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2015/16 In-Season Talk

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Now that I stop to think about it, sure, an individual franchise could do better in Canada or a bigger US city.  But when you take a step back and think about it from a strategic league perspective, I can see where it might be more important for the NHL to broaden it's influence across as big a geographic area as possible (heck, the NFL is courting the UK and the NBA is courting China).  The triangle has shown that it can support an NHL team under the right circumstances.  I'm guessing that most other cities in the Southeast wouldn't do much better under similar circumstances. 

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Yes, this is good to see. Thanks for posting it OBXer.

 

No Stanley Cup-winning team has ever moved, and with the exception of the Minnesota North Stars, no Cup finalist has either. Climbing that mountain and especially closing the deal builds permanence and a fan base like nothing else can. 

 

Money has been made on hockey here, and it will be made again. Youth hockey is also very strong, and if you look around the league, that has been a constant in successful expansion markets, because it puts the roots of trans-generational support in place.  

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Yes, this is good to see. Thanks for posting it OBXer.

 

No Stanley Cup-winning team has ever moved, and with the exception of the Minnesota North Stars, no Cup finalist has either. Climbing that mountain and especially closing the deal builds permanence and a fan base like nothing else can. 

 

Money has been made on hockey here, and it will be made again. Youth hockey is also very strong, and if you look around the league, that has been a constant in successful expansion markets, because it puts the roots of trans-generational support in place.  

I also was glad to see this article. 

 

However having visitied another southern hockey city in Tn.. I notice they have a much stronger community presence and seemingly strong committment to the local hockey community...

 

Have you ever seen the Ford Ice Rink Facility?  ITs all Predators and is amazing.. its very, very nice.   It definately makes it seem like the Preds are committed to the area and local hockey growth... contrast that with what we have here:

 

All the kids that love the sport and are growing up wanting to play get to play in dumpy, run down, dirty rinks.

 

 Anyone know why the hurricanes don't just build a nice facility here?  It would clearly make money as every team and enthusiast in the area would want to use it when possible (including other teams when they come the area)  There are like 10 youth Hockey Travel clubs here that would want as much ice time as they could get .. not to mention the local economy boost from possible tournaments etc.. that could be held here. Now that would send a strong message to everyone, talk about building the sport.

 

Sorry I guess this isn't totally Hurricanes talk.. but then neither was the fishing nets talk I saw earlier.  :)

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What is encouraging to me is that Bettman has finally spoken. In years past unless you were in Arizona or a top 6 it seemed you didn't matter.

 

We have PK saying we are staying, we have Bettman indicating we aren't going anywhere, We have a proposed arena upgrade, a long term lease agreement, a solid TV and radio contract but......

 

In business all things change so I'm not going to jump for joy just yet. It was encouraging though.

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Is it fear of live round gunfire that is keeping the Canes from shooting the puck ?

 

They have no problem shooting the puck. The problem is hitting the target.

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No they are almost always dead center hits right in the chest area. :D

 

You helped me figure it out! The team has been told we need snipers. Ergo, they are aiming for center mass. Makes perfect sense.

 

 

 
Edited by remkin

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I also was glad to see this article. 

 

However having visitied another southern hockey city in Tn.. I notice they have a much stronger community presence and seemingly strong committment to the local hockey community...

 

Have you ever seen the Ford Ice Rink Facility?  ITs all Predators and is amazing.. its very, very nice.   It definately makes it seem like the Preds are committed to the area and local hockey growth... contrast that with what we have here:

 

All the kids that love the sport and are growing up wanting to play get to play in dumpy, run down, dirty rinks.

 

 Anyone know why the hurricanes don't just build a nice facility here?  It would clearly make money as every team and enthusiast in the area would want to use it when possible (including other teams when they come the area)  There are like 10 youth Hockey Travel clubs here that would want as much ice time as they could get .. not to mention the local economy boost from possible tournaments etc.. that could be held here. Now that would send a strong message to everyone, talk about building the sport.

 

Sorry I guess this isn't totally Hurricanes talk.. but then neither was the fishing nets talk I saw earlier.  :)

I hear ya, and while Nashville is doing great things, they have also been a more consistently competitive franchise over the same period that the Canes have been - well, not good. Based on my direct experience in another expansion market, Philly, I can say with confidence that the success of the NHL club has a very direct impact on the money invested in building youth hockey in the market.

 

I was born and raised in the Big Pretzel and was 8 when the NHL expanded. The Flyers won their division in their first year in the league (the WEST division, believe it or not, and they did so with a less-than-.500 record!) - talk about a jump start - and six years later would hoist the Cup, and hoist it again the following year. To say Philly was hockey crazed in that time is a huge understatement, and youth hockey just exploded.

