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i thought Fleury had the physical presence and skating he needed even in his first camp, and showed flashes of offense too, he just was not NHL ready in terms of decision making and consistency. He was the #2 D man taken in his draft, and before Hanifin arrived was our apparent most elite  prospect. 

 

If we stay L/R on their correct sides we have Hanifin, Fleury, Slavin, Bean all on the left. 

 

If we stay w/ guys on their correct sides, we will have some moves to make, but the best thing is that we get to pick which moves to make.

 

Murphy and even McKeown would have the inside track to replace Wiz since they all shoot right, but really Fleury's biggest obstacle outside of how good Slavin is, is the expansion draft. Someone expendable has to get 40 games, or 70 in two years, and be under contract for 2017-18. Right now that is Murphy front and center. And if we end up liking Murphy we have to get Tennyson into 40 games too. Of course we could also try to trade for a guy later, but that could be sticky since we may not be the only ones trying to do that, and the team that guy plays for probably wants him for that exact purpose.

 

I do think Fleury gets up here, and we probably go with 7 D a lot to try to get those games in. But I'm thinking Fleury is probably NHL ready, and if Slavin/Pesce/Hanifin didn't arrive OR the NHL expansion draft was not a thing, probably makes the team out of camp. But barring a trade, seems that Murphy has a track inside the inside track to get at least 35 games, and..

 

I wonder if Francis doesn't plan on slipping Tennyson into 40 games as the #6 or even #7 D. He played 29 games with the Sharks, so he can hold it down. This way Francis can actually choose to keep or trade Murphy if his game comes along. He would have to have his contract extended into next year, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

 

I do think Fleury gets some NHL games though. Injuries happen, and there will be spots. A trade could still happen too. 

 

Even though Fleury may be NHL ready, a year of mostly AHL with some NHL appearances could really do him well, and even if it plays out that way, then next year he's here and ready to roll.

Edited by remkin

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It does show how, especially at the fringes of trying to make the NHL, luck and situational factors can be huge. Given our tremendous depth on defense, and Fleury pushing to make it, in a different situation Murphy could easily be the odd man out. But given his good start last year, his being a first rounder (they get more chances) he is viable, but his being right handed, combined with the expansion draft, he should be on the inside track to not only getting another chance, but at least a 35 game chance. 

 

Here's hoping he grabs it.

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I wonder if Francis doesn't plan on slipping Tennyson into 40 games as the #6 or even #7 D. He played 29 games with the Sharks, so he can hold it down. This way Francis can actually choose to keep or trade Murphy if his game comes along. He would have to have his contract extended into next year, but that shouldn't be too difficult.

 

Dressing a seventh defenseman seems like an unnecessary drag on the forwards given that we will not likely have a large margin of points to give and still make the playoffs. Plus, Tennyson is not even signed beyond this year, so even if he played all 82, he gets us nothing that Hainsey can't give us. Seems like it would be easier to sign Hainsey to another year than to try to squeeze in Tennyson and Murphy, and then have to sign Tennyson on top of that. I think the only thing standing in the way of extending Hainsey for another year to be a second defenseman that we can expose that meets the 40/70 games requirement (assuming Murphy gets his games) is that Hainsey has never been to the playoffs and my guess is that Ron is going to keep him unsigned to make it easier to trade him to a contender should our team falter.

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MJB and rem, that's what I was just pondering. Why is everyone stressing over Murphy's abilities(or lack thereof), or getting Tennyson in, when it seems like Hainsey is the much more logical choice?

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I did consider Hainsey. The question would be what kind of a deal he is looking for. He's 35 and will be a UFA at the end of the year. To give up his UFA he probably wants more than just one more year, and likely will have to be overpaid. But, yes, that would be a potential option too. If he would sign for say, two more years at just a slight overpay, it would be worth doing. We'd still want to get Murphy some games though, to see what he has, and up his trade value.

 

If I"m a 35 year old Hainsey, I might be trying to get 3 years more though. He's not going to just do it for us. Still, I have to think we are looking at that.

 

On the 7 D, I'm not talking about every game, but it is a good point that extending Hainsey might be better. The other thing about that is that if Murphy steps up, we can still trade him if we expose Hainsey instead.

Edited by remkin

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Hainsey has to know that re-signing with the Canes might very well be the equivalent of signing with Vegas.   So that might not be an automatic, especially given that Hainsey is at an age where playing for a contender is probably important to him.  

 

It's a similar dynamic that I brought up as a possible contributing factor to the Canes buying out Wiz.  Granted, that's a long shot, but it still nags at me as Wiz signed through the season after next would have seemed to be exactly what the Canes need on the back line right now; another proven R d-man, expansion bait, and additional veteran leadership.

