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Argue with me all you want.  But Semin is hands down the best player on this team.  Over the past couple seasons I have noticed that he is one of those players that requires extra attention from coaches.  I think it is a confidence thing but I am not sure.  Motivate this guy to step his game up and you he score a goal every game.

 

Oh and by the way, did I mention how great he is defensively?  That is the part that makes this so impressive.  His advanced stats are off the charts.  Somehow, I feel that we are in for a treat this season with Semin.

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Who starts a post with "argue with me all you want"?  Well.....never mind. (sarcasm alert)

 

Anyway, it's hard for me to compare a forward to a defenseman to a goalie and say who is the best player.

 

Best goal scorer is Skinner

Most skill, best playmaker is Semin

Best defensive forward is Jordan

Best defenseman is Sekera

Best goalie is Khudobin

 

But, If my feet were held to the fire, Eric Staal still gets my vote for best overall player.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Argue with me all you want.  But Semin is hands down the best player on this team.  Over the past couple seasons I have noticed that he is one of those players that requires extra attention from coaches.  I think it is a confidence thing but I am not sure.  Motivate this guy to step his game up and you he score a goal every game.

 

Oh and by the way, did I mention how great he is defensively?  That is the part that makes this so impressive.  His advanced stats are off the charts.  Somehow, I feel that we are in for a treat this season with Semin.

 

Everybody is talking about what a terrible season E. Staal had last year with 61 points; but Semin has only scored over 60 points three times in his career and the last time was 2009-10.  Semin is a great player!  He is very skilled and way underrated defensively, but he is a long ways from being Eric Staal.

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People don't put into perspective how many points Eric Staal scores every year consitently.  Last year was his first season since his rookie season that he scored less than 70points.  Not many in the NHL that can say that.  If 61points is a horrible year than I'll take it over trading him for someone that 60points is considered a good year.  We're not gonna get an 80point player for him ever because nobody gives that up.  We shouldn't either.  Eric will dominate this year, I think he's had enough of Raleigh being down on him and missing the playoffs.   I'm predicting 90points for E this year.

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I don't want to get into a who's better, E vs. Semin debate, but just out of curiosity I took a look at some career NHL stats for both.  I standardized career total +/- over the equivalent of an 82 game season.

 

Stat          Semin            E          

PPG          0.855          0.895

GPG         0.401           0.376

+/-            +11.3           -4.4

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The whole idea, way back when was to get Eric a first line winger to see what it could unlock. During much of the lockout season it unlocked a heck of a lot. Just look at Tlusty's goals per game. Those stats were poured right into his cup by E.-Semin. Not only were the two elevating each other's games (E was, as mentioned on a 90 point pace), but bringing up Tlusty, who complimented nicely. I know that for various reasons they couldn't seem to recapture that last year, but if it was at all related to injuries (wrist/knee) or coaching, then the first order of business should be to get them both feeding off each other again. They both seemed to be into finding each other and playing off each other also. 

 

The advanced stat stuff on Semin is important. It was critical, I'm sure, to JR signing him in the first place. This guy gets maligned, but has always made the people on the ice with him better and that included defensively, and the advanced stats showed that right through the fog of the anti Semin media.

 

Semin is highly refined super elite skill. E. is a high skill, but also a force. 

E is probably more valuable if both are on their A game, but the point is to get them working off of each other and elevating their games.

 

Those two guys both finding their A game is probably the most important determinant of our success of everything. 

 

Edited by remkin

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Some more stats from: http://stats.hockeyanalysis.com/ratings.php?disp=1&db=200714&sit=5v5&pos=forwards&minutes=1000&teamid=5&type=individual&sort=igoals60&sortdir=DESC

 

These stats cover the last 7 years (2007-14), 5-on-5 only. These are parameters that seem "fair" for comparison purposes that I can just read off the site without having to calculate anything. 

 

Stat                               Semin            E            

goals/60 min                  1.197          0.845

points/60 min                 2.37            2.08

Fenwick/60 min             15.09          13.30               

Corsi/ 60 min                 20.77          17.01

 

Of additional interest, Skinners 5-on-5 goals/ 60 min rate in the NHL is 1.097.

 

As always, one needs to be careful when drawing conclusions from statistics, but I thought these were interesting.

Edited by LakeLivin

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Not arguing who is better.

 

Playoffs

 

Eric Staal       19G  24A  43P    Goals\game  1.0     

Alex Semin    15G  19A  34P    Goals\game  0.67   

 

Actually, I prefer to follow Rem's theme of what these two are capable of when they are on their game, rather than pit one against the other.  They are both Hurricanes.

