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Off-Season Talk 2017

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22 hours ago, ironman87 said:

Agreed 100% with Bluedevil58.  Hanifan is one of the best assets we have.  If we do have to trade him to get who we want on offense, we are talking a top-line player we should expect in return....

I think we can discern a lot about the management's thinking by who we're hearing from during the off-season. Obviously Darling is the - oh! - darling of the PR team right now, but we've also had interviews with Skins and now Hanifin from the Worlds. I'll be stunned if Noah is going anywhere.

 

I get people's belief that we need a 1C, and that has been a theme in the club's own PR, no doubt. But the key role for our Cs in BP's system is winning face-offs, because it all starts with puck possession, and creating traffic. On both counts, we're getting there. The net-front presence in the second half was much, much better than it's been in a long time. This is why I've said I really don't care where more scoring comes from. A center, a winger--it doesn't matter to me. Wayne Gretzky had 894 career goals--but he had 1963 career assists. Which stat is more important?

 

We already know our centers can win face-offs and make plays, so it may be more prudent, especially given the talent we'll want lock in over the next two years (Pesce, Slavin, Hanifin, Aho) to add two scoring wingers, versus the salary, term, and NMC that a (supposedly) bona-fide 1C will require-- and if ever there was an off-season where we can do so, this is it, thanks to the ExDraft. Adding an FA winger with a fairly long term deal and a JWilly or similar guy boosts our scoring now, opens up a roster spot in a year or two, and doesn't break the bank.

 

A whole lot of organizational development is getting what you need to succeed in the present, and trusting in the longer-term positive effects that will result from winning. If what we need to win is scoring, let's get scoring, and not worry about what position it's coming from.      

Edited by top-shelf-1

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6 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

If what we need to win is scoring, let's get scoring, and not worry about what position it's coming from

 

Although I think it is important to get a center I agree with your post. Scoring is what we need and if it isn't with a center than a winger. I think other moves and signing will depend on if it is a center or wing. For instance we have a fourth line center spot open and a 3rd line center/wing slot also open. I suspect that Jmac won't be back but I think Ryan's future with us will depend a lot on if it is a center or wing we sign.

 

I would sign Ryan no matter what but I don't write the checks so that is an RF decision. My point is I think the makeup of the team is fluid right now depending on who we lose in the draft and who we are able to sign through FA or trade.

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Well this one will be a tad shorter.

 

T. Teuravainen. I definitely think TT can be a mid 50 point guy, and the skill is even higher. But I also think TT and Rask are the hardest guys to try to predict. I think it's fair to think we will get a least 40 points out of him, as he did that last year and close the previous year. But how can he get to another level up?

 

Goals. Like Lindholm, TT is a pass first guy. But there is some evidence that he can shoot and could be at least a near 20 goal guy. If he does he's a mere 3 assists from 50. It should also be pointed out that TT joined the team late from the World tourney, and had little time to adjust.

 

TT was actually a very consistent point producer for the vast majority of the year with only two off months from the 40 point pace: October (like everyone) and February. But what is encouraging is that he really popped in March. In those 17 games he put up 12 points and 4 goals (58 point, 20 goal pace). It matters because that was really the end of the year. It can take players up to a full season to get used to a new team, so this late surge could be a sign that he is comfortable. He also had that playoff run w/ Chicago where he hit 10 points (4 goals) in 18 games, and looked very good, as a 19 yo with only 3 previous NHL games. So there are flashes.

 

I think TT needs to add a touch of bulk, develop his shot, and concentrate on limiting the turnovers.

 

He'll be 23 this season, so still well shy of peak, he should be more comfortable with the team right out of the gate. I think that's good for at least 7 more points and 50 total.

Edited by remkin

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Sebastian Aho. So I'm watching a promo for the IIHF Worlds tournament, and they are flashing the names of stars that are playing, and who do they flash, but Sebastian Aho. Wow. The expectations are sky high. In the year of Laine and Matthews, Aho was firmly the 3rd best rookie forward in the NHL last year at a 19 year old for the entire season. Just one point shy of 50, but more impressively for this team, 24 goals.

 

Sophomore slup? Unlikely. This kid has excelled at every level and every type of hockey he's played in. Men's Elite in Finland, World Junior tourney, NHL. All things point to improvement next year. He also had to adjust to a new team, but also smaller ice, faster play, and an 82 game season.

 

But SeaBass gained steam as he gained experience and confidence. From December to April, his last 50 games, he scored at a 62 point pace.

