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Sadly, and it will surprise nobody to read this from me, i think his trade value was higher at the trade deadline last year than it ever will be again.  The first half of the season he was red hot on the power-play and was even almost lukewarm on defense a couple times; the second half of the season he was either injured (and barely missed) or pedestrian.  Wish i could say otherwise but i don't see that hot streak ever happening again. I think we'll all be considering him our 4th-best defenseman by this year's deadline, as will the rest of the league.  And nobody's going to give much for a 4th d-man making that much money.  One man's opinion, of course, but i don't see him as the prime real estate most Hurricane fans do.

 

It wasn't one man's opinion, there were several of us who thought it was the right time to trade him and there was a somewhat sensational counterargument to that that basically said, "We finally got a good DMan and it is insanity to want to trade him."

 

Opinions vary of course, but I believe in "buy low, sell high" and that was all the argument was about from my perspective.  Only time will tell who was right on this score.

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The Land of Misfit Toys.

 

The last time we had a land of misfit toys feel it was 2005-2006.  A lot of people forget the question marks a lot of those pickups carried with them.  We only remember the results.  Whitney, Williams, Stillman, Cullen all had issues, and we got really lucky, they all seemed to pan out.  Maybe it was the year off, everyone could be healthy.

 

So there is a lot to like about especially the young D and the offensive depth we are developing. Good stuff.

 

But, there are historically two positions that just about every cup contender almost always has: a really good 1C, and a really really good top Dman.

 

Here is a list of the best defensemen in the league.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/positional-rankings--projecting-the-nhl-s-top-25-defensemen-in-2016-17-222712129-nhl.html

 

To truly contend we pretty much need to have a guy on that list. I do wonder if we would have taken D men with our first draft pick the last 3 years if Management was sure Faulk was that guy.

 

There is a very tight correlation between the top half of that list and playoffs.

 

Can Faulk get on that list? I think Hanifin will eventually.

 

Once again, under the radar Canes.  Too early for some of our guys to have garnered the attention, but we will have an upper echelon D this season and whether or not any of them are top 25 yet, the overall D will be in the top half of the league at least.

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It wasn't one man's opinion, there were several of us who thought it was the right time to trade him and there was a somewhat sensational counterargument to that that basically said, "We finally got a good DMan and it is insanity to want to trade him."

 

Hag, this is just plain over simplistic and isn't even close to being accurate and if you want to talk sensationalism well then pot meet kettle.

 

The counter opinion was he was a top-pair right D-man and trading him now would leave a huge gaping hole in the lineup going into this season.  Many acknowledged that it wouldn't preclude trading him in the future when we know more of what we have with the young guys and d prospects going forward and we actually have someone to replace him.

 

Let's be fair here if this same conversation is going to be dug up all over again using the weakest stat in the history of sports as justification.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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We really should probably trade Lindholm now.  It's obvious.  I mean just look at that plus-minus.  Awful. 

 

2013-14:  -14

2014-15:  -23

2015-16:  -23

 

Plus minus is a very useful stat over long stretches, he's -60 over his career.  Seriously, that crappy plus minus really takes some doing.

 

Well since your throwing my words up, I guess I need to respond, though something tells me best not to.

 

In terms of takes some doing, I was specifically referring to having a dramatically worse plus minus over a year or two than your linemates who are on the ice with you the majority of every shift. Well, wait a minute, that does apply to Lindholm.

 

Lindholm's plus minus does point out a problem that he has had over the last couple of years. He was last on the team in plus minus last year and second to last the year before. Playing in front of the same goalies as everyone else, and worse than his linemates during that whole time. He does have to fix that. But trade hIm? Well I have never said that. What would he return? Not much.

 

The point is that Lindholm has the talent and ability to turn that around the way Skinner did. But he does have to improve it.

 

You know I have been with you calling for a big year from Lindholm. But are you saying his far and away team worst plus minus over a two year span means nothing? Two years ago Skinner was one point worse than him. He came back, dramatically improved his defensive coverage and went from last to mid pack and really pretty good. Lindholm went from second to last, to last.

 

He was thrown out there too young, and maybe has never really learned to be an NHL pro player to this point. But he still has lots of talent and is young and apparently training right this year. He can turn it around. Would you be good with another -23 this year?

