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I sympathize with bluedevil. He's tired of year after year of missing the playoffs. But we can't judge the current regime as one that's missed the playoffs for 7 years. They've only been in charge for 2 seasons. I fully agree that we don't have the elite forwards to compete with Washington or Pittsburgh. But then again there is no realistic scenario where we compete with the reigning presidents and cup winners this year. Signing the top free agents wouldn't put us any closer to competing with these teams. The only way to get the elite talent these teams do is to tank, which I don't think anyone wants to do right now. I agree with bluedevil that there is a problem but I don't agree with his solution. We have one friend in this, and that is the cap that will even the talent gap. Right now the pens and caps have elite stars and depth, but that will only last 1 more year. Their windows pretty much close then. Tampa will also be in big trouble. When these teams can't afford their talent anymore they have to eject them to other teams (ex. Teravainen, saad). They'll get worse while we get better. This is just the cycle of the modern nhl. Next season we could have a chance to grab a kucherov, a drouin, or a draisaitl. All elite players. I think Ladd, okposo, and Lucic are overrated and would soon be surpassed by our cheaper prospects soon anyways. Sadly, I just don't see any chance that we are contenders in the near future, but we can compete for the 3rd metro spot or any of the wild card spots. The metro is probably the most brutal division for now but the Atlantic is weak and might not get a wildcard team in. That said I totally understand if you would be angry that Francis passed up elite talent in Taylor hall, but that's another discussion. For me, or goaltending is the biggest issue, we were 29th in sv% last year! Mostly cause of the first half of the season. If we get even just second half lack and cam for a full season I think we're in the playoffs.

Now regarding teravainen, yes he was on an elite team but was misused. He was thrown all over the lineup kind of like lindholm has been but TT was often out with bottom line grinders that had no finish. There's just not room for him right now in stacked Chicago. I think his offense will spike here in a top six role with players that actually have a lot of skill (lindholm and aho). I'm really excited for this line, hopefully lindy and TT can break out when they actually have a set role. I actually believe this could be an elite line in a few years down the road.

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Good post donwake,

 

Got me thinking about elite talent. It is true that it generally comes from the very top of the draft. But not all of it. Looking down the top 20 point forwards over the years, I've noticed that about 60% of them are from the top 1-5 picks and especially 1-3. But there are very important outliers too. I  don't just mean super late round guys like Gaudreau (4th round), Benn (5th Round), or Pavelski (7th round), but mid to late first rounders and second rounders: Giroux (22nd overall), Pacioretti (22nd overall), Getslaff (19th) and Perry (28th). Imagine where Anaheim would be if they didn't hit on those late first rounders in Getslaff and Perry.

 

I'm not sure we don't have elite talent in our midst.

 

Aho has already come out in the top 10 picks on a redraft of his year AND the prior year combined. I really think we have a late round steal in Gauthier, who could be Perry-like in his move from late first round to star. And while he was a high 1st round pick, it is too early to shovel dirt on Lindholm as a possible star.

 

But your post actually got me back to thinking about TT. Since Chicago gets on TV a lot, I can remember watching this kid play. He is not a big bruiser, but the skills are elite. I remember watching him as a rookie in the playoffs he was great in, and thought, how does Chicago get another high skill guy? He fit right in, especially on the PP, with Kane et all. I don't know how many points he ends up putting up this year, it is always tricky adjusting to a new team, but we are going to like his skill level. I don't know how many points he starts producing in other future years, because it all has to come together to be elite in the NHL, but my money is on "a lot".

 

I am really really really eager to see that Lind and Finns line in action, because playing with that much skill could be just what the doctor ordered for Lindholm.....oh and Aho.....oh and TT.

 

Zykov and Saarela were both very highly touted players w Saarela once thought to have elite skill. People are ga-ga already about Kuokkanen, and Roy, tagged as a steal right after his draft went back and destroyed Juniors, and he's got the big body too. And there's others from PDG and McGinn to Tolchinski and Foegle.

 

And don't forget that Andrew Poturalski, was #2 in points in the nation in college hockey as a sophomore.

 

So while it is still possible Francis has to make a trade for elite talent at some point, it is also possible that it is already here, we just don't know it yet.

Edited by remkin

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Nice post donwake. I agree that we can't judge this team on past performances. Every evaluation has to be made in what has happened over the past two seasons.