 

He is a very quick study, and his hockey IQ is off the charts. 60 plus points is more likely than not, and maybe better if he plays with the right guys.

Edited by remkin

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Victor Rask. Like TT, the skill is there for higher points. Not that 45 points is shabby, it's not. But for a third line center. Not a top line center. It is disappointing in Rask's case because he put up more points the previous year. This had been a guy who improved every single year we saw him going back to the start. But not last year. Or at least not the whole year.

 

The thing about Rask is that his game went the opposite of most of his forward teammates. He started out on fire. The first 8 games he was well over a ppg. And even in the first 35 games he was on a 61 point, 23 goal pace. And he looked it too. He was shifty and powerful and tenacious and looked that skilled. Then, at some point, certainly by January, he lost it. From January on to the end of the year he was at around a 35 point pace. He seemed to find some intermittent mojo late March, but never got back to the Rask that started the year.

 

Was that start a fluke, or a sign of what he is capable of? Rask is 24, still below peak, but older than a lot of our young forwards. He has shown that at the least, he is a solid 45 point guy two years running. He'll be a very very good 3rd line center no matter what. But can he step it back up to that 60 point plus level. I think he can, but I'm less sure about him that then other guys.

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The rest:

 

Skinner. It's not that Skinner wasn't simply amazing, it's can he be expected to beat 63 points and 37 goals? He has developed into a good passer and had some very sweet primary assists, but 37 goals will be tough to beat. His shooting % at 13.2 was only matched his rookie year. This could be that he got back to the net, so maybe, and I do think Skinner has a 40 goal year in him, but to predict it would be a bit much. I just hope Skinner can maintain, maybe add a few assists.

 

J Staal. Jordan had about a 3.5 month run two years ago where he was nearly a ppg that entire time, so it is always possible that given scoring wingers, he could hit 60 plus points. But it has not been his MO over an entire season to be that offensively productive. So while the chops are there, I'm not expecting it.

 

Stempniak. I'm one who does not want to lose Stempniak to expansion. I think I'd let PDG go first. His 40 points would be stellar from a third line winger. He's a veteran pro and he plays hard, and back checks. He put up 50 points two years ago, so there is that upside. When Rask was on fire so was Stempniak. But I don't expect more than 40.

 

PDG/McGinn: Both are said to have more scoring ability but neither has been able to do it yet. Both seem like 35 point guys. Do they have more? Maybe, but not predicting it.

 

Nordstrom/McClement: McClement not re-signed. Nordstrom is a nice role player, but not a scorer.

 

Ryan. I'm not sure we sign him. He also had a phenomenal start (like Rask), then cooled way off. The coach seems to like him, so maybe. If he could get back to the way he started the year, he could be a sneaky good 4th line center with step up ability to third line. Or a winger. . If we upgrade at forward and don't lose Stempniak to expansion, Ryan might be 4th line or out. He would be solid but won't score more points from there.

 

Or we could go with L. Walmark in that 4C slot. Walmark has potential offensive upside given his productivity in Charlotte.

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Final Chapter:

 

Epilogue: I think this team still needs at least one splashy move at forward. But I do expect more points from this same core. I expect more points on D from Slavin and Hanifin, and more points up front from Lindholm, Aho, TT, Rask, and possibly Jordan Staal. Not a ton more, but if each guy averages to account for 4 more goals each that's 24 more goals. Add a proven point producer forward and a solid goalie, and this should be a very good year.

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1 hour ago, OBXer said:

 

Although I think it is important to get a center I agree with your post. Scoring is what we need and if it isn't with a center than a winger. I think other moves and signing will depend on if it is a center or wing. For instance we have a fourth line center spot open and a 3rd line center/wing slot also open. I suspect that Jmac won't be back but I think Ryan's future with us will depend a lot on if it is a center or wing we sign.

 

I would sign Ryan no matter what but I don't write the checks so that is an RF decision. My point is I think the makeup of the team is fluid right now depending on who we lose in the draft and who we are able to sign through FA or trade.

The  IC really needs to be able to control the play in both ends, get to the net, dish the puck and check the other guy's 1C. So, yes, in an ideal world we get that. The other thing is to take pressure off of Rask to have to do all that, while still giving him scoring wingers to play with on the third line with our new depth.

 

The other thing is that Peters seems so sure that Lindholm is a winger. I absolutely would not try to contradict Pastor Bill, but I sort of liked the idea of this new Lindholm as a IC. Clearly this is not the plan.