 

Lindholm is pretty opposite situation as Faulk in that Faulk supposedly is seen as an elite dman, and could bring back an elite forward. And in terms of organizational depth it is heavier on D.  But at the end of the day, after kicking that can during a boring off-season, I did not favor trading Faulk anyways, including taking your point about right handed thinness on the roster. Though if Faulk does not clean up the D zone and we could have had Taylor Hall? Time will tell.

Edited by remkin

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To me, reading your argument using plus minus was just as ridiculous as mine was to you using Elias Lindholm.  That's about it.   Highly sarcastic as it was. :)

 

Wanting to upgrade the forward position using Faulk as trade bait when his fan value was high is perfectly legit.  It needs no plus minus sauce on top. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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To me, reading your argument using plus minus was just as ridiculous as mine was using Elias Lindholm. That's about it.

So in your honest opinion Faulk can play good defense?

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It depends on what you define as defense.  It's transition and points scored IMO in today's game.  At least in the system being utilized by Bill Peters.

 

Ottawa fans hammer on Karrlson on his "defense" yet he's widely considered the top d-man in the league (and I'm not comparing Faulk to Karrlson).

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Sorry I farted in the pool.

 

Is anybody actually worried about the blueline?  Or what list the team or any player ends up on?

 

This roster and how management and the coaching staff go about their business seems like the Land of Misfit Toys all over again.

 

I think the Canes are going to sneak up on a lot of people.  I may ultimately be wrong and it could be a house of cards waiting to fall but I don't think so.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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To me, reading your argument using plus minus was just as ridiculous as mine was to you using Elias Lindholm.  That's about it.   Highly sarcastic as it was. :)

 

Wanting to upgrade the forward position using Faulk as trade bait when his fan value was high is perfectly legit.  It needs no plus minus sauce on top. 

 

OK. Sometimes I just don't know when you have the sarcasto-meter pegged to full on. :huh: .  (First time I've ever used that emoticon).

 

But, I know you don't like plus/minus, but do you think it ever has any value?

 

I do think that cup contenders tend to have a true stud d man. It may be the most important thing that is most universally present in cup finalists. Ironically, I think our guys in 05-06 might be the last team not to really have that guy. Wesley probably was, but he was on the back end of his career by then.

 

I don't really care specifically if Faulk or one of our guys end up on a list of 25 guys, since those lists are so subjective, but if we don't have a guy in a list of the top 25, we probably don't have "that" guy.

 

Again, I'm not saying Faulk can't be "that" guy any more than Lindholm might not turn awesome, just that we haven't seen it yet.

 

And, I do think we can make the playoffs without "that" stud dman, just hard to actually get through and win the cup. So, if that is true, we have to eventually have a guy like that.

 

And, I do think that Hanifin can become that guy, heck, I think he will become that guy, but he isn't really close yet. And I love Hanifin, but, not to poke the "plus minus" bear, but Hanifin at -14 was near the bottom of the team despite bottom pairing and protected starts. I love the kid, but he's only 19 and still has some things to work out. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Give him another year or two and he could well be there.

Edited by remkin

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The sarcasto-meter is appropriately pretty much plugged in full-on in August every year. ;)

 

With that said, yes, you are right.  Teams who are true contenders have guys on lists.  We need guys on lists

 

Maybe I'm just not getting it.  I admit I look at "defense" much different than a lot of people.  Probably to a fault at times. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Hag, this is just plain over simplistic and isn't even close to being accurate and if you want to talk sensationalism well then pot meet kettle.

 

The counter opinion was he was a top-pair right D-man and trading him now would leave a huge gaping hole in the lineup going into this season.  Many acknowledged that it wouldn't preclude trading him in the future when we know more of what we have with the young guys and d prospects going forward and we actually have someone to replace him.

 

Let's be fair here if this same conversation is going to be dug up all over again using the weakest stat in the history of sports as justification.

 

Sure, all true, and over simplistic in the interest of brevity is all I was going for.  Anyone can go read the discussion, it went on for days.

 

How is this for simplistic?  We were pretty bad at forward, looking pretty promising on D, and some thought if we could get a great return for Faulk at the time in the forward ranks then it might be a good time to do it because some feel he had/has peaked.  This view was called out by some as psycho, and I just don't think it is/was.