 

And as Rem so eloquently suggested in his post above, I want to see Tlusty-Staal-Semin given every opportunity to capture that lockout year magic.  No one could stop that line when it got rolling.  Follow that with Skinner-Jordan-Lindholm, and that's a pretty nice top-6 if Peters can get the most out of these guys.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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While I happen to agree that our biggest issue last year was goal scoring, especially on the PP, defense is obviously very important.

 

Last year we finished 19/30 in Goals against. However, the year before we were 29/30, and a good part of the year last year we were around #15/30. 

 

What about this year? A lot of hand wringing to be sure about this. 

 

But hey, it's that time of year for my optimism to start to faintly glow.

 

Two key guys might let us increase our defense's effectiveness.

 

1. Faulk. He has elite potential. I would say he was solid but unspectacular last year in stepping into the clear top pairing role.

 

Still, he put up 32 points good for #44 for dmen last year. He was -9 but was facing top lines all year.

 

All logic indicates he will be even better this year. He is 22 and will be essentially all year long. Most guys are still in college at this age. Bellemore is 26.

 

Defenseman take longer and thus improve every year for at least 4-5 years.

 

2. Murphy. On the "time to be a solid NHL dman o'meter", Murphy is one year behind Faulk, but in NHL game years, he is more than that. At 21, he is on the cusp age-wise. It could take another year and he could still end up being a career game changer.

 

Personally, I think his skill offensively is already near the top, arguably Sekera is one notch higher at the exact moment. Peters has said he is all about getting the d into the offense. If true, Murphy would be key among them. This guy can already break down a defense and make offense happen. If he can tighten the defensive side a touch....look out.

 

We may not have an All Star ridden defense, but we have some pieces that can at least form a respectable defensive unit, and a very significant puck moving unit, which seems to be the plan anyway.

 

I'm not looking at sides, but:

 

Sekera-Faulk

Hainsey-JML

Gleason-Murphy

Harrison

 

Bellemore 

 

 

If Murphy make strides, switch him and JML. 

(Wouldn't it be ironic to have JML and Gleason paired).

 

That defense will not make any opponents wet themselves in fear, but if they can stay mid pack on goals against while joining the rush and creating more offense (Murphy, JML), they can hold their own.

 

Then we need our forward to return to form and....well, not last place.

 

 

 

Edited by remkin

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Coastal, 

 

Completely agree actually. What would be a great sign is if Murphy is ready to step into that blank. It would mean he is at least ok defensively and producing offensively (hopefully on the PP too). It would also create a respectable top 4. Murphy could push deep and disrupt offensively while Hainsey has his back.

 

That lets us go with the best of Gleason, Harrison, JML, Bellemore in the bottom pair. 

Personally I'd think Gleason-JML based on last year and contracts.

Also, that idea of JML creating more offensively while Gleason has his back. 

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Not to go off topic or anything (though I guess I am anyways), but as I read that article and saw the accompanying photo of Jeff O'Neill I was reminded how beautiful those sweaters were back then.  I still don't like the new ones (and never will), and believe our new reds are the exact same as Toronto's but obviously of a different color.

 

I do like what Jeff said, though.

 

Back to line prognostications.....

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A few thoughts.

 

Something is messed up when I try to respond to a quote. Not sure if it's me or the board. 

 

1. We are just finishing the week that NHL on XM sends everyone on vacation and plays Stanley Cup games. Thus, it is officially the deadest week of the hockey year. Snooze.

 

2. On Jeff ONeil's comments. Very hard on Ward. Unfortunately Ward has earned it by not "earning" that paycheck. ONeil would definitely bring a smile to "he who shall not be named" going so far as to say it isn't just the last two years on Ward either. Ward is going to have to be sharp for our good and to be tradable. If he goes bad, that salary will be tough on the entire team. But O'Neil is just singing w/ the choir on Semin, who is the hockey analyst's favorite whipping boy. Saying that contract will be the worst ever basically. 

 

Yes, JR called Semin out last year, but the guy's advanced stats, even in Washington, constantly show a guy that makes everyone around him better on offense AND defense. I'm not in the locker room, but I haven't caught a whiff of attitude problems from the alleged "coach killler". In case one hadn't noticed, top UFA's do not line up to come to Raleigh. This was a risk worth taking and he's going to have a great year on a good wrist. Or not, what do I know.

