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9 hours ago, remkin said:

Fixing goalie and leaving the scoring where it is will fix us just enough get us a worse draft pick after next year.

I don't think anybody's suggesting it's an either-or, Rem. No question we need both. But I'm not in the camp that thinks with O upgrades alone, Cam gets us through--unless we somehow get Kane and Toews. 

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I agree it's fairly clear we need a 1st line forward and at least a backup with upside of someday stealing the starting position. Unlike any other position on the team I would think goalies who are looking to be a starter would have Carolina circled on their list, the jobs for the taking. Cam falters every year like clockwork, a guy like Darling or etc would just need to sit on the bench with a smile and wait.

 

I'm not saying a forward isn't important, it's extremely important. Our to do list isn't a fair name for it, it's not a list it's more like we need 2 top 6 forwards and a goalie in no certain order.

 

 

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I hate the either/or discussion but if we have to have it, goalie is the most important position on the ice, he is in there the whole 60 min.  You should at least have a guy in the top half of the league, especially when you have this much cap space.  We can afford to break the bank on a top goalie.

 

I want scoring too for the record.  I'm greedy, I want it all.

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Aside from Relocation (not saying it will happen).  The worst thing that can possibly happen this off season is if RF uses all his draft picks and then acquires a few 3rd liners / bargain players to fill some holes through free agency.

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9 minutes ago, bluedevil58 said:

Aside from Relocation (not saying it will happen).  The worst thing that can possibly happen this off season is if RF uses all his draft picks and then acquires a few 3rd liners / bargain players to fill some holes through free agency.

 

I would agree with all of the above 

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20 minutes ago, bluedevil58 said:

Aside from Relocation (not saying it will happen).  The worst thing that can possibly happen this off season is if RF uses all his draft picks and then acquires a few 3rd liners / bargain players to fill some holes through free agency.

Using our assets to acquire 3rd liners would sabotage the rebuild.  But I don't see much risk of that happening as we're already overstocked with legitimate 3rd liners (unlike past years when we'd be talking about replacing Terrys, Boychuks, Nashs, etc.)  RF still needs to acquire some top line talent, but at this point I see him doing nothing before using assets on more 3rd liners.  And for the record, doing nothing isn't an option, imo.

Edited by LakeLivin

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49 minutes ago, hag65 said:

I hate the either/or discussion but if we have to have it, goalie is the most important position on the ice, he is in there the whole 60 min.  You should at least have a guy in the top half of the league, especially when you have this much cap space.  We can afford to break the bank on a top goalie.

 

I want scoring too for the record.  I'm greedy, I want it all.

 

I understand but based on goal differential if we scored near the top 10, we would be a top 6 team.  +30 is where the top teams are.  If we scored 40 more goals to get us up to the top 10 in the league, we would be top 5 in goal differential.

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56 minutes ago, legend-1 said:

Unlike any other position on the team I would think goalies who are looking to be a starter would have Carolina circled on their list...

 

Yeah, I'm not so sure. BP sure made the prospects of coming here a bit less enticing with his public dressing down of Lack. 

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44 minutes ago, MinJaBen said:

 

Yeah, I'm not so sure. BP sure made the prospects of coming here a bit less enticing with his public dressing down of Lack. 

For a position that wasn't so inclusive maybe I think the beggars being choosers comes more into play but with only 31 starting gigs I just don't see it being an issue.

 

If BP's a *edit* to his forwards theres what 31 x 12 potential forward spots in the league for an established forward? Yea, I see players going elsewhere unless they like that kind of ferocity in coaching. 

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I have posted and agree that we need an upgrade in goal. But if you asked me if this year would have been better off with a top 10 goalie top 10 in scoring? It's easy. We need the scoring more.  We need to tighten goal a bit, we need to get more offense a lot.

 

We are #26 in "goals for", but that is before the fall from the cut-line,  I bet since the fall started we are close to LAST in goals for. I mean there's the evidence right there. We stopped scoring, we fell from the cut line to the bottom of the conference directly. (BTW the teams below us also can't score). On the other hand, we are #15/30 in goals against. Still, not where we want to be, but moving up to the top 10 in goals against would not get it done.