 

The reality was that it didn't happen, and we'll find out if Faulk peaked or not over the next few years.

 

To be honest, the plus/minus thing had no bearing on my post.  I was just responding to Realm saying it was one man's opinion, and yeah, it bugged me at the time that the thinking that you might be able to accelerate the repair of the forward ranks by taking advantage of Faulk's situation was ridiculous (by some, and at this point I really don't even remember who was on what side at the time).

 

At the time, I did acknowledge that it was a big risk, i.e. no Faulk, but if you remember we had demonstrated playing without him for quite a while while he was injured.

 

Oh well, no offense intended.  FWIW, my view is overall +/- is greatly influenced by the team, but relative +/- to your teammates is more meaningful.  So numbers in a vacuum comparing team to team can be very misleading.

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None taken.  Your right, some did dismiss a potential trade to upgrade the forward ranks as ridiculous.  I wasn't one of them.  It's still a legit point, even though it didn't happen.

 

I was only commenting to clear up that the counter-argument, as you put it, as being somewhat "sensational",  was a little more than that to a lot of people, myself included.

 

Maybe the bigger point is that somebody on D is going to get traded for an upgrade elsewhere.  If may be Faulk, somebody else, or it could be a prospect or two, but it's going to happen.  It's just a matter of time. 

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Well for me, and as always, just one fan's opinion, I definitely condensed it down to this: if we are going to trade defense for offense that can help now and in the future, Faulk was the only guy that fit the bill. It actually started with a trade proposal by someone else (Lake started a poll on it).

 

But I think no other defenseman we have would have the trade weight to bring back a young guy with elite forward ability. And even a guy full of potential like Fleury would not even bring say Drouin. It had to be Faulk or hold.

 

The fact that Faulk the could draw say Hall (admittedly a rumor, but the rumor went that Francis wanted more than a straight up trade), would point out that he was the only guy good enough to draw a young elite forward back.  Probably could have had Ryan Johansen for him too, though that one was more controversial, at least the guy is a IC, while Hall is a winger. Personally, I wanted Draisaitl, who I believe will be Malkin to McDavid's Crosby, but I don't think the Oliers are letting Draisatl go anywhere.

 

Still, Taylor Hall, former #1 overall pick, is only 24, and has averaged .86 ppg over his career. That's 70 points for a full 82 game season. Last year was kind of an off year for him, and he was still #20 for forwards on the leader board in points.

 

Faulk has yet to prove that he can put it together to be that guy you build your defense around to get a cup. This does not mean he couldn't still do it. But his defensive zone coverage is below that level. Yet, his stock (we think) is high. If Faulk tightens his D and keeps the O going, he could be that guy. BUT if he ends up really being more of a middle of the pack D man with nice offensive upside, then long term it would suggest a trade would have been worth it. Especially give our defensive depth.

 

For me, not moving Faulk this off-season came down to three major things.

 

1. Coastal made the excellent point, that if we plan to keep people on their natural side, we are thinner on the R side where Faulk plays. Guys can play their off side, but if trying to really nail a tight maximum potential D, you would like guys on their natural side.

 

2. This defense, full of unparalleled depth and promise, may not be ready this year, to make a run without Faulk, especially if a key injury hits. Hanifin, while busting with natural ability, and way better than almost all young D men, is not Ekblad. He is not instantly NHL elite. He is still so far ahead of the curve it hurts, but will he have a sophomore slump? Stay inconsistent? Improve a lot? Unknown. He's 19. He'll get better every year, but how good this year?

 

If we traded Faulk and had to count on Murphy or McKeown, of Fleury (putting guys on their off sides). If Hainsey goes down for a while. It might not look even as good as last year.

 

This defense is not quite ready to not have Faulk. Maybe next year.

 

And as much as the plan is to stick to the plan, I don't think Francis is ready to sacrifice this season.

 

 

3. Finally, successful teams do get substantial offense from at least one or two D men. You need at least some threat there. I think that plays in also. This was the ppg for our D men:

 

Faulk: .58

Murphy: .34

Slavin: .31

Hanifin: .29

Pesce: .23

Hainsey: .23 (.12 year before)

JML: .23

 

The offense runs by getting the puck up to forwards and out, and Faulk did that and scored PP goals.

