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I'm glad we didn't get Cooke.  He is a cheap-shot artist, and has the class of Sean Avery.  It would be an embarrassment to see him in a Canes unifrom.

I have traditionally felt this way.  I don't want my kids looking up to goons as role models.  I don't want to see goonery from my guys.

 

However...

 

I started getting on this roll at trade deadline that JR needs to do something different.  As has been mentioned here many times, how is the team doing?  1 playoff in 6 years.  Is this acceptable?  Is the lack of toughness part of the equation?

 

I think it is.  Teams are taking liberties with Skinner and others, and taking them out for large portions of our season.  Some injuries are not necessarily just bad luck.  They are part of the calculus of the entire team system.

 

Therefore, I've switched my mind.  I think JR needs to get some skilled knuckle-draggers on the team that are willing to forget the rules and maybe risk a suspension.  Something as to change.

 

That said, I'm no Cooke fan and not necessarily arguing for him.  But JR needs to do something because this league is allowing its players to take liberties with each other, and if your team doesn't have someone willing to not only stand up to it, but also be the agressor on occasion, then you'll go nowhere.  All the successful teams have jerks playing for them.

Edited by wxray1

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I'm glad we didn't get Cooke.  He is a cheap-shot artist, and has the class of Sean Avery.  It would be an embarrassment to see him in a Canes unifrom.

Yes Matt has had a checkered past, however, he's nothing like Avery. He's grown up quite a bit and has stayed out of trouble the last couple of seasons for the most part. My point was that we could use the kind of grit and edge someone like him brings to a team. And he is very much a team guy unlike Avery. A player like LaRose, just runs his mouth and has nothing else to bring, i.e. he can't hit, and he can't score. We are in desperate need of some toughness and I'm not talking about "enforcers". And a player like Matt brings that. We need third and fourth line guys that can really battle in the corners and wear other teams down. Our small, skilled guys can't do that.

 

I didn't want Matt for what he's gonna make in Minnesota, but a player like him who's tough and can put some points up does carry some value. 

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Hello all, Happy Post UFA DAy! Really pleased with our frugal signings, but like most, really would like to know who the mystery player was who approached JR with a home discount offer. Think that will ever be disclosed?

 

I've got a few somewhat perplexing questions that I wish someone would address. Seems like year after year there are really high profile teams that have unlimited Cap Space and I'm always intrigued as to how this happens? I'm not referring to teams with deep pockets, as in Rangers, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Canadiens and the like, but those that appear to exceed the magical Cap Limit. Are the specifics such that a team can overspend, then pare down by some "deadline", like the NFL prior to season start and gradually cutting down players(salary), to get to the limit by a certain date? Or do these teams have such legal expertise, that their "think tanks" can find loopholes to hide dollars to bring them into compliance?

 

As a corollary, does the fact that many teams do not make public terms of individual contracts allow for this shielding of sums of money to confound their Cap compliance?

 

Finally, if in fact a team is allowed to over spend prior to a certain date, why can't the Canes go after other playeres, then sort out the finances prior to that date? Seems like I've read that this is the approach that a few teams take.

 

One additional thing, what are the consequences for exceeding the Cap Limit?

 

Just a few questions that I'm unsure about, and can't ever recall having been discussed.

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While the Canes have upgraded with draft + FA signings those moves alone will be insufficient IMO to make the Playoffs in the new alignment. Other teams have upgraded even more (Detroit, NJ, Columbus), and others started with lineups that are simply more stacked than our Canes (Pens, NYR). The others are no pushovers.

To make the playoffs it will take better performance from those already on board, especially the 2nd line. If Skinner stays as Top 6, then the 3rd and 4th lines still look weak by conference comparison. Upgrades are sill needed in the bottom 6, but the most impact must be made by Skinner, J. Staal and Ruutu. Lastly, Ward needs to be the Wardo of years past, and not the guy we saw early last year. We can't afford another year of Bowman, Dalpe, Nash, Sutter, etc. filling those lines and not the opponent's net.

I'm hopeful, but not optimistic. For JR, hope is not a strategy and his work is incomplete for the bottom 6 forwards.

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Manwolf, I dis agree with that 1st point. I think with the exception on Philly, the perceived top teams in the division regressed, some worst than others. The Rangers showed they can't score that well, and lost clowe and didn't make any additions to improve their flaw. The Caps have done nothing but lose players. I think based on how they started this past season, they will fall down the standings. NJ gained clowe, but lost Clarkson. Schneider has shown promise, but can he live up to Marty's legacy? Columbus outperformed everybody's expectations, but still didn't make the playoffs. Now they're playing in the east, which is a more offense-based conference. They're going to be seeing players like malkin, Crosby, stamkos, giroux, Staal on a more consistent basis. Detroit's offseason involved lateral moves. They got good players but lost good players. Overall, I don't think a lot of teams did much to improve their teams.