 

This is a sort of corollary to gocanes 0506, who got me thinking about this aspect of the argument:

 

If we hold our goals against where they are, but had the #10 offense as we speak, we'd have 191 GF, and 178 GA: +13. Solidly in the playoffs.

If we hold our goals for, and correct our goals against to #10 defense/goal, we'd have 154 GF and 170 GA: -16. Solidly out of the playoffs.

 

Put another way, right now, the last spot is requiring about a -2 goal differential. That would mean if we had 176 goals we'd be standing on the cut line with our current defense and goalies. That would be the #15 best offense. In other words, if we simply had the center mass average ability to score goals, we'd be in the playoffs right now.

 

It is possible to get there with the best shut down, but only the very best teams. We'd need to be top 4 in defense for our current offense to get us to just at the cut line. And the #5 D misses by a lot.

 

But there is no actual team that is in the playoffs with our number of goals for. There are 4 teams with our goals against.

 

Still, clearly, we need both, because only 4 teams in with our GA, is not good enough either.

 

But in the end it's like a car that has lost it's gas pedal and brake pedal. It isn't good enough to just fix one.

Edited by remkin

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I look back and this team has been missing a top line since at least the lockout year, and that year our defense and goalies were awful, and our stellar top line cooled off in the end. The problem is that we have also had sub par goaltending that whole time, and subpar defense a lot of it. That's kind of the whole team.

 

Still, the most glaringly consistent weakness over all of these losing years, is no legit NHL top line. Remember "Chad LaRose, top line winger"? Remember how we pined for a legit star winger for E. Staal to play with? Remember how good we ran when Tlusty-E-Semin was rolling, before Semin decided to retire while still playing? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

 

And here's another thing. Aside from getting in the playoffs, how about producing a fun to watch product on the ice? Speaking for myself, watching this team play hard, make some nice little plays, but mostly stay outside and go entire periods barely generating a decent scoring chance, gets tiring. That's not good, tight checking hockey, that's a team that lacks the high end NHL skill or speed needed to generate actual chances. That's a team that can't get it's own crowd into games. Yes, advanced analytic people, we generate shots; mostly harmless shots, and that gets old.

 

I do think we've made strides though. While it is fair for questions to creep in, I think that we have improved:

 

1. Defense top to bottom: Despite sub par goaltending, we are an average NHL defensive team with lots of youth, and more coming. But we are also set in top caliber defense. Hanifin is coming on, and will be elite. Slavin already is, and Pesce is elite shut down. If our top 4 is Slavin/Pesce/Hanifin/Faulk really that is pretty dang good, and that with McKeown, Fleury and Bean all in the pipeline.

 

2. GM: Francis has built a very strong defense, offensive depth, a very deep prospect pool and more picks in this draft than any team, by a margin. I still believe he has also secured a good coach.

 

3. Coach: It is fair to doubt Peters. This team, still made up of mostly the same guys, has utterly lost it's ability to score, and finds itself again near the bottom of the standings. We have no Captain, which could be a bold move, but hasn't worked out. But I still believe in him. I don't think our nice possession stats but poor goal scoring is his fault, I think we still don't have the top line horses for a league that requires skill up front. You have to have it to win anything. We don't have it.

 

4. Offensive depth: our 3-9 spots are playoff ready at least in terms of production. Gone are the Chris Terry's of the world in top 6 roles. Especially if we acquire 2 top line forwards and push down, we would roll 3 very strong lines. If 3-9 were Skinner, JStaal, Lindholm, Rask, TT, Aho, Stempniak, that would be solid.

 

We really are 2-3 players away. Number of players is not the problem. The problem is the type of players. They are the hardest ones to get.  We are 2 high-scoring forwards and one goalie away. This has been the age-old problem. How do you get those exact guys? Everyone wants them, few give them up. Mostly they are drafted at the tippy top of the draft, or traded due to bad contracts, off ice issues, or terrible teams, but even then, rarely, and 28 teams potentially fighting us for them.