 

So, I do think that the main problem is not that we can't win with Rask as the de facto 1C, heck if he gets back to his first few month's of last year, he was a 1C. But that if he is not up to it, then who is? We just seem so much stronger with Rask in the 3C slot, where he will be one of the best in the league.

 

I just keep coming back to Duchene because he can not only score, but fill that role. And if faceoffs are such a big deal, the guy won 62% of his faceoffs for crying out loud. At that rate even I think it might make a difference now and then. I know Duchene has his downside and detractors, but finding a 1C that is clearly better is going to be tough.

 

If we sign a TJ Oshie, or trade for a winger like that, we will make it work and will make the playoffs, but filling that 1C slot just feels like a more balanced team to me.

Edited by remkin

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13 minutes ago, remkin said:

Final Chapter:

 

Epilogue: I think this team still needs at least one splashy move at forward. But I do expect more points from this same core. I expect more points on D from Slavin and Hanifin, and more points up front from Lindholm, Aho, TT, Rask, and possibly Jordan Staal. Not a ton more, but if each guy averages to account for 4 more goals each that's 24 more goals. Add a proven point producer forward and a solid goalie, and this should be a very good year.

rem, I was unable to listen to RF's entire Q/A session at 12;30, but the message I kept hearing repeated was that we are "trying to get a TOP 6 or TOP 9 forward" (possibly both) and looking at the 4th line makeup. My take on that is EITHER he does not want to raise fan expectation for a 1C or top line winger, OR he doesn't think they are attainable. Personally, I prefer to believe the former? Thoughts?

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3 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

rem, I was unable to listen to RF's entire Q/A session at 12;30, but the message I kept hearing repeated was that we are "trying to get a TOP 6 or TOP 9 forward" (possibly both) and looking at the 4th line makeup. My take on that is EITHER he does not want to raise fan expectation for a 1C or top line winger, OR he doesn't think they are attainable. Personally, I prefer to believe the former? Thoughts?

 

I missed the Q/A. My email says it will be available at some point again, but can't find it right now.

 

I will repeat the analysis I did last year in the off-season. Defense may win championships but offense gets you to the dance.

 

Overly simplistic for sure, you need both, but there is a minimum amount of offense you need to make the playoffs, and we fell short of it. OK, there are always the exceptions, so I just start there.

 

Ottawa. They are the glaring exception to the rule. The only team that made the playoffs with fewer goals for than us. But there are a few caveats for Ottawa:

1. They had the #2 goalie in the league (with over 30 starts) top 5 overall. 2. They play a shut down trapping game. 3. Ottawa got in barely: 3 points. 4. They still managed only 3 goals fewer than us, so it was close.

 

San Jose, Anaheim and Montreal got in on primarily Defense and goaltending, but they all still scored more goals than us.

They averaged 223 goals. And they put up the 3,4,5 best defenses. 

 

The average playoff team scored 242 goals. The top 8 teams: 249 goals.

 

The Hurricanes: 215 goals.

 

The good news, the prior year we had 198 goals.

The bad news, we need at least 235 and really 240, to be pretty sure we get in.

 

Last year, two teams missed with 240 plus goals: Winnepeg and NYI, the PEG had the 4th worst D, and the Islanders the 9th worst D and both JUST missed.

 

So next year's team needs to find 25 more goals, and at least maintain a top 20 defense/goaltending combo. Last year's team had the #19 D/Goalie combo. So unless the D regresses and Darling is worse than Cam/Lack, 20-25 more goals will get us in.

 

 

Now with minds like Eric Tulsky, I'm sure Francis and company realize this. Thus his comment that he needs one more 20-25 goal scorer (from the May presser).

 

Edited by remkin

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4 hours ago, KJUNKANE said:

rem, I was unable to listen to RF's entire Q/A session at 12;30, but the message I kept hearing repeated was that we are "trying to get a TOP 6 or TOP 9 forward" (possibly both) and looking at the 4th line makeup. My take on that is EITHER he does not want to raise fan expectation for a 1C or top line winger, OR he doesn't think they are attainable. Personally, I prefer to believe the former? Thoughts?

I would say he is being less than concrete because he wants to tailor our expectations and not tip his hand.  If he tells us that he will get a top 3 forward and gets a top 6 then he failed or someone with a top forward may charge more because of his declaration.  Not a good situation to be in if you're the GM. To Rem's point, his picture paints a replica of my same observation 2 months ago.  We were well behind the GF average to make the playoffs and a big number of goals behind the league leaders.  GMRF knows he needs to a 20+ goal scorer for us to increase playoff chances to over 50%. He may not want to let everyone know he is a big time player in the market.

