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It appears Keegan Lowe will get a look. He was just called up from Charlotte and Biega sent back.

 

Lowe, 22, is in his second professional season and has totaled 11 points (2g, 9a) and 106 penalty minutes in 55 games for the Checkers this season. Born in Greenwich, CT, he has appeared in 118 career AHL games with Charlotte, earning 23 points (4g, 19a) and registering 192 penalty minutes. Lowe (6’2”, 195 lbs.) was selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 73rd overall, of the 2011 NHL Draft

 

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On one hand I would say the coaching staff is my pick for "bright spot of the year", and that extends to Marcoux as well.

Our special teams improved, we have a coach with some emotion/passion, and I feel our effort was more consistent than last year withe the exception of a few players (which is not the coach's fault IMO). This brings me to my next point.

On the other hand, people are talking about accountability this year but I don't think it has been there to the degree it needs to be.

Eric Staal looked listless for much of the season again. How many times was he benched/scratched?

Jeff Skinner was awful this year, pretty much in every way possible. How many times was he scratched?

If you are going to hold Semin, Lindholm, Nash, Malone, Dwyer, Rask, etc. accountable, that should also extend to everyone on the team.

When I see E. Staal or Skinner scratched, and there is no question they should have been already, then I'll believe in total team accountability.

Having said that, I'll still take the coaching staff and our new direction of actually building for the future as my bright spots. I guess I'll throw it under the blanket of management. Hopefully the days of "try to win now", then floundering, repeat, are over until we are a consistent playoff team that has some semblance of organizational depth.

As far as Francis goes this is a bit premature, he has a lot of work to do and I want to see more than tweaks.

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Blue devil58--How do you define "production" when you talk about Staal, Staal,

Skinner, Semin and Gerbe?

 

I think Gerbe has given us his all the whole year. He who is ht/wt compromised

 has to work twice as hard as others-----and he has. I don't think he has ever been

projected to be a great finisher, or a sniper, but his goals have come at opportune

times. He also creates havoc in front of the net, and he is fast and tenacious. Not

all worth to the team shows up on the score sheet.

 

As to E. Staal--I see a difference this year. I did not see  the petulant poutiness and

rampant taking of frustration penalties we saw last year. He seems to be embracing

the structure the coach is building, and I think he is working more into the leader role

in his willingness to clearly work to develop some of our young ones. Again, these

things, in terms of worth to the team, do not show up in his goals. Is he worth $9 mil?

Don't know--but I guess we will when it comes time to renew his contract , if it is renewed.

 

Jordan was never projected to be a high goal producer. His worth to the team is that he

is a great defensive forward---and holds other teams big shooters off the score sheet

night after night.

 

Skinner, Semin--yes problems this year. As to the coach teaching more offense---

BP has been consistent in pushing for more net front presence. Our younger guys and

the fourth line seem to be more regular in doing that.......hence we have gotten some

good secondary scoring this year.

 

Some on this board seem hung up on the size of some of our contracts. Past management

made those deals. We seem to blame the players.? ! ?

 

We need to work on the D next year since we traded away half of it. Okay--I will shut up.

Got wordy---end of the season, and we are bored!

Edited by UNCCaniac8

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For me, it hands down the coaching staff for the reason's already mentioned. 

 

I was a little surprised to see Lowe brought up.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Our director of amateurs scouting was on XM radio the other day. They talked about all of our known prime prospects, but the only one that wouldn't have fit the bill they wanted to talk about was Keegan Lowe. Basically saying he was a solid stay-at-home defenseman type of guy you want on your team kind of player.

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On one hand I would say the coaching staff is my pick for "bright spot of the year", and that extends to Marcoux as well.

Our special teams improved, we have a coach with some emotion/passion, and I feel our effort was more consistent than last year withe the exception of a few players (which is not the coach's fault IMO). This brings me to my next point.

On the other hand, people are talking about accountability this year but I don't think it has been there to the degree it needs to be.

Eric Staal looked listless for much of the season again. How many times was he benched/scratched?

Jeff Skinner was awful this year, pretty much in every way possible. How many times was he scratched?

If you are going to hold Semin, Lindholm, Nash, Malone, Dwyer, Rask, etc. accountable, that should also extend to everyone on the team.

When I see E. Staal or Skinner scratched, and there is no question they should have been already, then I'll believe in total team accountability.

Having said that, I'll still take the coaching staff and our new direction of actually building for the future as my bright spots. I guess I'll throw it under the blanket of management. Hopefully the days of "try to win now", then floundering, repeat, are over until we are a consistent playoff team that has some semblance of organizational depth.