 

Add in things like Mylec introducing street hockey - people couldn't pull out of their driveways in the summer without dodging kids and nets in the streets - and you had an incubator that the cash-flush NHL franchise not only couldn't ignore, but would have been foolish to. Rinks got built and ice time still was at a premium; I remember dressing for a midget game one January in an unfinished, unheated corridor with bare lightbulbs dangling from Romex at the under-construction Cherry Hill Coliseum--for a 6 a.m. Sunday game, which our team traveled an hour to play in. The rink itself was done, but the rest of the building might as well have been a wind tunnel.

 

Despite Philly's more traditional status, I seriously doubt that explosion would have occurred, at that pace anyway, if the NHL team hadn't been competitive right out of the gate. There's no question some facilities are better than others in the Triangle, but the number of sheets is still pretty amazing. Sure, it'd be nice if RCI would bite the bullet and add a second sheet right now; while plans are prominently featured on their website, there is no timetable for actually it.

 

And while RCI claims its plans have nothing to do with the Canes and says the Canes are just a tenant, I'm sure they know better. The equations are not complex:

 

No Canes = no youth hockey in the Triangle 

No excitement about the Canes = slower growth of youth hockey

Consistently competitive Canes = steady growth of youth hockey

Canes win Cup = every kid 12 and under wants to play hockey

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Is it my bad memory, or didn't the Canes discuss the idea of a practice sheet about where the new indoor football facility was built?  

 

I'm talking 1998 - 2000 or so when this subject came up.

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Well guys, after last night's meltdown, I began to look behind the stats, and here's what I've discovered:
Goals per game: 2.0 (28th)

Goals against: 2.88 (23rd)

PP percentage: 12.7% (28th)

PK percentage: 79.4% (17th)

 

Our leading scorer is a DEFENSEMAN...Justin Faulk has 6, all on the power play.

Our top +/- is Kris Versteeg at...wait for it...+2 (he also leads in assists with 8)

 

Guys this does not bode well for us this season.  We're getting on the 1/4 point and this team is showing it's mired in mediocrity.

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I'm facing my own reality.

 

I don't see this team going anywhere.

 

The writings on the wall.

 

It's just a matter of time before RF throws up his hands and blows this group up.

 

As I said in the GDT, the culture around the team has to change, and it will likely take drastic measures.

 

It's beyond time to do something bold.

 

And I don't really care to hear about how much longer a rebuild will take in doing so.

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And I don't really care to hear about how much longer a rebuild will take in doing so.

 

I honestly don't think the suffering will be any worse than it is now.  This group isn't a player or two away from being competitive. 

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I honestly don't think the suffering will be any worse than it is now.  This group isn't a player or two away from being competitive. 

I think we need to seriously discuss trading Skinner as well as Eric and Jordan...and keep Versteeg at all costs right now.

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I think we need to seriously discuss trading Skinner as well as Eric and Jordan...and keep Versteeg at all costs right now.

 

If i'm Versteeg - a 2-time Stanley Cup winner who will turn the ripe old age of 30 during the off-season - i'm not signing with a team that's going into a full-scale rebuild (which it most definitely will be if E, J, and Skinner are all moved) unless i just really like the area and want to retire there.  And if i do that, i'm going to be looking for an NMC to do it - which we all know the Hurricanes don't need to be doing.  Gut instinct says that unless this team turns it back around and is solidly in the hunt for the post-season, we should all just enjoy Versteeg from now until February and wish him well when he makes it clear he won't re-sign and we trade him away at the deadline.

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Looking at this team in the standings, with the way the league is competitive and there are no gimme wins anymore, I see Carolina finishing dead last.  I don't see us finishing better than any team out west, and I see a still talented Columbus team and the Babcock Maple Leafs surpassing us too.

 

At the minimum, Eric and Cam should be traded, if for no other reason than to rid the team of the good ole days mentality.  In all honesty, besides Faulk, Hanifin, and Gerbe, I'd listen to offers on any other player on the current roster.  I'm not in the know, so I don't know who's really available for other teams, but make good deals and hope for Austin Matthews.

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I don't think I am overstating it.

 

If you haven't attended a game this season (other than opening night) you can't appreciate how much of a morgue it is in there.

 

It will not be when some of our typical east coast rivals come to town.  It will be oppressive for our own fans who will be outnumbered.  Opposing fans love this, and will take glee in making the atmosphere even less desirable for our fans, reducing our fan attendance even more (if that is possible)

 

I am getting really concerned now about our ability to keep this franchise, and it really really hurts me.  I am furious that we have let it get to this point.

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Looking at this team in the standings, with the way the league is competitive and there are no gimme wins anymore, I see Carolina finishing dead last.  I don't see us finishing better than any team out west, and I see a still talented Columbus team and the Babcock Maple Leafs surpassing us too.