 

a new potential expansion draft seller, Philadelphia.  Ive seen some articles about moving a roster forward to make room for the 2nd pick.  How about Brayden Schenn?  25 goals, how convenient, over 50% FO percentage, still only 25, under contract for 2 more seasons, and put up 189 hits.  Down side is a minus 13 for those who covet that stat.

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5 hours ago, OBXer said:

Although I think it is important to get a center

I just don't, I guess. I know we were center deprived for years on end, but that's just not true anymore. We've now got guys who have played the position extensively, many of them in the NHL, and the rest in their final stages of development. In the first group are Staal, Rask, Lindholm, Ryan, TT, and McC. In the second are Aho and Skinner, either of whom can step in and win you a draw. And when you look to our prospects, wow: Kouk, Bishop, Roy, Wallmark, and a second tier that looks just as promising.

 

Rask, Lindholm, nor TT have topped out, and despite BP's comment that Lindy will be a winger going forward, you don't just stop letting him take draws on his strong side if your other option is Jordan losing them on his weak side. We certainly know what we've got with Ryan, McC and Jordan. I think Aho eventually moves to the middle (in 2018-19 or 19-20), and Wallmark will be making his case this camp. Bottom line: We're pretty deep at C.

 

 A team that wants balanced scoring and "no top line" at least theoretically has no need for the "traditional" 1C. Indeed, a strong argument can be made that big, skilled wingers not only buy the Cs we have space and time to operate, but are a better fit for our system. Going purely by the numbers, we did not miss The Former Hurricanes 1C Who Shall Remain Nameless one bit this year. I shudder to think what this org could have accomplished if it hadn't thrown its money away on him for so long, but it looks like we're about to find out.   

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I don't care what you call it, but put me down for wanting another center for the next couple of seasons who is much more of a natural scorer than either J Staal or Rask.  I'm happy to deal with any with any crowding at the position down the road, if and when it happens.   RF shouldn't sacrifice the future to fill the spot, but he's got a lot of chips to work with and hopefully he'll be able to upgrade a spot using the assets he's collected.

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If we could please keep the talk on hockey it would be appreciated. Some post have been removed.

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4 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

I just don't, I guess. I know we were center deprived for years on end, but that's just not true anymore. We've now got guys who have played the position extensively, many of them in the NHL, and the rest in their final stages of development. In the first group are Staal, Rask, Lindholm, Ryan, TT, and McC. In the second are Aho and Skinner, either of whom can step in and win you a draw. And when you look to our prospects, wow: Kouk, Bishop, Roy, Wallmark, and a second tier that looks just as promising.

 

Rask, Lindholm, nor TT have topped out, and despite BP's comment that Lindy will be a winger going forward, you don't just stop letting him take draws on his strong side if your other option is Jordan losing them on his weak side. We certainly know what we've got with Ryan, McC and Jordan. I think Aho eventually moves to the middle (in 2018-19 or 19-20), and Wallmark will be making his case this camp. Bottom line: We're pretty deep at C.

 

 A team that wants balanced scoring and "no top line" at least theoretically has no need for the "traditional" 1C. Indeed, a strong argument can be made that big, skilled wingers not only buy the Cs we have space and time to operate, but are a better fit for our system. Going purely by the numbers, we did not miss The Former Hurricanes 1C Who Shall Remain Nameless one bit this year. I shudder to think what this org could have accomplished if it hadn't thrown its money away on him for so long, but it looks like we're about to find out.   

 

At this point I don't know what to say.  I've given you concrete evidence of the importance of a strong offensive center.  You gave us examples of all current roster players that could play center, but they're all tried and proven otherwise, and BP flat out said he doesn't think our immediate solution is not any of our prospects.

 

The way I see it is we have two open slots, a RW and a C.  And to me, there's no need in wasting useful assets on anything else.  I'm all for acquiring offense, but it shouldn't be by any means necessary.  One thing that amazes me, and it's not you, but a fair amount of Canes fans are fascinated by Landeskog. The guy's been on a decline for years, and is falling hard.  I know we want another Ruutu, but not in the literal sense.

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11 minutes ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

The way I see it is we have two open slots, a RW and a C.

 

Makes me wonder though if RF will spend that many assets to get both a top 6 center and wing. I'm guessing it will be one or the other. For reasons I have posted before I favor a center but if it is a winger I think we will adapt.

