will give that on every shift. Grinding, hitting, wearing guys down.  That fires the other lines up to match that intensity.  We don't have those 3 guys on this roster, IMO.

 

JR is building bottom-six lines with guys that were projected to be top-6 guys and not guys that know what their role is and are fine with it.  And if we had prospects pushing the bottom-six guys all the better.

 

I agree with this.  Nothing more frustrating than when the 4th line from the opponent just annoys the crap out of everyone on the ice.  Possesses the puck, holds it on the boards, hits everything that moves.  It permeates the team after that.

 

See also:  We are soft.

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I agree with this.  Nothing more frustrating than when the 4th line from the opponent just annoys the crap out of everyone on the ice.  Possesses the puck, holds it on the boards, hits everything that moves.  It permeates the team after that.

 

See also:  We are soft.

 

I agree, and I think JR needs to understand we need tough guys that are still hockey players. Which means no Kevin Wesgarth type guys. Thats what I like about Boston, they're a chippy team that is physical, but know how to play hockey.

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I've been saying we are too soft for as long as I have posted here (and beyond), so obviously I agree.

I said at the end of last year that adding effective physicality up front should be our main priority along with improving our defense. We added Gerbe, Dvorak, and Malhotra, and kept guys like Bowman, Dwyer, and Nash.

Let's face it, almost all of our forwards are soft or undersized.

We need some meat and potatoes bangers to set the tone, especially when we are dragging. I don't want goons, I want guys who hit (and weigh more than 175.lbs), win board battles, do the dirty work when it needs to be done, and that can play a little.

Right now we are all finesse, and I meant it when I said we are the softest team in the league. I watch more hockey than is healthy, and it's been obvious to me for years that we have been soft and the defense has been a mess. That's why I am so frustrated with management, every year I keep saying to myself they must see it, but apparently they don't. We keep bringing in small or soft skill-type players, then we search the bargain bin for cast-offs or band-aids for our defense. Then we watch the skill guys get pushed around and/or not produce, and we watch our defense make critical mistakes.

That's why I am willing (and have been for some time) to give up a little of the "good guys" feeling that surrounds this organization. I'm tired of losing.

.

Edited by Kyrule

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Guess what team is once again among the league leaders in power play opportunities? If you guess the Canes, you'd be right. Currently 6th in the league and only 6 PPs from 1st. Is this because they are so skilled that they draw all these penalties or is it because they are so soft that other teams take liberties and take the chance of getting caught since the Canes are impotent on the power play?

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At the league meetings this summer PK and Jr need to push for a rule to allow a team to pass on 3 or power plays per game. that would be one way we can improve our PP stats.

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I too agree that we need the grit and sandpaper but..........we have a GM that does not like the physicality of the game, wants fighting taking out of the game and is not afraid to say it at the GM meetings.  Folks, we "ain't" getting grit and sandpaper in Raleigh.  At least not why JR is calling the shots, which if we are lucky, will change soon after our players start making tee times...again...for how many years in a row now?  Our guys look like boys among men when we play 95% of the other teams in the NHL.  Not saying we need a fighter, although I do agree it has it's place in the game, but we do need someone who is willing to go to the aid of a teammate when needed (see Murphy) and play with a little edge.  We need someone like Scott Walker, who could get under the opposing players skin, and back it up if he had to.  He had heart and he didn't let players take advantage of his team mates, and he could play the game.

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Just look at our drafting.  They are all beanpoles.

 

This refrain is getting old.  Pull up discussions from the last number of end-of-season discussion and it always comes down to the physical player issue.

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I'm going to throw in my two cents about keeping Nash. Using stats for 23 defensemen and forwards currently on our roster:

 

Games played: #11

Goals: #8

Asst: #11

Points: #10

+/ -: #4 tied with 2 others 

PM: #18 average about 1/2 minute per game played

PP goals: #9 tied with 6 others including 2 Staals

GW goals: #7 tied with Jordan and both twice as many as Eric

Shots: #13

Shooting %: #5

 

At less than 100 NHL games I see steady improvement over previous seasons. Nash may not have a spectacular career, to me it looks like a great career that fans will grow to appreciate. I say keep him as a steady player who will give you positive results over many seasons.

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kyrule et al, While almost everyone or more likely everyone who posts here agrees with the necessity to increase grittiness, as I do  also, the real question is, Why does JR appear to shy away from that attribute? Many recall that his attempted answer several years back resulted in a bunch of "slugs" who seemed to skate at 1/2 speed throughout the games! Following that embarrassement, and his mournful admission of failure, he seemed to go 180 degrees in the opposite direction, off load all the "dead weight", and then go with Westgarth types. It seems to me that he almost does not understand how to get the balance between grit vs finesse?