 

At the minimum, Eric and Cam should be traded, if for no other reason than to rid the team of the good ole days mentality.  In all honesty, besides Faulk, Hanifin, and Gerbe, I'd listen to offers on any other player on the current roster.  I'm not in the know, so I don't know who's really available for other teams, but make good deals and hope for Austin Matthews.

 

I know I'll probably be sorry for asking this, but is Gerbe essential to this team's success going forward?  I mean, he gives a good effort, but with 1 goal and 2 assists, he isn't making a huge impact.  He does have that LaRoes-esque intangible quality that makes him a fan favorite.  What we need are players with tangibles.

 

Faulk, Hanifin, Rask, and Lindholm would be the guys I'd be looking to hold onto, unless the return was an overpayment.  Anybody else, keep your ready bag packed.

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I know I'll probably be sorry for asking this, but is Gerbe essential to this team's success going forward? I mean, he gives a good effort, but with 1 goal and 2 assists, he isn't making a huge impact. He does have that LaRoes-esque intangible quality that makes him a fan favorite. What we need are players with tangibles.

Faulk, Hanifin, Rask, and Lindholm would be the guys I'd be looking to hold onto, unless the return was an overpayment. Anybody else, keep your ready bag packed.

Gerbe's been the only player imo to show up and bring it every night. I know the points haven't been there, but I think his effort is one the younger players should look up too.

Rask has been overall solid, pretty much has been the only player on the team that's shown improvement since last year. Having said that, if there is a young established player to be had, I could include he and Lindholm in a package.

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There is no question Gerbe brings it every night but is he a difference maker moving forward. The SD comparison to LaRose is spot on. Most teams like a guy like this and fans always pull for the underdog or is that undersized. Should he stay or go doesn't matter (at least to me) but he shouldn't be among the list of untouchables.

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I guess it's not good when your resident Island developer joins the mainland, but I have to say I'm pretty much there with you.

 

I found it kind of amazing, but I am late to the board today, and started over in the game day posting what I thought was the only Debbie Downer post. Then I came over here to find a lot of others.

 

We are not done. But we are very very nearly done and the obvious bet is that we are done.

 

If this team goes 5-1 over the next 6, (or maybe even 4-1-1 lets, say), and finds goals from guys listed below, then we are back in it. Seems nuts, but not impossible. That out of the way though, if we go 3-3 or worse, we are done. I've been running the numbers on here, and put them on the GDT if anyone is interested. Does not seem like a team about to go 5-1 though.

 

If we go 3-3 or worse, we will be essentially out of contention on Thanksgiving day. Seems nuts, and it is a problem w/ the NHL's point system, but it is what it is. You HAVE to be 7 points or fewer from the cut line Jan 1 to have any realistic chance at the cut line. To get there after gong 4-5-1 or worse over our key 10 game homestand stretch would require near .700 hockey in December. That is elite. That is the % that Washington and St Louis and Minnestota are near now. Is it possibe? Sure. Do you want to bet on it?

 

So, baring a 4-1-1 run or better right now, this team is essentially out of it by T day.

 

The problem?

 

1. A suspect defense of the now. Faulk is a very good offensive NHL dman, though he has not peaked and is not elite defensively. He is very very good, but I think overrated by locals. Despite being # 15 in points, he is 212 out of 229 in plus minus for Dmen. He is still young and will get there though. Hainsey: overslotted. JML: good for the money, but a #4 at best. Pesce: a find, will be good, but a rookie. Hanifin: will be elite, but 18 years old, on leading edge of steep learning curve now.

 

We need Sekera back there. Who knows how Wiz might have helped, but neither was to be, and it shows. We all know the scoring isn't there, but really neither is the defense. Oh yes, when Hanifin and Pesce mature and Fleury and even as Faulk tightens his d game, the future is bright. But not the near future.

 

2. The guys paid and counted on to score are not doing it. This is really the main problem.

 

My projected points are based on 85% of the player's SECOND best season in ppg, or a projected improvement for Rask/Lindholm.

 

First the exceptions:

 

1. Chris Versteeg. Right on target for 50 point season. That is what he's paid for, that is what he is doing. Problematic though when a complementary scorer on a really good team is the leading scorer on your team.

Projected points to date: 9, Actual 10. net +1

 

2. Victor Rask. He is on a 50 point pace also. This is great production from a second year pro and would be a big step up from last year.

Projected points to date: 9, Actual points: 10 net +1 (and that is based on expecting big improvement to net 0).

 

That is the extent of that.

 

Now on the other side, and I will save the elephant in the room for last:


Elias Lindholm: 1 point in 16 games and -7. That is a 5 point pace. This is amazing. 5 points.