 

3. On our prospects. First, I agree we are thin. If I look at this team w/ my "rock you like a Hurricane" glass 3/4 full attitude going, I actually see enough offense, enough defense, and enough goaltending to have a much better year than the pundits think. But even I have to admit we are thin in the cupboard. Why?

 

Mainly a string of second and lower round drafts that did not produce, but also bear in mind a few guys who pretty much were never prospects or aren't thought of that way: Skinner, Lindholm, Faulk, to name 3. But the span of Boychuk (still hoping), Dalpe, Bowman, never really happened. Then I'll throw in Rask, for whom high hopes have dwindled. Even DiGiuseppe, another second rounder, was pretty average at Michigan. Might find his game, but then again might not...On defense it looks really thin, especially if you pencil Murphy into the NHL line up. We traded a good prospect in Doumalin and our #8 pick for J. which doesn't help.

 

At the end of the day though, you just need a couple of guys to impact more than you need 20 guys wallowing in the wings.

 

McGinn: clearly I have high hopes for him. A perma third liner is almost guaranteed in m book, but this last year he dropped some serious points on the board in Juniors. Do not sell him short of a top six spot one day. You're going to love this guy.

 

Tolchinksky: The Kidsky will have to be a StLouis-type player, but if he is.....look out. 

 

Boychuk: The million $ question needs to be answered: is he just an AHL scorer? If not, it could really change our depth equation.

 

Fleury: This kid is for real, but not this year. Eventually we will have our top pairing guy for the future, maybe w/ Faulk.

 

We also have two pretty good goalies developing in Altshuller and Nedeljkovic. 

 

 

The guy who peaked my interest in the prospects article was Lucas Wallmark, who we took in the 4th round this year.

 

Here is a really nice research summary on Wallmark from a guy considering him for the NJD before the draft.

 

Lucas Wallmark: 2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile - In Lou We Trust

 

Basically it says he has always had extreme offensive playmaking chops with the vision, slick skills, hockey IQ etc., and played decent defense,  but was a weak skater and not very big. Then it suggests that he has improved his skating, but not sure how much improved.

 

Kind of intriguing in a way. Sounds like a guy who would really shine in the PP, and could be put on the slowest line. Vision and playmaking is something we could use more of. If he keeps working on his skating could be interesting.

 

So, the immediate cupboard does seem a bit thin. But if Boychuk can finally contribute a bit more and McGinn gets some time and is fully on board next year, we could be OK despite the the thinness. Maybe a DiGiusseppe or Rask surprise this year....

 

 

Slow time. Lots of forced smiles with an impending sense of doom, but as you could predict, in the face of it I'm feeling my optimism grow. Maybe this is the year this team finally delivers on it's talent level. It could happen!

 

Edited by remkin

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So while I'm at it, if Wallmark is so intriguing, it might make sense to have a look at the guy we took ahead of him in the third round:

 

Warren Foegele. 

 

Both Wallmark and Foegele seem to fit a nice late round strategy. Guys who have shown serious upside, but something holds them down the list. In Wallmark's case it was clearly 1. Skating 2. Size.

 

In Foegele's case it is playing in a low level league (high school). I think this might be the only major sport where it is considered a negative to play HS sports. But the expectation in this game is you go to Canadian Juniors or play in a European league instead of high school. 

 

OK so Foegele ended up playing in High School. But while doing so he put up 107 points in 52 games, including 58 goals. Yes, over 2 ppg and over 1 GOAL per game. 

 

What is kind of interesting to me is that he was a smallish guy who had to develop skills to play that way, who then had a growth spurt and could then use his size, (as opposed to a big kid who developed knowing he could always use his size). The result was a guy initially passed over by the OHL twice, who just exploded onto the scene post growth spurt. It's not fair to say he was under the radar when we drafted him, because apparently a lot of scouts started paying a lot of attention last year. 

 

Bob McKenzie says these things about Foegele: 

 

Some scouts have been buzzing about his play of late, a fast-skating, hard-working, two-way left winger.

 

Some scouts have wondered aloud whether Foegele may be this year's version of Mark Jankowski, the Calgary Flames' surprise first-round pick, 21st overall, in 2012 from Stanstead College in Quebec, who's now developing and playing well at Providence College.

 

McKenzie: Prospect Foegele creating buzz amongst scouts  if you want to read a bit more.

 

 

The only real knock I've seen on him is that he has played against inferior talent. 