As far as Francis goes this is a bit premature, he has a lot of work to do and I want to see more than tweaks.

Agree 100 percent, particularly on the scratching of Staal and Skinner. No excuses for their play at their salaries.

 

Skinner was threatened with being scratched once, when BP said something to the effect that if he is not scoring he needs to contribute in other areas. He got a little better along the boards and then strung together a point streak, but nothing close to what we need from him.

 

I do worry that there is lingering management fear of scratching either one, if only because of the number of sweaters they've sold. When very few fans are coming out in the first place, sitting the guys whose jerseys they are wearing is a tough decision PURELY from a "will-it-piss-off-the-fans" standpoint. Although all of us on this board believe this team should be waaaaaay beyond worrying about that by now, given JR's "training" of Ronnie I wouldn't be surprised if he's held onto the idea that scratching your franchise player just shouldn't be done. With Skinner, there may have also been some reluctance because he was coming off a concussion. Not saying that's right, just that mgt. concern over the optics of it could have played a role.

 

I can agree with others giving Jordan a pass. First, it was a leg injury. Second, he was never expected to put up big numbers. And he was mostly good once he came back. You can see him really thinking the game for the full duration of every shift, something I don't think is true of Daniel Eric. But that remains the biggest question: Can we send E packing and keep the better/younger of the two - and if so, will we do it? RF's comments about building the team around the Staals tell me we won't, and that is disappointing, for reasons I've enumerated too many times already. Nonetheless, I see zero sense in renegotiating with Eric, no matter how low he is willing to go - unless he is also willing to give up the C. But even if he did, a demoted captain in the room is almost never a good thing, and is as tough to pull off successfully as, well... as The Switch.  

Edited by top-shelf-1

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In following with how our season has gone, if the Kings lose to The Flames tonight, kiss goodbye that first round draft pick we got for Sekera until next year. Even with their play I thought they'd squeak in...but then they lost to Edmonton!

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I would say before we get to excited about The Hammer effect, that Peters (as mentioned above) has only scratched one player whom makes more than $1.9 million/year. While it has been postulated that this team's problem is depth, I think that this team's main problem is getting even close to fair production for salary by any forward making more than $1 million. If we did, and J had not broken his leg, even with our thin depth in the AHL, and an average defense, we'd be playoff bound. 

 

The list is short really: forwards making over $1 million: E ($8.2), Semin ($7), Skinner ($5.7). Gerbe ($1.7)

 

Not one of those guys is earning half of their pay, except maybe Gerbe (half). Project those guys to production worthy of those dollars, or even the production they have already accomplished that might warrant those kind of contracts, fold in our goaltending, and our nice 4th line, and Linholm/Rask, and our special teams, and our defense pre trade deadline..... not bad. Outside of the end of year swoon, since Jan 1 this team has been decent, even with just E. playing a little better.

 

I'm no expert on the effects of scratching star players. The role guys hate it, but understand that's their lot. 

 

To this point Peters has only scratched Semin. 

 

1. That was considered a bold move, but his play was to astoundingly egregiously terrible and it still took months to get to it. Then, once Semin was the whipping boy, Peters scratched him so hard and often that it bled. 

 

2. Is Semin now the Semin we pine for? Many just want him bought out. Not really. Did the scratch work? Not on Semin.

 

That brings me to the point. Who does the scratch of a star player effect and how? And what is the price if it doesn't work, or even if it does work, on the star player/management relationship moving forward?

 

The player. Depends on the player. Here you have to watch how the guy responds. Semin? Maybe a little? E? Who knows, never been done. 

 

The team. To me this is just as big as the player and probably bigger. The team sees first hand that player X is dogging it or not getting it done game after game, while small time player Y plays his heart out and gets scratched due to roster numbers. After a while it does effect the team. When the management finally deals with that player, the entire team can respond immediately. I've seen it on several occasions with this team going back several years. 

 

The fans. Meh. Maybe in Toronto. It's not like you're a Bull's fan going to one game and Michael Jordan sits. Half of our fans probably wouldn't even notice. 

 

I don't know, though about scratching the Captain. That undermines his leadership for a long time, and if he doesn't handle it well, it could cause lots of trouble in the room and even on the ice. Risky move I would think.