Projected points by now: 11 Actual: 1 net: -10. This is stunning. 10 more points would be about 4 more goals for the team.

 

J Staal: 6 points in 16 games. -2. 30 point pace. (has improved lately and does check down the best centers on the other team)

Projected by now: 11 points, Actual: 6. net -5.

 

Jeff Skinner: 4 points in 16 games. +1. 20 point pace. (Skinner is #2 in +/- despite no scoring, so he is working better on the d game) Projected by now: 9 points, Actual 4. net -5. (It is fair to note that this target for Skinner is a low bar, based on 85% of his second best, there was a time where we would have projected improvement for him from his best).

 

If, for fun, one projected Skinner on 35 goals and 30 assists, he would now be -8 in projected vs actual.

 

Riley Nash: 3 points 12 games: 20 point pace. He is net -1, but the bar is quite low for him. He really produces like a 4th liner at baseline.

 

Chris Terry: 2 points in 16 games: 10 point pace. projected: 5 points, net -3. Terry however HAS to do better than projected to be here.

 

Nathan Gerbe: 3 points in 16 games. 15 point pace. net -3. Nathan is a great energy spark plug, and has skills, but at his size, not enough to be a consistent high level scorer. He has been a 30 point guy though, which is decent third line, but he's on 15 points pace now.

 

 

And finally.....the big dog....the Captain...the $9 million man...

 

Eric Staal: 10 points in 16 games: 51 point pace. #100 NHL forward.

Projected expected: 15 points, Actual 10 points. net -5.

Eric, like Skinner has improved his +/- a lot this year, but he is on a 51 point pace, which is what he did last year.

 

So, taken together, we have:

 

One forward outperfoming: Rask.

One forward on track w/ very slight outpeform: Versteeg.

Seven forwards underperforming, one by a mile (Lindy).

 

If we were getting 85% of the second best season production and the improvements projected on Linholm, our forwards would have put up +2 for Rask/Versteeg and -32 for the 7 underperformers. Thus our forwards are -29 points off the pace that they should be able to hit.

 

-29 means that this group of forwards, and remember we are projecting Nash and Gerbe and Terry as borderline third liners to start with, this group is short about 13 goals.

 

13 more goals is close to one more goal per game. Even with the d issues, we should be in the running for shooting distance of the cut line if we had that.

 

The order of underperforming:

 

Lindholm -10

Skinner -5

Eric -5

Jordan -5

Gerbe -3

Nash* -3

Terry* -2

 

* very low expectations to start.

 

Yes, we are short on talent. Terry is not an NHL player. Nash is a 4th liner. etc. But even with the talent that is here, it should be enough.

 

But it is not, and it has not been, and it is increasingly certain it never will be.

 

Unless we see a 5-1 stretch that includes offensive breakouts from those guys listed above, changes must be made sooner than later.

Edited by remkin

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So, here's the thing. If we are to make a move:

 

Lindholm is in a deep funk, but is thus really almost untradable. The idea of trading him is not a good one anyway.

Skinner is in a small funk, but may play his way out of it and could become tradable, but probably not now.

Versteeg could be a deadline deal.

Gerbe, Nash, and Terry are at best throw in's.

 

Jordan, given his salary is going to be tough to trade, and has NTC.

 

So, it comes down to Eric. If GMRF has given this team until T day, it is not looking good.

 

Both Eric and Jordan are well amoung the group of underperformers, in a year that they have to perform.

 

 

Putting the NTC aside for now, it comes down to what to do w/ Eric, and to a lesser extent Cam.

 

 

I think Francis now has to approach Eric with a deal that Eric probably doesn't take.

 

Right now E is the #100 forward in the NHL in points. Last year he finished #67. He is being paid #8.

Averaging #100 and #67, the last two years E has been the #83 forward.

 

The current #83 forward in pay is a 7 way tie for......$4.5 million/year and no NTC.

 

Even if one give him points for having no wingers and being Captain, having recent years of higher points, suggesting more potential, at best you'd have to put him around #40 maybe? He's not getting younger.

 

#40 forward makes: $5.9 million.

 

Here's some names in the $6 million- even- club:

 

Taylor Hall, Joe Pavelski, RNH, Jordan Eberle, Logan Couture, Henrik Zetterberg....

 

Can you see paying Eric more than that? With a NTC?

 

 

Even after everything, I'd like to see E stay on the team. But I'd like him in at $6.0 million/year with NO NTC, and voluntarily relinquish the "C" at the end of the year.

 

But would he do that deal? Maybe. It would be a fair deal. But somehow I doubt it.

 

 

At this point it is probably going to need to be "move on" time. I just hope E doesn't block deals w/ the NTC.

Edited by remkin

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