Edited by LakeLivin

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Hainsey has to know that re-signing with the Canes might very well be the equivalent of signing with Vegas.   So that might not be an automatic, especially given that Hainsey is at an age where playing for a contender is probably important to him.  

 

It's a similar dynamic that I brought up as a possible contributing factor to the Canes buying out Wiz.  Granted, that's a long shot, but it still nags at me as Wiz signed through the season after next would have seemed to be exactly what the Canes need on the back line right now.

 

I disagree with the contention that an extension of Hainsey would be the equivalent of signing with Vegas. He is 35 and just because he is exposed does not mean he is desirable. In fact, given the rules of 7/3/1 or 8/1 for protection, there should be more top four defenseman available than top 6 forwards. Thus, he is not as likely to be taken from us as say a Stempniak or a young guy like McGinn that can be sent to their AHL team. So, if Hainsey were offered a slight overpayment for two years where he can slide into the 7th D spot if a guy like Fleury or Bean or Carrick beats him out of a starting job, that would be great for us and carry very little risk to him of playing in Vegas.

 

Also, signing Wiz would not have worked as easily. If we extended Wiz, then his current NMC would have meant he had to be protected for the expansion draft unless he waived it. He might not have been as willing to do that. Plus, he would have to also get the games in, something that Hainsey already has given he played in almost all 82 last year.

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I disagree with the contention that an extension of Hainsey would be the equivalent of signing with Vegas. He is 35 and just because he is exposed does not mean he is desirable. In fact, given the rules of 7/3/1 or 8/1 for protection, there should be more top four defenseman available than top 6 forwards. Thus, he is not as likely to be taken from us as say a Stempniak or a young guy like McGinn that can be sent to their AHL team. So, if Hainsey were offered a slight overpayment for two years where he can slide into the 7th D spot if a guy like Fleury or Bean or Carrick beats him out of a starting job, that would be great for us and carry very little risk to him of playing in Vegas.

 

Also, signing Wiz would not have worked as easily. If we extended Wiz, then his current NMC would have meant he had to be protected for the expansion draft unless he waived it. He might not have been as willing to do that. Plus, he would have to also get the games in, something that Hainsey already has given he played in almost all 82 last year.

 

I guess I shouldn't have said it might be the equivalent of signing with Vegas, I should have said it would most likely open him up to exposure.  And while I agree with you about the likelihood of him being selected, his willingness to open himself up to that risk would be his personal decision that I'd hesitate to gauge. 

 

I'm pretty sure I read that expiring NTCs won't be required to be automatically protected (which makes sense).  So as long as we didn't include that provision in an extension for Wiz I don't see that as being a factor.  Plus, Wiz would know that part of the reason  for the extension would be as expansion bait, so that would be factored into his decision making as to whether to extend with the Canes in the first place. Which adds to my suspicions; if it was me and if the scenario did play out like that, I'd want to be overpaid to extend knowing I'd be expansion bait (I'm guessing if Wiz has a comeback year he'd be more attractive than Hainsey).  And I could see RF not wanting to overpay (he might not get picked), making the retention of Wiz for the remainder of his contract less desirable.  Like I said, that's all just a wild hunch.  Who knows, maybe there's doubts about Wiz's full recovery/ durability after the injury, especially given that he'd need 40 games this year to qualify.    

Edited by LakeLivin

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http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2649942-the-10-nhl-teams-that-have-improved-the-most-in-the-2016-offseason/page/10

 

Bleacher report has the Canes as the #2 most improved team in the league. It's interesting that they have us that high given that outside of maybe Teravainen, our moves were pretty low key, and our improvement to largely come from guys getting better and slotting Aho in there. Often national media types miss that stuff.

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Speaking of Aho, check out the Hockey Writers top 10 NHL prospects:

 

http://thehockeywriters.com/nhls-top-prospects-part-two/

 

He's getting a lot of hype but I still believe 30-35 points would be a reasonable expectation.  Any more points than that would be pure gravy.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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We need Lindholm.  I'm going with a breakout year.

 

It will be interesting to watch how all these young Euro players - count em up - it's a lot, help each other be Canes.

I'd love to see Lindholm with TERAVAINEN as I think Lindholm would light it up with TT on his side. I'm not so sure we will see that pairing initially as TT will probably be up in line assignments. I'd still like to see the experiment.

   

 

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I'd love to see Lindholm with TERAVAINEN as I think Lindholm would light it up with TT on his side. I'm not so sure we will see that pairing initially as TT will probably be up in line assignments. I'd still like to see the experiment.

I think it's better to have Aho and Stempniak on his wings. Stempniak will provide Lindholm the veteran presence he will need to handle the performance pressure. We could put TT and Stempniak there but I don't believe Aho is ready for top line minutes with Rask.

