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Off-Season Talk 2017

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Ronnie has been pretty clear that he's not going to get an old guy at a high price. Given that Nesty and Nordy can be exposed, I'm thinking Stemp is the old horse we keep, and that we're looking for someone more along the lines of a Duche or Landeskog. Although if we can talk Minn into taking Eric's brother in exchange for Zach...

 

The big, absolute-must move is goaltending. If we'd gotten it consistently this season we're still playing hockey right now.

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I'm gong to stray from the heard a little.

I see the big move, the absolute move is to obtain a top scoring center. If you can do that the options of who plays where and who you could potentially trade open up.

Second on my list is the goalie. Without question the crease has to be addresses

Next is to obtain a 5-6 Dman. It is a must. I expect one of Fluery McKeown to be up next year. maybe both. Having a reliable 5-6-7 Dman is a must

After that we have to settle our bottom 6. We need more secondary scoring. Jmac is an FA. Stemper is likely headed for LV. Ryan is a FA. I expect some of our Chex may join us to fill out the roster but one or two veteran bottom line players who can play the position and contribute to special team play (PK) are essential.

 

Peters said he was going to outline specific needs.  He knows better than me but those are the specific needs I see.

 

 

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So can we all agree that a bargain high end 20 goal 3rd liner and an NHL backup goalie will not be the answer?  Based on the posts I think we can all agree that the team needs a number one goalie and also a top 6 forward of some sort at the very least.  The goalie might be someone who has been a back up but is now ready for prime time.  Although the last 2 times we tried that we have failed.  Khudobin and Lack.

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If Ronnie is the genius many are thinking he is he will need to be prepared to sign a top 4 UFA forward at north of 6m a year with a NTC and probably at a minimum a 5 year deal. The big guns aren't going to be interested in anything less especially knowing that Staal is making 6 per year and still has many years left on the contract and is nowhere near the talent level of a top UFA.

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15 minutes ago, bluedevil58 said:

So can we all agree that a bargain high end 20 goal 3rd liner and an NHL backup goalie will not be the answer?  Based on the posts I think we can all agree that the team needs a number one goalie and also a top 6 forward of some sort at the very least.  The goalie might be someone who has been a back up but is now ready for prime time.  Although the last 2 times we tried that we have failed.  Khudobin and Lack.

 

I think we can agree to the general assessment you put forth. Although I wouldn't mind a 20 goal 3rd liner or two added to the mix. There is no reason to not think Skinner could be a 40 gaol scorer and Aho a 30+ goal scorer but after that ( unless you count Faulk) is there anyone else that you can say at this point will be a 20 goal player next season. Certainly any of J. Staal, Lindy, Rask or Stemper could be but I sure wouldn't say they will be. So I stick to my assessment that a top scoring center is essential and we also need to add to our secondary scoring.


 

Goalie replacement I think is a bit more complicated but only because I think their could be plenty of options.

 

 

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2 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

 Although if we can talk Minn into taking Eric's brother in exchange for Zach...

 

Parise isn't moving for jack squat...he and Suter signed dual monster contracts that have full NTC's and will be with the Christmas Trees til the end of time.

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Top UFA forwards may be tough to sign.  The expansion draft protection of 7-3 doesn't allow for many good forwards to be available.  LV will be looking for a big name to anchor the O with their high draft picks.  Also, Zona will need 15 million plus to get to the cap floor again. Datsyuk's contract comes off the books. Do they get some bad contracts or try to actually win at some point?  

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1 hour ago, AWACSooner said:

Parise isn't moving for jack squat...he and Suter signed dual monster contracts that have full NTC's and will be with the Christmas Trees til the end of time.

And yet again, the dreaded sarchasm rears its head.

 

That being said, I don't think moving J is beyond the realm of possibility.

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1 minute ago, top-shelf-1 said:

And yet again, the dreaded sarchasm rears its head.

 

That being said, I don't think moving J is beyond the realm of possibility.

 

I think that only happens if he requests a trade, which could be a possibility.