 

Personally, I think Slavin, Pesce, and especially Hanifin will continually grow their offense, and Murphy could surprise, but until they do, Faulk is the clear dominant one in terms of points from the blue line.

 

So, in the end, while tempting, it was too soon to make that move. I'm not shocked if as we find out what we have in McKeown, and Fleury, heck even maybe Murphy, that trade might still happen at some point. But not yet.

Edited by remkin

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Peters, in the past has said he wants a more active defense. A defense that can transition and become part of the offense. Well Faulk does that.  He was also injured at the end of last season so maybe we are putting him under a microscope instead of enjoying what he brings to the team. I don't know the answer but just pondering the possibility we are holding him to a higher standard.

 

When your D is active on offense sometimes your going to get caught out of place. This puts a lot of pressure on forwards to cover. IMO Peters has put the correct emphasis on the forwards, making them play a two way game. Scoring has suffered but our overall team defense has improved.

 

My question is as the forwards grow and develop and hopefully become more of a scoring threat will the defense be called on to play more of a traditional defensive game. I'm not sure but I doubt it. This system to be successful needs a active defense. That means taking calculated chances and relying on team play to cover for you. Perhaps I'm seeing this wrong but at the moment that is how I see it. 

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Considering the offense couldn't score to save their lives last year why would Faulk have an impressive +/-? He coulda played his *edit* off on defense and if the offense never scores the pucks bound to eventually go in your own goal at some point.

 

As the offense begins to turn the corner so will his +/- which likely won't be this year unless we get about 5 major surprises.

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Considering the offense couldn't score to save their lives last year why would Faulk have an impressive +/-? He coulda played his *edit* off on defense and if the offense never scores the pucks bound to eventually go in your own goal at some point.

 

As the offense begins to turn the corner so will his +/- which likely won't be this year unless we get about 5 major surprises.

 

Very true and couple that with Faulk skating the lions share of D minutes a game he is bound to be out on the ice for a good number of goals against. 

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Considering the offense couldn't score to save their lives last year why would Faulk have an impressive +/-? He coulda played his *edit* off on defense and if the offense never scores the pucks bound to eventually go in your own goal at some point.

 

 

Well, had he played his edit off on defense we wouldn't be having this conversation, but for my own part i haven't seen much of that.  I have seen, as i've mentioned, a howitzer on the power play coupled with quite a few times being beaten in puck battles as well as laying out some damned tasty turnovers that ended up in the Canes' net.  Yes, the lack of scoring from the forwards affected the +/- of the defensemen, but he's the only one affected to a full -22 last season, -9 below any other defenseman on the team.  OBX makes a solid point of course about the minutes he pulls in a game (most of which coming against top line opponents, i also realize), but i still have to think if he's not over his head as a recurring All-Star making more $$$ than any other 3 Hurricane defensemen combined he might make enough of a defensive impact to help keep some of those pucks out of the net, or at the very least cut back on the cross-ice gifts - many other solid #1 d-men accomplish this.  3 years straight he's had the worst +/- of all Hurricane defensemen (the first of those years sharing it with Hainsey and Murphy), with that number getting increasingly worse despite what many here think is a team slowly on the rise.  He's still young, this i know, and i do hope for a turnaround... but for the time being i still hold on to my opinion that his peak value has passed.

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I know the plus minus debate can be a tough one because it is a fusion stat, largely affected by the other guys on the ice, including things like d zone starts, skill of opposition, etc.

 

But I do think the following points have validity in attempting to adjust for those confounders:

 

1. Look over long periods of time. Plus minus for a short string of games is usually not that helpful. But over time a lot of things start to even out.

 

2. At the extremes. The guy with substantial starts, who is leading the team in plus-minus, may be doing something right.

 

3. Compared to the rest of the team. Sure, the Canes have had a negative team plus minus for a while now. But if a certain player (say Lindholm) is at the very bottom of the list and standard deviations from the mean, two straight years, that is useful information.They are playing in front of the same goalies, and other factors average out some.

 

4. Compared to linemates. There are moments during shifts as lines change, where one guy is out there without his partner (s). I think that Faulk's plus minus being substantially worse than Hainsey and before him Sekera, when they were paired together the good majority of time has some value.