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Speaking of Aho, check out the Hockey Writers top 10 NHL prospects:

 

http://thehockeywriters.com/nhls-top-prospects-part-two/

 

He's getting a lot of hype but I still believe 30-35 points would be a reasonable expectation.  Any more points than that would be pure gravy.

He's in lofty company on this list, even if he's tenth.  Thanks for posting the info.

Edited by Manwolf

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Speaking of Aho, check out the Hockey Writers top 10 NHL prospects:

 

http://thehockeywriters.com/nhls-top-prospects-part-two/

 

He's getting a lot of hype but I still believe 30-35 points would be a reasonable expectation.  Any more points than that would be pure gravy.

 

Yeah that is heady stuff indeed. Aho is the only second rounder in the top 10 and only one of two in the top 20. Most of those guys are mid or high first rounders. Also it is pretty much a list of guys from the last two drafts, so that makes it even more impressive. 

 

I know a lot of people don't like plus-minus, and I admit it's a shaky stat, but Aho keeps coming out at the very top of plus minus lists. He was right at the top in World Juniors, and won the award for best plus/minus in his Finish Men's league. Whatever it means, it can't be bad. And I like it.

Edited by remkin

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Speaking of point projections, Jeff Skinner last years point pace:

 

Pre All Star: 45 points

Post All Star: 61 points

 

But what surprised me was that it was all assists. His goal pace was actually higher Pre All Star (though really basically constant). As the year went on, he started passing much better. That bodes very well for him. 

 

Also his plus minus at -2 was a big improvement and put him in the top half of the team.

 

Skinner has 65 points or better in him.  (Hard to believe but he put up 63 at 18 years old. But one would think he could do that or better now).

Edited by remkin

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Janne Kuokkanan is headed to North America.   Just signed with the London Knights.  If he was committed to coming over I'm ecstatic he is going to London.

 

http://londonknights.com/article/london-signs-kuokkanen

 

I like the idea of European prospects getting a feel for the North American ice. Interesting also to see them vs. guys in the Junior system. 

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I heard some say it's better for his development if he stayed in Europe due to the league he would play in compared to juniors. Yes it is a North American rink but that's pretty much it.

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I'd love to see Lindholm with TERAVAINEN as I think Lindholm would light it up with TT on his side. I'm not so sure we will see that pairing initially as TT will probably be up in line assignments. I'd still like to see the experiment.

FWIW Michael Smith had the following in his latest Tweetmail, assuming Nesty is good to go:

 

Nordstrom-Staal-Nestrasil

Skinner-Rask-Stempniak

Teravainen-Lindholm-Aho

Stalberg-McClement-Bickell

 

I can totally see those. With everybody on that third line able to play every forward position, its relative youth doesn't scare me. But if I'm the opposition, its speed sure would.

 

I just don't see Stempniak projecting anywhere outside the top six, at least not in the first half. He put up 51 points last year, equal to Skinner's team-leading total, and Rask was only three points behind both of them--meaning that (potential) line's members had 150 points last year among them. Stempniak is an assist machine. I think he was acquired for the very specific purpose of added playmaking presence with, and a steadying veteran influence for, Rask and Skinner.

 

If Nesty isn't ready, I could see PDG slotting in his place until he is, and maybe longer. Bickell is a huge question mark, one we won't know the answer to until we see him in camp and pre-season. I'm hopeful he is physically able to seize the opportunity and that he does so, but if not, I could see RF buying him out, Nesty moving to the 4th, and PDG finding a home with Staal and Nordstrom. TT was the guy we wanted in that deal; if Bickell can come all the way back, good for us and for him--but if not, we've got other options.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Well if there is a "stay the course" argument then it's with Krejci. 5 more years at 7.25 mil and is injury ridden? Big pass.

 

Absolutely. Can't touch that.

 

hammer_3.jpg?itok=XZt5ATQ8

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I heard some say it's better for his development if he stayed in Europe due to the league he would play in compared to juniors. Yes it is a North American rink but that's pretty much it.

 

Research the London Knights organization.  Maybe unfamiliar with recent happenings?  They are stacked again for next season.  Juolevi and Rubstov signed there as well.

 

And this coming from a guy who holds the Swedish and Finnish leagues in high regard.

 

I think if it's any other team he would have likely stayed in Europe.  The Knights drafted the kid in the Euro draft and the stars aligned.

 

Now I can read about him in English without Google translate.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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How much clearer does Pastor Bill have to be when he stated specifically that "Rasker and Staal" are the number one and two centers?

 

I love links in the doldrums but this one doesn't scream "one more piece" to me. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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