 

I do believe at some point in the rebuild we will need to acquire a high end proven NHL player (notice I avoided saying elite). I suspect that will be by next season or perhaps later this season.

 

BD has a habit of posting points we may not wish to contemplate but many are valid points. There are still so many unanswered questions but this team has made so much progress in such a short time. I for one am optimistic. 

 

I think there was a good couple of reasons we extended Peters. He has done a good job beginning with changing the culture, RF seems comfortable with him, the players now know this is the man, this is the system. We will find out in another couple of years if it works but for now I'm happy with this teams progress.

 

Goaltending - settled but only in the short term.  

 

I'm  trying to catch up on all I missed during the sign-on problem. Anybody know what my password is ;)

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On Vesey: don't forget, the kid is already 23yo.  For reference, Aho just turned 19 and Lindholm doesn't turn 22 until December.  I'm not really mourning the fact that we were never in the Vesey race.  I'll take either of the previously mentioned Cane yutes over Vesey at this point. 

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Once Vesey made it clear he wanted Boston, New York or New Jersey I put him out of my mind.

 

A good prospect but I'm with Lake,  Aho  is just fine as our  top prospect.

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Yeah Vesey may turn into a nice NHL player, maybe a star, maybe not so much. The main point that I kept reading was he was a top 6 or 9 forward that could be had cheap and with no trade. So really he was far more tempting to cap strapped teams than anyone, and we are about the most opposite of that there is. It did seem to me that he was mainly courting big markets, but then it could also have been the other way around.

 

But not to be outdone, we have a college stud that while smaller in stature actually outscored Vesey.

 

Jimmy Vesey: 1.39 ppg

Andrew Poturalski: 1.41 ppg

 

But Vesey was a Senior, Poturalski was a Sophomore.

 

Jimmy Vesey sophomore year: .71 ppg.

Andrew Poturalski soph. year: 1.41 ppg.

 

Very possible in the long run we got the better guy.

Edited by remkin

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So I decided to do some research into what the points that Poturalski put up mean in context of this year's top collegiate scorers.

 

I had a long bit about Poturalksi doing this as a sophomore, but donwake pointed out that he's really older than the typical sophomore, so I edited this back to just the list.

 

First, there is generally a grouping of 11 guys at 1.31 ppg or higher. Then a bit of a drop off.

Again: Poturalski: 1.41 ppg.

 

The only players who solidly beat Poturalski's number were Kyle Conner at 1.87, and JT Compher, at 1.66 ppg.

 

Poturalski was tied for #6.

 

None of this, of course, means that the 5'10" Poturalski will produce in the NHL. Clearly the number of Junior and College scorers who don't produce in the NHL is legion. But it still remains the single biggest predictor none the less.

Edited by remkin

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Just one detail, rem. Poturalski is 22 years old. Not exactly your typical sophomore.

 

That is a good point. I missed that. Did he play in Juniors first?

 

I think I have to adjust some of that then. Edited the part about him doing it as a sophomore.

 

Still, he was in the top 6 for points per game overall.

Edited by remkin

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I still think these age old discussions of line configuration, ie Top line with super star(or 2), 2nd checking line, 3rd energy, etc, etc,etc, are being replaced by 4 lines with capable scorers on all, and all totally committed to defense if so, than we may not need that super star!! Now, do I agree that a Tavares, Crosby, Malkin or Kane would be nice, SURE, but there is no way to get one short of drafting one. One can't buy them on the UFA market until they have outlived their prime. We have never been afforded the good fortune of a "generational" talent  but I agree with rem, that we might have we might have some pretty good players as Diamonds In The Rough. If not, I still like what it appears that Bill Peters is building.

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We have some "kids" on the team that could develop into elite players. I don't think we should forget Skinner. The question is can he stay healthy but if he does he is going to be really good. Does anyone else think Skinner has the possibility to be a 50 goal guy?

 

Don't you think although a four line system is the trend, for us we use interchangeable lines, to a degree, because we don't have the luxury of having a true scoring line.  At least not yet. 

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Some teams can roll 3 scoring lines because they have that much talent, but most teams can't really. Pretty much every coach we've had has talked about trying to have three lines that can score, but we've had trouble finding two lines that can score. I'm not sure that the notion have having 3 scoring lines and even some points from the 4th line is a new concept, but it is hard to find enough legit scorers on one team to do it. If you go down the list of forwards on most teams, it really starts dropping off after 4-5 guys.