I do agree this team needs some more work. 1 or 2 more veterans that could fill out the 2nd/3rd lines. You give me 2 out of Jagr/Morrow/Gagne, we'd be in an even better position.

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well these moves did improve our depth on D and in the goal.  As long as we don't have a large amount of injuries we could be ok.

 

Unfortunately, the only mention of STL moving a player because of cap issues is a winger. 

 

Just to jump way ahead. Next season could be the season we finally get a number 1 D man.  Where the money would come from (I have no idea)

 

Here are the early look ahead of Free Agent D men after next season:

 

Seidenberg BOS

Pitkanen CAR

Hjalmarsson CHI

Quincey DET

Schultz, N EDM

Markov MON

Tallinder NJ

Girardi NYR

Del Zotto NYR (RFA)

Timonen PHI

Meszaros PHI

Orpik PIT

Boyle SJ

Bouwmeester STL

Phaneuf TOR

 

A lot of big names on that list, especially the last 2

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The first two have already played for us and neither one is a #1. And given Joni's performance here I don't think he will be happy with a substantial pay cut.  Plus I think some will wet themselves if we don't make an all out effort for the last Staal. Some are on the down hill side, past their prime for being #1

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The first two have already played for us and neither one is a #1. And given Joni's performance here I don't think he will be happy with a substantial pay cut.  Plus I think some will wet themselves if we don't make an all out effort for the last Staal. Some are on the down hill side, past their prime for being #1

 

 

That was just a list of top free agent dmen after next season

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We're still one forward away from being in the clear.  Here is what we currently have:

 

Tlusty-Staal-Semin

 

Skinner-Staal-Ruutu

 

Dalpe-Lindholm-Dwyer

 

Welsh-Nash/Sutter-Blanchard

 

I kind of actually really like our 4th line.  We need 1 30-35 point power forward,   Be it a center or be it a winger.  This guy needs to be physical though.  I remember 2 off seasons ago maybe it was 3.  That we were all discussing our 2nd line center and who it would be. Everyone was high and mighty on Dalpe.  That season end up being a complete and utter train wreck,  I fear that the same thing will happen with Lindholm.

 

The kid is 17 years old.  That is a lot of pressure to put on him to be the 3rd line center. Plus it's setting ourselves up for failure.  Our defense is set.  We are much better than last year.  I actually really like our defense.  Our backup goalie could be the shocker as well assuming it wasn't that awesome Bruins D that gave him those numbers...

 

We HAVE to sign one more forward.  There is no way around it.  Someone is out there for 2-2.5.m but the question is who?  This guy has to be gritty and has to be big.  I'm leaning more towards a veteran to show our young team the ropes.  I'm just terrified that we are putting our faith on a 17 year old for the 3rd line center role.  We are all being unrealistic here and setting ourselves up for failure.  I am not trying to be negative here but it's how I really feel.....

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The dilemma as I see it right now is if our top 2 lines are set it exposes the weakness of our 3rd line. With Dwyer the only roster player I see as a sure bet to adequately play on the 3rd line. Lindholm is a question mark and the other wing is open without IMO a clear roster player or Chex to jump in. If you move Skinner to third line it exposes a weakness on our 2nd line and I'm not sure Skinner can fill the third line role. If you move Ruutu to the third line with Dwyer the 3rd line instantly becomes better but again we expose a weakness on second line with no one IMO that can step in and replace Ruu on 2nd line.

 

We really need to sign a proven third liner.

 

I think we have a few Chex that can make a decent 4th line.

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well these moves did improve our depth on D and in the goal.  As long as we don't have a large amount of injuries we could be ok.

 

Unfortunately, the only mention of STL moving a player because of cap issues is a winger. 

 

Just to jump way ahead. Next season could be the season we finally get a number 1 D man.  Where the money would come from (I have no idea)

 

Here are the early look ahead of Free Agent D men after next season:

 

Seidenberg BOS

Pitkanen CAR

Hjalmarsson CHI

Quincey DET

Schultz, N EDM

Markov MON

Tallinder NJ

Girardi NYR

Del Zotto NYR (RFA)

Timonen PHI

Meszaros PHI

Orpik PIT

Boyle SJ

Bouwmeester STL

Phaneuf TOR

 

A lot of big names on that list, especially the last 2

 

Thanks for the list.  IMO, Bouwmeester, Timonen and Phaneuf are not likely due to their age.  I think there was some controversy with Del Zotto in NY ("island of misfit toys" project?).  Pitkanen is not likely to be resigned.  And Orpik... oh boy, I don't see that going over well with the fan base.  I'd LOVE to get Seidenberg back.  I know Marov and Boyle are solid defensemen... but probably out of our range.  What do you guys think?  I'd love to hear some of the better nhl/hockey educated members post their thoughts.