 

To me if a guy really stands out positive or negative in most or all of those 4 things, it is worth looking at. Sure, I think you should still look at the zone starts, and competition, and even any other qwirks (guy was injured during good team play, then returned when whole team stunk, etc).

 

My take, plus/minus is a very problematic stat. But if a guy is on the good or bad extreme of his team and his linemates over a decent stretch of time, it has value.

Edited by remkin

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Well just to be clear from my end, on Faulk.

 

I think he is still, overall, an above average D man, and at present our only guy that brings offense. I have seen defensive acumen in him, but (ironically since you mention Ward, who has similar issues) he lacks consistency on the defensive shut down end of things. I personally think that the skill is there. I remember being very impressed with his defense, ironically a few years ago, but the last two years he's struggled at times on defense, occasionally glaringly.

 

This has been pointed  out multiple times by (homer) Trip Tracey BTW, who many times mentioned that if Faulk could tighten that end of the game he would become a top 20 type D man. Trip, who generally looks out for the boys called him out several times in that way the last two years.

 

The main thing bringing Faulk into the cross-hairs a bit, is that we need elite forwards, and he could bring one back (a testament to how good he his, actually).

 

I think most of the Faulk negativity is relative. His trade value could be higher than his current play has been. And his two year All Star status, may be a bit overrated based on the last two years on the ice, where he could be a true all around stud dman, not that he's not good, or that our losing is his fault. I don't think that anyways. Just that he seems to have the talent to be elite.

 

I personally think his plus minus suggest that defensively he has not been as good as Sekera, and probably even Hainsey. I think that is a legitimate issue keeping him from being his best self.

 

Since I don't think he will (or should) be traded this year, I am hoping that he shows more defensive consistency and becomes the player that he (I think) has the talent to be. If he does, that will lock down a key element of a winning team. Heck defense is a hard position to get to that level. He is still well below the peak age for D men.

 

As I look to Lindholm to breakout, and Rask to step up, I look to Faulk to batten down the dzone a bit, and step up to elite.

Edited by remkin

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I admit it, my last post was a little snarky. Not without some merit but a little snarky.

 

Discussion concerning Faulk is fair, After all he is one of out team leaders and I will admit his defensive game could be tightened up.

 

IMO we don't have anybody at the moment who has proven they can bring to the ice what Faulk brings. That could change but at the moment no other Dman except Hainsey has a body of work at the NHL level. Certainly the potential is there but until they can put a couple of more seasons together we can't be sure.

 

Faulks reputation is he plays big and he is tough to play against. He skates big minutes and he skates behind lines that at times couldn't put the puck in an empty net. He played the first part of the season in front of questionable goal tending. He is fourth in goals for us, fifth in total points, had twice as many power play goals (12) as the next player (Staal 6), and did it in 64 games.

 

Anybody think if he hadn't been injured he wouldn't of been a 20 goal scoring D-man?

 

I'm not one that thinks anyone is untouchable but unless we have a player(s) that can fill the hole I think I'll stick with Faulk.

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remkin

I personally think his plus minus suggest that defensively he has not been as good as Sekera, and probably even Hainsey. I think that is a legitimate issue keeping him from being his best self.

 

 

 

Speak of the devil...

 

 

Ron Hainsey sighting today at RCI. Canes slowly starting to trickle back into town.

 

 

 

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When Peters came here, one of the first things he talked about was having the D jump in on the rush more.  Is it possible that they are asking Faulk to do more offensively (especially since the team is offensively challenged) knowing that it is hurting his defensive game?  He's still a young guy and learning, while being leaned on to log some pretty hefty minutes.  I'm not ready to toss him out just yet.

 

I do think a trade is possible, and probably likely down the road if the prospects continue to round into form. 

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When Peters came here, one of the first things he talked about was having the D jump in on the rush more.  Is it possible that they are asking Faulk to do more offensively (especially since the team is offensively challenged) knowing that it is hurting his defensive game?  He's still a young guy and learning, while being leaned on to log some pretty hefty minutes.  I'm not ready to toss him out just yet.

 

I do think a trade is possible, and probably likely down the road if the prospects continue to round into form. 

 

Hey Mike, are you trying to say "My guys are solid"?

 

 

I'm not ready to toss him out either, unless I toss him out and get a lot back, and if Hall wasn't enough nothing realistically will be.

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