 

I would point out that having elite forwards if anything helps have the talent to roll three scoring lines. What you lose in cap issues, you gain back in having points locked in. See Chicago, Tampa and Pittsburgh.

 

Ironically, what Pittsburgh and even Chicago seem to be showing is that the idea that "defense wins championships" may be a bit overblown. Just about every cup winner has at least one stud: LeTang, Doughty, Keith, and that guy puts up points and moves the pucks and logs big minutes, and usually at least two other really good D men, but neither Pittsburgh, or Chicago two years ago, went super deep with all star defensemen.

 

(This is part of why I still think at some point we end up moving some d piece or pieces for that elite guy, a la Hall for Larsen. We could well have way more defense than we need or can pay for. I know some say you can't have too much defense, but look around the league, you really can't pay more than 3 dmen big bucks. Part of the trick is getting solid defense out of lower priced bottom d men).

 

But cup contenders almost always have two (or more) stud forwards. Typically both teams in the finals do, and the winner pretty much always does. Don't get me wrong, cup winners usually have sick depth too (like the 05-06 Canes did), but there is top talent up front too.

 

THAT said, if Aho and TT and Lindholm all find their game, (yes, these are if's but not stretches), I think we will be able to roll 3 lines that can score, maybe even 4. And while I don't think you get to the top level (Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tampa) without that elite talent, I do think you can get to the solidly in the playoffs level on very good players in depth.

 

This is all, of course, just my opinion, but it is based on observation and stats from the last 10 years of cup finalists.

 

But as posted above, GMRF has compiled a nice group of prospects with potentially elite talent, and more of them than ever before. He has taken the approach of accumulating picks and prospects and putting more and more chips on the Roulette table. I mean he went up and took all of our picks this year except the one that brought TT in. It will be very interesting to see what emerges from that field and if any become elite.

 

I personally think elite potential may lie in Aho, Lindholm, TT, Rask, Gauthier, Saarela, Roy, and Kuokkanen. And who knows who else? Poturalski? Foegle? Zykov? Maybe.

 

Skinner. I think Skinner has 40 goal potential. 50? That is just so hard to do these days. But he is still 3 years from typical peak age, and he can get on crazy runs. It will be interesting to see how he does with Rask and Stempniak. Neither is really a prototypical first line forward at least not yet.

 

I will say this about Skinner; while his assist totals are not elite, he seemed to have a bunch of really sweet primary assists, and he was much more defensively responsible. If he stays healthy, I do expect big things. I was thinking 40 would be amazing though.

 

If Skinner played with say a Backstrom, an attention grabbing passing wizard, who knows?

 

But Skinner does have elite potential.

 

One other guy that tends to be massively overlooked by the pundits is Jordan Staal. Few of the write-ups that suggest we may contend more than mention him, if they even mention him. He had underperformed his contract offensively for so long, and then started slow last year, that it seems to have obscured the fact that J. was on a ppg clip for a long time (I think 3 months, at least close to it). And I've brought up many times, J. in his last year with the Penguins, including the playoffs put up .86 ppg over 68 games (71 point pace). 

 

I still maintain that it is the fact that Jordan can produce with Nordstrom and Nestrasil that allows us to take our other 6 scoring guys and form the other two scoring lines.

I think this team needs a more traditional 70 point speedy playmaking type, ideally good sized to go with Skinner, but if Skinner is one, then we just need one more. If that guy is already here? Well we have the depth, we have the deep system, and we surely have the depth on D. If that guy emerges soon, all we'd need is some goaltending.

Edited by remkin

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rem I absolutley agree with your point " 3 scoring lines and even some points from the 4th line is a new concept". In fact i would say any successful team has a fourth line that can contribute. I think for too long the Canes treated the fourth line as a throw away line expecting only modest contributions. YUK!  I hated that.

 

​Do you agree that our top 9 is a little more interchangeable than many teams?  I don't object to that at the present time.

 

Ok..you got me, Skinner and 50. a bit of a stretch but I just wanted to emphasize his elite potential. With all our attention on the prospects I think we sometimes overlook Skinner.

 

All indications are that Nesty will be good to go but I remember Francis talking after the season and saying we have to be careful with that, meaning the injury.  So if Nesty can't go to start the season who would play with Nordy and J ?