 

But the nice thing is that he is heading to U. of New Hampshire, where he will quickly see a much higher level of competition. If he continues to produce at that level...smiles....if not, well that's why he's a third rounder.

 

So both Wallmark and Foegele have shown seriously high skill levels but with fairly singular shortcomings keeping them from the first round. But both shortcomings can be overcome, and if either one is able to...you have late round success.  

 

Wallmark has to keep working on skating. Foegele just has to show his skills don't fall off against better competition. 

 

Seems like pretty good ways to pick 3rd and 4th rounders.

 



 

Edited by remkin

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CHIRP         CHIRP         CHIRP

 

Yeah, it is a dead time of year, lol.

 

One thing I'd like to see that would give me a better idea of the timing of some of our prospects, well, prospects, is more frequent accurate physical statistics.  For example, I think it would be foolish to let The Smurf even sniff the NHL until he grows to weigh at least somewhere in the mid 170s.  Last I heard he was in the low 160s.  Same with Brett Pesce.  Last I heard he was 6'8" and weighed 130lbs (actually, 6'3" and 175, but you get the drift). Seems like physical development as well as hockey development will dictate when some of our prospects might be nearing potential NHL consideration.

Edited by LakeLivin

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The Calgary Flames have signed unrestricted free-agent RW Devin Setoguchi to a one-year deal worth $750,000.

 

Granted, he had a very poor year last year and doesn't exactly fit the blueprint of what RF wants to build around.  But at $750k for a one year contract, and at a position where we really lack depth, is Setoguchi a risk that might have been worth taking, at least to provide some depth while we see how the team plays under Peters?  We're talking not only a change of scenery, but either he's super motivated this year or he's likely basically out of the NHL.  And I find it hard to believe that Calgary is a more attractive destination than Raleigh, lol. 

 

I like what RF is shooting for, but it seems like even if the Canes play up to what many of us believe is the team's true potential, right now we're talking playoffs, not contending for much more than that.  Seems like if we want to raise it to a higher level we're going to need to hit on a short term gambit or two like Setoguchi, Peter Mueller, or Derek Roy.  I mean, we know it's going to be tough to add any pieces through free agency & our most promising prospects seem a ways off.   

Edited by LakeLivin

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Lake, I agree, RF seems to be riding a huge gambit that last years team was much better than it showed. I for one hope so, as another year in the toilet can't be good as STHs go!!

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Dustin Penner still out there I think.

 

I also think last year's team was much better than it showed, but even good teams try to get better and fill gaps w/ FA. 

 

I guess Gleason and 4th liners are Francis's idea of improvements. 

 

Guess we're keeping our powder dry. Maybe try to pick up a guy from a cap stressed team, but it sure feels like the plan is to take the same team forward and make moves based on how well or poorly they get out of the gate.

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Lake, I agree, RF seems to be riding a huge gambit that last years team was much better than it showed. I for one hope so, as another year in the toilet can't be good as STHs go!!

I believe that last year's team was much better than it showed.  But my problem with this off season is that even if correct, I don't see that being relevant when it comes to getting better.  If true, it's a good reason to stay with the core rather than blow things up, but even the most talented teams in the league try to improve each year.  Not only didn't we really do that, I wonder if we even tried.  

 

Please note that I said "I wonder if we tried" because I don't know that we didn't.  I understand the constraints RF is facing (existing contracts, PK $ limits, attractiveness of Raleigh to FAs, etc.).   But when I see Roy go to Nashville (not exactly a playoff favorite in the West) for $1m,  Setoguci go to Calgary (one of the worst teams on the league) for $750k, and Peter Mueller sign a 2-way contract with St. Louis for, what, $750k? (in spite of the Blues likely being a tough place to prove himself), I do wonder. 

 

Edit: remken posted as I was typing, lol. Great minds? Nah, probably more like "Great, minds" :P .

 

Edit 2: I don't see us dealing with cash strapped teams because they're going to want something in return,  If we were going to do something, I've got to believe we'd have done it by now.  I forgot about Penner; he seems like the last chance to me, but what are we going to do with all of our LWs if we do sign him? 

Edited by LakeLivin

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Do not misunderstand me, I too strongly believe we were better than showed last year, but am similarly decrying the absence of any type of any seeming movement of improvement, Thus the comment "gambit".

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2012 offseason: Semin, J. Staal

2013 offseason: Khudobin, Sekera

2014 offseason: Gleason, McClemment

 

So far....I guess.

Edited by remkin

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