 

Skinner? Thing is, Peters can say "if you're not scoring do other things" and that sounds good, but at some level its' like telling Malone, it's ok if he isn't physical and overstays his shifts as long as he puts up 30 goals. Probably true, but not that easy. Skinner is being paid to score. We have guys making less than 1/5 his pay who are much better at that other stuff. When do you scratch a guy who is supposed to but isn't scoring? Clearly if he isn't playing like he needs to, going to the net, etc. But my guess is that at some level Skinner is a bit concerned about his head. Not sure scratching him will take that away. 

 

Jordan? Unlike most on here, I expect 60 points from Jordan and know he can do it. But he's been injured, he is playing hard, he checks the top lines....

 

Gerbe? Well see Skinner. Grebe should be putting up more points. But can anybody say he isn't playing his heart out on every shift? You scratch that guy, while the Staals and Skinner don't get scratched?

 

So....outside of Semin, who asked for it harder than a guy wide open in the slot...what hammer?

 

 

My theory is the NTC's. The star player holds the power over nearly every coach anyways, but if that player can only be traded with his consent? He has the overwhelming power. If the player thinks he is playing hard and doing what is being asked of him, and he's the Captain? Or his brother is? And he gets embarrassed with a scratch? Ask them out there in San Jose how that dynamic is working out.

 

Skinner was the only other star to be "almost" scratched. No NTC (yet). 

 

That said, I think E. says just enough of the right "party line" coach speak, and does just enough of what Peters asks of him to not hit that trigger line for scratching a Captain with a NTC. 

 

NOW READ THIS BEFORE FLAMING: I like Peters. He has two hammers. The big "break glass in case of Emergency Hammer is the one that we mostly focus on. But he has a small but effective hammer called "line assignment, and ice time" which he uses far more frequently. Using that hammer and the force of his wit and will, he has mostly gotten "buy in" on his system, and the results have shown by the fact that overall this team has played well since J got back despite getting sub sub par production from its star forwards.

 

Peter almost never uses THE HAMMER on star players. He frequently uses the hammer though.

Edited by remkin

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Now I'm not in the "Team Staal's" camp, but does anybody think this team is better with them off the ice and in the press box?  There have been times this season (like pretty much every game) when I didn't think Semin was one of the best 12 forwards the Canes had to choose from.  I have never felt this way about the Staals or even Skinner.  It's awfully easy for internet GM to say "he's a bum...scratch him", because player X isn't earning his $9 million a year (in internet GM's eyes). 

 

Rem, I'm going to need to take a speed reading class if you keep up these long posts. :thumbsup2:

Edited by super_dave_1

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To summarize the above few posts...

 

The real big hammer is a trade.  That hammer is unavailable to RF for key players.

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Now I'm not in the "Team Staal's" camp, but does anybody think this team is better with them off the ice and in the press box?  There have been times this season (like pretty much every game) when I didn't think Semin was one of the best 12 forwards the Canes had to choose from.  I have never felt this way about the Staals or even Skinner.  It's awfully easy for internet GM to say "he's a bum...scratch him", because player X isn't earning his $9 million a year (in internet GM's eyes). 

 

Rem, I'm going to need to take a speed reading class if you keep up these long posts. :thumbsup2:

 

SD: I've warmed up to Staals the final third of the season.  Whatever was ailing E. may finally be in the past.  The knee, the crotch, whatever.  Somehow, these guys need to stay healthy until October 10th.

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I have been critical of E over the years but this year I think he actually showed leadership. I'm not sure if the answer is a team that needs to shed the Staals to move forward. But I think E deserves some respect. He has gone about his business without complaint in a difficult season. We are better with him than without him at the moment.

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I would agree that E has been playing better of late. The team played instantly better w/ J back, even without points from him, and has also played better as E's game ascended. 

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On the hammer:

 

I think that we'd like pro coaches to have the same tools and influence as college or high school coaches. In reality, that ship has sailed and isn't coming back.  I suspect that Peters is doing what he can within a major pro sports environment.   

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To summarize the above few posts...

 

The real big hammer is a trade.  That hammer is unavailable to RF for key players.

The few posts after mine, maybe. I'm of the opinion that very hammer is available to RF, and the question is whether he's brave enough to use it.

 

Even if the Staals are a package we can't split, I can't help but wonder how many hungry, talented players who are at least five years younger we could get this summer for the $15 million we're paying the TWO of them.

 

IMO, this org is not being truly rebuilt until the Captain is replaced, and in case it wasn't clear from my earlier post, I don't believe keeping him in the room at any price - IF he were deposed - is an option, at least not in anything the GM seriously expects us to embrace as "a rebuild."