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I think many coaches have bought into the 3 scoring lines thing. I know Mo and Muller talked about it, but we could never get three lines going. One of the most exciting things about this year, and I suspect it is at least some of what Kjun was getting at, is that we really could have three legit scoring lines, even if we don't have a true #1 line, and I agree.

 

This is why I keep saying that I do think that if we get that we will make the playoffs. We may not have a 70 point guy, but we really could have 7 guys above 40 points. And Nesty and Nordstrom and PDG all above 35. Last year one NHL team had 7 forwards over 40 points: Washington. Of course they had 3 guys over 70 too.

 

I am just so enamored with what Nesty/Staal/Nordstrom did, that I hate to break it up. But PDG would probably be first up for that promotion in my book. From the shut down point of view Stalberg would be the other name I would think of.

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Many moons ago I was thinking we had the potential for 7 or more 20 goal players. Never happened, but I looked at team's lineups all through the NHL to gauge how deep they went. So I decided to do it with 40 points or more forwards.

 

The most teams have exactly 4 forwards with 40 points or more (16 teams).

Only 3 teams had less than 4: Toronto had 2 (barely), and Vancouver and........Carolina had 3.

 

But only one team had 7 (as above Washington)

Only four had 6 guys: Col, DET, FlA, Min

Six had 5 guys: SJS, PIT, COL, OTT, BOS, NYR

 

Interesting to me:

 

Min, Det, Colorado had 6 guys. That is a lot of depth, but they were all bubble teams. Detroit and Min slipped in, but were out fast, and Colorado missed.

 

Tampa, Anaheim, St Louis, Dallas, Chicago, LA Kings all had but 4. But all had seriously elite forwards.

San Jose had 5 with elite forwards.

Florida had 6, but had two guys over 60 points.

 

So, very good depth alone last year was good for bubble teams (Det/Col/Min).

Elite forwards were much more important than spread scoring.

If you had both, you had Washington, San Jose, Pittsburgh.

 

I do think we could be in that 6 or even 7 grouping of 40 point guys, but to get above bubble, we need two to break 60 or more points. We had none last year.

Edited by remkin

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Mo and Muller both preached balanced lines, but all we ended up with was 4 lines that couldn't score

While I can't argue that, sd, there seems to be a vast difference in opinion in player personnel in Mo's and Mueller's scheme, and that of Bill Peters? Now, it seems obvious that the quality of our players is looking up, so maybe all this difference in on JR?

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Hahahaha, to relieve boredom of August lull, I switched over to hockeybuzz(must admit, I do that often and wish some of you would suggest your personal go to sites other than here), and looked at the poll being conducted. It asks, "After Pens and Caps, who is next best in Metro?" Surprise, surprise, Canes are ranked last(6th), with 2.01%. Eerily familiar to 05-06, no?

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Hahahaha, to relieve boredom of August lull, I switched over to hockeybuzz(must admit, I do that often and wish some of you would suggest your personal go to sites other than here), and looked at the poll being conducted. It asks, "After Pens and Caps, who is next best in Metro?" Surprise, surprise, Canes are ranked last(6th), with 2.01%. Eerily familiar to 05-06, no?

 

We get no respect, no respect.

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I would not expect fans of another team to see what's going on behind the scenes here. In the past though the national media and blogger types ran us down too. This year more of them have been paying attention and we seem to be a darling contrarian pick for more than a couple of them.

Edited by remkin

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As a fan on the outside looking in I see the following:

 

SKinner-Rask-Stemp

 

Nesty-Jordan-Nordy

 

Aho-Lindy-TT

 

Stahlberg-McClemment-Bickel

 

 I would then proceed to laugh and place us dead last in our division as well.  

Edited by bluedevil58

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Early season fan polls...throw them out the window. Until training camp we have no idea how the team looks.  We were on the edge last year and no reason at this point to think we won't at least be in the hunt this season.

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As a fan on the outside looking in I see the following:

 

SKinner-Rask-Stemp

 

Nesty-Jordan-Nordy

 

Aho-Lindy-TT

 

Stahlberg-McClemment-Bickel

 

 I would then proceed to laugh and place us dead last in our division as well.

Thank you, Mr Sunshine, always great to hear from you. You bring the art of contrarianism to new heights!! Edited by KJUNKANE

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