 

If Ron Francis can crack that nut: converting all that potential: prospects and picks, and maybe one player into 1 or maybe even two top line forwards? We'd be at the cutline. Add a goalie and we'd be dangerous. But from Jordan Staal to A. Semin, we have not found that top line forward in years. Years ago, when we won the cup we had J Williams, C Stillman (still in good form), Ray Whitney and Eric Cole all w/ legit top line numbers to go with E Staal, and one Rod BrindAmour still in peak form as 2C, and that was before adding DWeight and M Recci.

 

If Francis goes this entire off season without getting a guy who can at least be imagined with a straight face as a top line forward? Forget it. Just forget it.

 

Last year Francis asked a couple of us if we would prefer him to stay the course and keep to the plan, or if he had to go out and "make a splash". Every one of us said "stick with the plan". If I was ever in that position again this offseason I would absolutely say, "this year you need to make a splash".

 

Edited by remkin
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36 minutes ago, remkin said:

I have posted and agree that we need an upgrade in goal. But if you asked me if this year would have been better off with a top 10 goalie top 10 in scoring? It's easy. We need the scoring more.  We need to tighten goal a bit, we need to get more offense a lot.

 

We clearly need both. And what we need going forward is as much dependent on what we need as it is what is available to fill the need. This year presents unique opportunities to get goalies and defensemen below market value due to the expansion draft. So if I'm Ron and under any type of either/or pressure, I'm shopping for goalie first.

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5 minutes ago, MinJaBen said:

 

We clearly need both. And what we need going forward is as much dependent on what we need as it is what is available to fill the need. This year presents unique opportunities to get goalies and defensemen below market value due to the expansion draft. So if I'm Ron and under any type of either/or pressure, I'm shopping for goalie first.

It's fine to go for the goalie first. But if he finds a goalie, but not a top line forward, I'm going to have a lot of trouble getting even a slight increase in pulse as next season arrives, and I'm about as optimistic at the start as anyone. Counting on this group of forwards to find 40-45 more goals though improvement, is not a plan. Likewise, I like Gauthier as much as anyone and have high hopes for a couple of other prospects, but they are unlikely to be major contributors next year.

 

I don't think I'm alone. What little is left of this fan base, will dwindle even further if we head into next season with the same team, but one better goalie. Francis HAS to find at least one top line forward, even if he overpays. If you are in a room with no oxygen can you really overpay for a tank of oxygen and a mask?

Edited by remkin

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The way ya'll are making this sound RF is incapable of walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time. Team has multiple needs and he's going to have to multitask. 

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I actually agree, Legend, I think he'll do it. He looked at last year and decided to stick with the plan. While some good has come of it, it was not good enough. Now he has another year of data. I assume he will look at this team and realize that it needs upgrades beyond more yutes coming up. I think he will accomplish both, at least to enough of a degree to give us a shot, and hopefully better than that. He's been working the phones and trying to get that elusive hockey trade (or better) for a forward who can get it done since really last offseason and certainly before the deadline this year.

 

It's a tough task though, trying to get that serious scoring forward. He may have to overpay.

 

The only thing that makes me even a little hesitant is that Francis (very much to his credit) hates to overpay. In general lots of little moves to our advantage has built what we have. I think he has the big move in him, we just haven't seen it yet. But I think we need to see it before next season starts. At least for a top forward and an upgrade in goal.

 

I think we will though.

Edited by remkin
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The biggest buying trade we've seen Francis make is arguably the TT/Bickell in exchange for two 2nd Rounders. And by buying, I mean we were adding to our roster/contract chart, not looking to move someone (which you all are probably imagining the Eric Staal trade, which is the biggest trade RF has made, but in a selling standpoint). I'm not super confident, but I'm also not panicking on whether or not RF can/will do it. Some of it goes to PK and his Moneybags. I'm just interested to see what we give up and what we get in return, a first real look at RF making rather big additions to the roster, rather than selling off impending UFAs.

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Forslund said Duchene hasn't scored a goal in 21 games last night?  Maybe his value is going down.  I would imagine it has more to do with the state of the team rather than him "losing it" all of a sudden at 25.  That could be a good thing for us, his value dropping.  I still think he'd be a major addition to this team along with a 2 or 3 other major additions. Not trying to get Duchene discussions started up again.  Just thought that was interesting.