 

Now my question that I'll pose is why? Is the type of player(s) that we all seem to crave so desirable that they are unaffordable? Is that type of player so rare that no team, once they secure them, will ever turn them loose? Or more concerning, Is JR so biased that he stubbornly will not change his approach to how he goes about constituting HIS team?

 

It seems to me further, that the success of this team in its quest for Stanley hinged on the fact that post-lockout rules that year forcefully quelled physically, allowing more slightly built, skilled teams to TEMPORARILY gain the upper hand, all apparently in seeking to increase fan base and increase profit thru downplaying the possibly objectionable physical aspects of the game. This temporary state quickly reverted back and continues to this day where once again physicality has become the watch word. Perhaps JR is stuck back mentally in the 05-06 period of thinking and feels he can will his, and his teams back to those days? Heaven help us if that is his mindset.

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I will be honest, with the total let down that this team turned out to be this season I took a break from the boards and websites and the games. Upon return the boards are on fire with the exact same topics and subject matter as when I left. Its like beating a dead horse to death again. There is clear facts when you look at this team. It is a sub par hockey team period. We can talk about players all day long and heights and weights and games played but honestly there are bigger issues with the team. There are several big issues including players like Cam Ward and the Staals and the awful contracts they have but mostly it is the front office and our coaching staff. Ru has 4 points in 6 games in NJ Jokien also has done well once he left and that list continues to grow with players that die here and do well once they leave. The coaching staff is a failure the GM makes awful financial decisions because no player worth his weight in gold wants to play for this team or in our market and the one good draft choice he has made in like 10 years in Skinner everyone rides. How many drafts ago was that? Our farm sqad is anemic and so is our depth. This team is screwed for years to come bottom line. We need to blow it up and start again keeping very few guys, the Staals would no be on my short list, skinner however would be. I am sure I will catch flak for this but I am being realistic. This team needs to get our of its own way. Just my .02

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On Riley Nash:  What sets him apart from the rest of the bottom six which makes him worth keeping?

 

I mean, he rarely makes any difference in the game.  He's not physical, he's not fast, he doesn't have above-average skill, he's not a threat to consistently put up points (secondary scorer), he doesn't grind, and he's not an energy guy.

 

Maybe he could make a decent fourth line center somewhere, but there's hundreds of guys out their (NHL, AHL) that can be the same average or mediocre player and do the same thing he does at the same price.

 

IMO, he's only a slight upgrade (if that much) over the Boychuk's, Terry's, Palushaj's, or Sutters.

 

Get rid of these guys - the Bowmans, Dvoraks, and Nash's- and get down to the business of building a real bottom six with real NHL players.  Players that have a role and a reason to be on the dadgum roster.

 

JR has built his bottom six out of top-6 washouts for years and IT A'INT WORKIN'

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Kopes2718, While I agree with most of what you've just posted, I don't with all and further, I am unsure of the point you are making? Does the discussion carried out here tend to "recycle" many ideas, sure, but does that differ from any fan base's discussions? While I don't frequent any other boards, I have to believe that that observation could be made anywhere.

 

As to your point about the rather superficiality of many discussions centering upon "heights and weights and games", might I be so bold as to suggest that these are the tangibles that we as fans can observe. The deeper issues you point out are purely conjectural, and lacking "insider" information of the real structure of this organization, the best anyone can do, as you have, is just speculation. For instance, while i completely agree that to us casual observers the oft exceedingly large contracts and restricted terms given to just a select few would appear to hamstring assembly of so-called "role players", the heart of a team's 3rd and 4th lines, there is no way any of us (unless some poster is sitting in on team decisions) can know what circumstances led to these decisions?

 

As to your point of lumping together "coaching staff is a failure, the GM makes awful financial decisions because NO PLAYER WORTH HIS WEIGHT IN GOLD WANTS TO PLAY FOR THIS TEAM OR IN OUR MARKET", well I humbly disagree. First, as to the coaching staff, I've offered the theory, that Muller may be hampered both by his lack of head coaching experience as well as possibly being prevented what he'd like to do to shape the team by JR's overbearance. Do I know this as fact, no, but it might explain for instance, playing Cam when we needed to win a game badly.

 

Then as to your contention that no player "would want to play in this market", I just have to question where that comes from? Surely there are players that seek the bright lights and glitz that larger markets provide, however I have to believe that there are those from areas and towns who appreciate the similarity between their home and here? Others who are "burned out" from unwanted notoriety? Or finally, those with younger families who are beginning to mature, settle down and search for security and safety?

 

Should the team be blown up as you suggest? Might I suggest that in a larger, more easily sustainable market with a fanatic  hockey base, I'd say that would be a reasonable solution. Here, in Raleigh,NC , with multiple competing sports and other endeavors competing for entertainment dollars, I'd suggest that that approach would be a bad idea.

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