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We're still one forward away from being in the clear.  Here is what we currently have:

 

Tlusty-Staal-Semin

 

Skinner-Staal-Ruutu

 

Dalpe-Lindholm-Dwyer

 

Welsh-Nash/Sutter-Blanchard

 

I kind of actually really like our 4th line.  We need 1 30-35 point power forward,   Be it a center or be it a winger.  This guy needs to be physical though.  I remember 2 off seasons ago maybe it was 3.  That we were all discussing our 2nd line center and who it would be. Everyone was high and mighty on Dalpe.  That season end up being a complete and utter train wreck,  I fear that the same thing will happen with Lindholm.

 

The kid is 17 years old.  That is a lot of pressure to put on him to be the 3rd line center. Plus it's setting ourselves up for failure.  Our defense is set.  We are much better than last year.  I actually really like our defense.  Our backup goalie could be the shocker as well assuming it wasn't that awesome Bruins D that gave him those numbers...

 

We HAVE to sign one more forward.  There is no way around it.  Someone is out there for 2-2.5.m but the question is who?  This guy has to be gritty and has to be big.  I'm leaning more towards a veteran to show our young team the ropes.  I'm just terrified that we are putting our faith on a 17 year old for the 3rd line center role.  We are all being unrealistic here and setting ourselves up for failure.  I am not trying to be negative here but it's how I really feel.....

Completely agree. I think Cleary or Morrow would be excellent additions to the third line. As I, and others have stated we need that physical/gritty third line player and a veteran presence doesn't hurt. They are not big but both of those guys provide that, and both can contribute offensively. One of those guys would also bring stability to the line, allowing us to play Dwyer/Dalpe/Lindholm/??? based on performance/fit.

I believe Lindholm is actually 18 but your point still stands and I have voiced the same concerns. As much as I love Lindholm, he is going to need help and the right players around him, I don't want to see this kid's confidence get damaged.

I like your line combinations. I really like how Dalpe played at the end of last year, even though it was a small sample/short stretch. For the first time I could actually say that he looked dangerous at times. He was involved in a lot of scoring chances, and if I had to pick a breakout player for this upcoming season, he would be my pick. If Lindholm sticks, he is a playmaker and will need a shooter. Dalpe is a shooter. I also like Sutter as our 4th line center, or if need be, wing. Either way I think if he starts on the 4th line at the beginning of the year, he stays there and contributes.

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That was just a list of top free agent dmen after next season

 

And I commented on that list. 

Edited by winger52

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The consensus that we really need one more third line forward is one just about all of us agree on. 

 

I had brought up Cooke a few times for a few reasons. One two Canes "insiders" were throwing his name out there at the end of the season and Tripp went out of his way to gush about how Cooke has seen the errors of his ways etc etc. Second, team toughness is a different concept from Goons. 

 

Let me digress. Westgarth is a great example. Big tough drops the glove, supposedly make the guys "feel" better that he's there. And the somewhat stupid part of this game means someone has to fight, so might as well have a guy there for that. But the man is slower that a goalie skating around in full equipment. Then, because he'd struggle to make an AHL roster if he wasn't a pugilist, he's only out there a few minutes a game anyway. Then, if player A is a midsized guy who runs one of our guys, protochol does not insist that he fight the huge goon anyway. So more often than not Goon A just ends up fighting Goon B for the sideshow thrill of it. Not exactly sure how that makes anyone feel safe, but I'm not out there.

 

Anyway, in this "instigator-rule" league, it is just hard to imagine anyone being too afraid of our goon since only a couple guys on the roster will ever have to fight him.

 

But, a rugged, maybe not dirty, but a bit close to the line guy that hits everything in sight and just might retaliate with a questionable shot, that gets ice time because he can actually play, that guy can affect the game on many nights. That guy just might keep you honest. 

 

I'm not saying it had to be Matt Cooke, but while he was over the line at times, that reputation works against him, but also for him as you are aware that if you cheap shot Skinner, you will not have to fight Westgarth, but you might get get a cheap shot back at you from Cooke. Might make you think twice. 

 

Anyway, Cooke would have filled the bill. Maybe too checkered a past for some to take, but I cannot agree more that this type of guy is the final piece this team needs. 

 

Clearly we are built for Skinner and J. to give more, and Ruutu to be there. Hey, if that doesn't happen the whole thing comes down. As you know I think that Skinner and J are both going to break out this year. If they do, and our defense is tighter and Cam stays healthy, then the remaining problem is the third line. 