 

Let go of Skinner? Fine. Buy out Semin? sure. But at the end of that road is still this: Eric is the Captain. The faces in the room have changed plenty over the past seven years, every last one of them, in fact - except two. One has rehabilitated his game. The other, no. So the goalkeeping is wonderful, we all agree. I find it interesting that we can't also agree that expecting NEXT season to be different than the last seven (save 09), when the ONLY on-ice constant during those seasons has been the "leadership" of one Eric Staal, is, quite literally, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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top, the problem at this time of year, as I see it, and think I sense in many of the recent posts, is, similar to any news of "life threating" variety, not that hockey should be elevated to that status, is that thru the year, all of us have gone thru various stages of depression. Presently, many have reached the stage of acceptance, and are in a mellowing state. As such, and I speak completely here for myself, passion has dwindled, and rose tinted glasses begin to block out the frequent impassioned feelings of despair.

 

Thus, in the distance, we hear rumblings of placation toward several of our players. Please don't misunderstand my point, as I too would like to comfort myself that we started to see Eric shape up, or Skinner going to dirty areas better, or Jordan really coming on strong, or heaven forbid, Semin beginning to regain his old form. This is, IMHO, human nature at its finest.

 

Truth be told, we are all projecting our feelings to the players. What I'd really love to see, would be an unfettered, candid accounting from each player. How exactly do they feel about their individual performances, and precisely what are their feelings about next year. Doubt this is ever possible, as each wants a job next year, but wouldn't that be insightful? 

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What I would like to know.

 

What does Francis really think about his Captain and the immediate and longer term future? If he could, would he like to move him? Does he think that he's not the problem? Does he even broach the topic given the NTC? Would he trade him if there were no NTC in play? 

 

What does the PK/Francis team plan to do with Semin?

 

Would RF consider trading Skinner and has he gotten any decent offers? 

 

How does he plan to "replace" Sekera? 

 

Who would he pick at #5 in the draft? 

Edited by remkin

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Rem, I'm going to need to take a speed reading class if you keep up these long posts. :thumbsup2:

 

 

Well I'm paid by the word. Problem is that I'm charged by the bandwidth use. So it evens out to zero cents per word.  :letssee:

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Rem--I think the answer to your first question will become evident next

year, as RF will need to decide about re-signing E or letting him go.

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If we let  Skinner go, he goes and  scores 30.. bet ya anything on that....

Well every year he either scores 30+, or has a concussion.  This is a concussion year. :(

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If we let  Skinner go, he goes and  scores 30.. bet ya anything on that....

...and I bet he remains soft, selfish, ends up with under 60 points, and is about -12 or more.

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top, the problem at this time of year, as I see it, and think I sense in many of the recent posts, is, similar to any news of "life threating" variety, not that hockey should be elevated to that status, is that thru the year, all of us have gone thru various stages of depression. Presently, many have reached the stage of acceptance, and are in a mellowing state. As such, and I speak completely here for myself, passion has dwindled, and rose tinted glasses begin to block out the frequent impassioned feelings of despair.

 

Thus, in the distance, we hear rumblings of placation toward several of our players. Please don't misunderstand my point, as I too would like to comfort myself that we started to see Eric shape up, or Skinner going to dirty areas better, or Jordan really coming on strong, or heaven forbid, Semin beginning to regain his old form. This is, IMHO, human nature at its finest.

 

Truth be told, we are all projecting our feelings to the players. What I'd really love to see, would be an unfettered, candid accounting from each player. How exactly do they feel about their individual performances, and precisely what are their feelings about next year. Doubt this is ever possible, as each wants a job next year, but wouldn't that be insightful? 

I think we've done exit interviews at the end of every season, many of which are posted here at the site, and it's always the same-old same-old.

 

"Well, we have to do better." Really?

 

"Well, it was tough with all those injuries, but if you look at our record the second half, I think we made strides." Truly?

 

"I think if everybody can stay healthy, next year will be a different story." SERIOUSLY??!!

 

Same #$%@&%, different season.

 

I'm squarely in the blow-it-up camp. It's time to lose all the S's: Staal, Staal, Semin, and Skinner. Take those dollars and bring in kids with the same kind of heart that the other 16 guys have shown all year. That includes the entire fourth line, Cam, Khudo, Lindy, Rask, Gerbs, Terry, Faulk, Hainsey, Liles, Lowe (yes, Lowe, on the strength of ONE game, and more specifically one terrific fight), Bellemore, Murphy, and Jordan. Give Faulk the C, McClement and Rask A's, and let's get on the road to a winning culture, already.  

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