 

Other than our need for more scoring we have some other holes to fill. At the moment we don't have a third or fourth line center as both Ryan and Jmac are free agents. If we lose Stemper or Nordy in the expansion draft we need to fill that role and of course our 5/6 D-pair are far from set.

 

If my guess is wrong and RF does goes out and gets a top center and a wing It won't be a disappointment.

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I'm firmly in the Top camp that goals are goals.  Even from defenseman OMG.

 

Maybe drafting centers and moving them to wing is the bomb.

 

Peters always has a go to guy at the dot if his center is booted.

 

Probably why the team was so good at FO%.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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The center or wing debate comes down to  can we move Staal's 5 yr 30 million after next season.  If not we go winger, if so we get a center.  It is Roy's roster spot we are messing with.  Of course we could trade Roy, as I mentioned before, but we may not.  

 

Of course we go winger and give Roy a shot this year.

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Goals are goals.  They count the same amount no matter who scores them. Or problem is we need more from somewhere.  

 

Anybody that hat wants to move Staal's $30m after this year better damn well have a plan as to who is going to fill that role.  He isn't flashy, not a prolific scorer, nor does he play the physical brand of hockey that I would hope (er...expect) a player his size to play.  He does however see just about every hard minute that is available.

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1 hour ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

If goals are goals, why did the vast majority of the board vote to trade away our 3rd leading goal scorer in Faulk?

 

Short term memory is why.  That poll came out at a particularly bad time.

 

This is why "The Board" is not GM.

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10 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

One thing that amazes me, and it's not you, but a fair amount of Canes fans are fascinated by Landeskog. The guy's been on a decline for years, and is falling hard.  I know we want another Ruutu, but not in the literal sense.

Actually I am one of those people. Landeskog has the tools, and your characterization of him is flat out wrong. He's a former rookie of the year and became one of the youngest Captains in the league, under a coach (Patrick "Look at me! Look at me!" Roy), who had no business being behind the bench in the first place, and who abandoned the whole team a month before camp last year. And then, Skog's GM told the entire world he's looking to trade him, and let the drama build all season to a non-existent crescendo. How would you perform under those circumstances, not to mention a Swiss Cheese D, an injured #1 keeper, and a GM who has already anointed MacKinnon as your successor?

 

As for us, it's waaaaaay too early to say a couple of 22-year olds (TT and Lindholm), a 19-year-old who projects to C (Aho), and a guy who just turned 24 and has shown improvement every year (Rask) have "proven otherwise" in terms of their abilities at C. You also completely ignore my point about the big guys in the system who are getting close (Wallmark, Roy). 

 

In terms of your "evidence" of the need for 1C, the Preds are in the Conference final despite their 1C - who is also their Captain - having a goose egg on the scoresheet for the entire playoffs thus far. And just look what the Sens have achieved with balance, against teams in Boston, NYR and Pitt who are among the heaviest in the league when it comes to talent down the middle.

 

My point, PK, is that hockey has changed. In today's game, speed and size on the wings, solid D, and great goaltending are far more important than any one guy in the middle. I've never suggested we shouldn't get a scoring C if he's out there, but I don't want to commit now to a guy for years and years, and hamstring our ability to lock down the guys we already have who have shown they can play and have not topped out. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again. If a proven C is there for the short term, fine; it's one reason I've said that if Iginla is serious about still wanting to play, we should seriously consider him. Cheap, good, and a big immovable object in front--essentially what we hoped Bicks would be this year. 

 

But my overall point is that many are posting like our chronic problem of no centers is still there. It just isn't any more. Given what we've already got and what - to my eye, at least - is much stronger pickings on the wings than at C this summer, I'd rather address the chronic problem we absolutely do still have: no big, scoring wingers.  

Edited by top-shelf-1

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2 hours ago, gocanes0506 said:

The center or wing debate comes down to  can we move Staal's 5 yr 30 million after next season.  If not we go winger, if so we get a center.  It is Roy's roster spot we are messing with.  Of course we could trade Roy, as I mentioned before, but we may not.  

 

Of course we go winger and give Roy a shot this year.

And Wallmark.

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2 hours ago, PenaltyKiller17 said:

If goals are goals, why did the vast majority of the board vote to trade away our 3rd leading goal scorer in Faulk?

Because his scoring did not compensate for his defensive lapses--and if he comes out this year like he did last year, there'll be calls to trade him again. But I don't expect that will happen. I expect the entire team to start on time this season.

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