 

While it would be nice for Bowman, Dalpe, or Boychuk, or someone to take ownership of that and really step up, that is at best a back up plan at this point. 

 

Lindholm is very young. No question. Though he has played vs. men. But Lindholm is not Dalpe. Dalpe was a second rounder with upside. Linholm is a top 5 pick in a great draft year. His upside is elite. Dalpe's upside is solid. 

 

Anyway, I was sad to see Cooke go just because he is the prototype if a bit over the line, of what we need. 

 

JR should move prospects (other than Rask) or whatever it takes to find that guy, because that will round this team out nicely.

Edited by remkin

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Thanks for the list.  IMO, Bouwmeester, Timonen and Phaneuf are not likely due to their age.  I think there was some controversy with Del Zotto in NY ("island of misfit toys" project?).  Pitkanen is not likely to be resigned.  And Orpik... oh boy, I don't see that going over well with the fan base.  I'd LOVE to get Seidenberg back.  I know Marov and Boyle are solid defensemen... but probably out of our range.  What do you guys think?  I'd love to hear some of the better nhl/hockey educated members post their thoughts.

 

You're right on Boumeester, Timonen, and Phaneuf.  Orpik is the old worn out version of Matt Cooke and we know how some feel about Cooke and a possible trade. We should have never let Seidenberg go in the first place. He would have been a key piece with Gleason stabilizing the defense the last couple of years.

Edited by winger52

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Here are the early look ahead of Free Agent D men after next season:

 

Seidenberg BOS

Pitkanen CAR

Hjalmarsson CHI

Quincey DET

Schultz, N EDM

Markov MON

Tallinder NJ

Girardi NYR

Del Zotto NYR (RFA)

Timonen PHI

Meszaros PHI

Orpik PIT

Boyle SJ

Bouwmeester STL

Phaneuf TOR

 

I am a big fan of Timonen but he is old and will likely end his career in Philly. Del Zotto is a defensive liability. I don't want Pitkanen back. Markov and Meszaros are injury prone. Tallinder, Shultz and Quincy are more depth guys. Boyle is too old and Seidenberg is getting there, although both can still play at a high level (but for how long?). With Phaneuf and Bouwmeester you will likely pay more for the name than the actual product. Orpik is on the downside and there is history so...

Going by age, style, etc., I think Girardi and Hjalmarsson would be excellent fits and would be huge additions to our defense. Girardi is a little more physical, while Hjalmarsson is a better skater and has a better shot. Both are very reliable and would go a long way towards stabilizing our defense, even if they are not true #1 defensemen. Still, neither would come cheap so...

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Of the gritty type players left.. I really think that if the Canes can land one of them (Cleary, Morrow, Penner), then they can go into the season feeling like they've addressed their needs well. Unfortunately of those three, the decision may come down to who JR can get for the least amount of money. Staying under the cap is actually a challenge for the team this year ::gasp:: . You pretty much know what you're getting with Cleary or Morrow. But with Penner, who is the poster boy of streaky play, you really don't know who's going to show up. However, with him ending his last contract on the downside, he could come at a discount. Either way, the team NEEDS one of these guys.

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Of the gritty type players left.. I really think that if the Canes can land one of them (Cleary, Morrow, Penner), then they can go into the season feeling like they've addressed their needs well. Unfortunately of those three, the decision may come down to who JR can get for the least amount of money. Staying under the cap is actually a challenge for the team this year ::gasp:: . You pretty much know what you're getting with Cleary or Morrow. But with Penner, who is the poster boy of streaky play, you really don't know who's going to show up. However, with him ending his last contract on the downside, he could come at a discount. Either way, the team NEEDS one of these guys.

 

OK... I'd add Mason Raymond and Damien Brunner to that list..

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OK... I'd add Mason Raymond and Damien Brunner to that list..

Brunner is a skill guy, and Raymond is a smallish, speedster type player IIRC. They don't provide the grit/physicality we need.

Edited by Kyrule

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Another winger probably wont happen for a while.  The current FAs are holding out for comparable money to others already signed.  The issue has become the cap.  Teams now have to sign their RFAs and then come back to signing a roster need. Heck STL just hurt themselves with their 4 mil signing of Roy.  The now have 8 million to re-sign their RFAs.  Getting Stewart and Piets under 8 mil in cap hit YEA RIGHT!  they will be luck to have enough cap space for a 4th liner with just signing Piets. STL wasn't the only team that hurt themselves. Anyways, Morrow probably wants a 2 year 4 mil per deal.  JR (and whoever else) is probably offering a 1 year 3 mil deal.  Morrow is holding out hoping a higher paying need becomes available. 

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