Edited by danimal-ch1

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I think RF attempts major additions this off season.  But he did last year too.  No trading partners and no big UFA's wanting to come here kept him from getting it done.  I imagine it will be more of the same this year, however the trading partners could open up a little if we are willing to part with some of our young D.  I think he gets half of what we want done this summer and prays it works.

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6 minutes ago, danimal-ch1 said:

Forslund said Duchene hasn't scored a goal in 21 games last night?  Maybe his value is going down.  I would imagine it has more to do with the state of the team rather than him "losing it" all of a sudden at 25.  That could be a good thing for us, his value dropping.  I still think he'd be a major addition to this team along with a 2 or 3 other major additions. Not trying to get Duchene discussions started up again.  Just thought that was interesting.

Yeah I noticed that too danimal. I agree. I hope this drives his value down.

 

Certain guys just create chances. Duchene is one of those guys. Even when he's not scoring, he is accounting for a lot of "almost scoring".  Skinner is like that when he's on (lately not so much).

 

Obviously, no one would pick Duchene as the best guy, but he may be the best guy available, and if his drought, and only two years on his contract, drop the price, that could be good. And that is a Francis type move too (if the price comes down).

 

Sure, I'd rather have Draisaitl or Puljujarvi or someone else, but that may not be an option, and Duchene would add a lot. Probably still need to find one more piece, but he'd get us close.

 

Or in the spirit of the goalie debate: add Duchene and Darling. Double D's. That came out wrong. But that combo could be enough as our youngest team improves.

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3 hours ago, MinJaBen said:

 

Yeah, I'm not so sure. BP sure made the prospects of coming here a bit less enticing with his public dressing down of Lack. 

Or, sent a signal to take-charge types that if they can put their money where their mouths are, they'll be welcomed with open arms. It's all how you look at it.

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57 minutes ago, danimal-ch1 said:

But he did last year too.

He did, but every GM in the league, including him, knew expansion was coming. Last year was not the smart time to make big deals, which is why none happened. This was always going to be "the" year. 

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I am clearly not an NHL player, but BrindAmour said two years ago, that this is about the kindest and gentlest organization, press, and fandom in hockey. If you can't play here, it's going to be tough anywhere else.

 

If anything, we probably have too soft of a reputation. Turned out to be the worst possible place for an unmotivated player to end up: see Semin.

 

I have some reservations about throwing Lack under the bus, but in a weird way it did get him two starts in a row.

 

I doubt it really affects players coming here. I think the empty building, small market and years of losing will though. Winners is what we want, and winners want to be a part of a winning team (yes, rocket science). JR was able to entice a couple of guys in 2005, but mostly we are going to need to look like a winning team to get winner type players to want to come here.

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20 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

He did, but every GM in the league, including him, knew expansion was coming. Last year was not the smart time to make big deals, which is why none happened. This was always going to be "the" year. 

Is that because anyone traded to a new team last year would be unprotected this year?  I still haven't grasped this whole expansion thing. That would make sense and set up for a very interesting draft.

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Lots of intangibles in play with the possibilities.  I watched Buf v. Phil last night before the Canes debacle. Both teams fighting for a post season shot. Was an intense, emotional game with at least one real anger fight that I saw, and alot of scrums. In other words those teams care and were showing heart. They wanted to win. Our guys don't. No sacrifice. No fight. For me its not if but when RF signs a legit free agent make sure he's young enough that he still feels he has a lot to prove and plays with fire in his belly. 

 

Without bringing the storm of criticism that will follow (I already know where 90% of you stand) Evander Kane played a strong "I care" game last night and got himself a goal was banging in the corners and at the top of the paint on numerous occasions. 24 goals so far. If bringing a player like him here upsets the nice boy image our team places such a focus on then so be it, we aren't wining anyway. If Kane played here starting next season and popped in a quick 3 or 4 goals first ten games and pummeled a couple players as well, he'd be the top selling sweater in the Eye. Fans need someone to rally around and no-one on our present roster or Checkers roster fits the mold.  If not Kane there are others.  I'm sick of our choir boy roster. Sign some men with attitude. If they bring a bit of baggage so be it. Our team needs a major league attitude adjustment.

Edited by raleighcaniac

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