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7 minutes ago, raleighcaniac said:

(sp): sarcasm

 

Just saying...

You missed the memo.

 

Just sayin...

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17 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

And yet again, the dreaded sarchasm rears its head.

 

That being said, I don't think moving J is beyond the realm of possibility.

Those memos take a long time to reach me in Qatar.

 

And I'm all for getting rid of Jordan...the sooner, the better

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To: All Wonderful Members of This Board

Re: Memo Re-Issue

 

Please see following linked post.  Click on red font to get context.

 

Regards,

 

WX Ray

Edited by wxray1
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It's funny how fiscally responsible with PKs money we are and how Francis has convinced us that adding a serious UFA is bad for the team (note, Francis said it didn't make sense LAST year, not that it never makes sense). After JR, and the Semin debacle, we seem to be swinging back to "all big contracts are always bad".

 

UFA's allow teams to close needs that come up without giving up players or prospects. Just money. The owner's money. And just about every decent team has at least one significant UFA signing. Some more.

 

One of the problems this team has faced over pretty much every year since 2007 is that we are at least one, if not two UFA's short of other teams, who get to upgrade needs with a "get one good player" card. Teams get talent without giving up by drafting and UFA. We've never gotten bad enough to get that super elite top 2 type draft pick, and we fail at getting that significant UFA. After lots of small ball guys, JR at took a big chance on Semin: Such skill, such advanced stats, such a huge whiff. So, we have have a very bad taste. That and the Eric/Cam contracts have left us all a bit gun shy. And yes, the league does have plenty of over 30 UFAs that haven't been worth their salaries. But not all of them. and most still help their team, even if they are overpaid.

 

There are notable success stories too. In fact the last time we signed a couple of really good UFA's were a couple guys named Ray Whitney and Cory Stillman. That worked out pretty well. I think the Blackhawks have gotten their money's worth out of Marion Hossa, etc.

 

The fact is that UFA's allow an instant injection of proven NHL ability, in this case scoring. It would be nice if PDG or McGinn started looking like 55-60 point guys, or maybe Guathier et all, but the right UFA is a guy who DOES look like that. The NHL is a phenomenally brutal league to score points at a consistently high level in.  If a player has done that, they are already, right now, immediately,  what you hope your #5 draft pick will do by, say his 5th season.

 

The fact that they only cost money is also perfect for us because our draft and develop assets are still a year or two away from showing what they really are and having full trade value, and we have the lowest payroll in the league and the most cap space, by a lot. Francis has held onto prospects like they're his own kids. Well a UFA lets us keep them all, and all of our picks and all of our players.

 

Let me address two negatives that are invariably thrown up in argument to this. 1. You can't build a team through just UFA's. 2. Bad contracts kill teams. These are examples of too much of a thing. A pinch of salt adds tremendous flavor, a cup of salt makes a thing inedible. This team is so far at the other end of the spectrum on both issues. 1. We are nearly all draft and develop with just one top 9 UFA and none on D or goal. If we signed TJ Oshie, he would be the second significant (assuming we keep Stempniak) UFA on the team. Hardly building a team though UFA.

 

Bad contracts are in issue, but that risk is not currently an issue, really at all. We have only two largish, longish term contracts; Jordan and Justin and frankly their $6 million/year is not back breaking. Further, Bickell's $4.5 million comes off the books next year.

 

If we paid Oshie $6 million/year, next year Oshie minus Bickell would be $1.5 million lousy dollars to get a top notch forward in here.

 

What about year 6 of Oshie, when he is only a 35 point guy and 36 years old. Are you serious? After what we've been through in the last 6 years, we're worried about 6 years from now? Heck, at least that implies there is still a team here.

 

Yes. This is the year to seriously overpay the right guy. I could definitely see that guy being TJ Oshie.

Edited by remkin

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The more I think about it, the more it makes all the sense in the world to go after TJ Oshie.

 

Here is a guy who is actually hitting his peak. He has elite talent, and has produced at a very consistent pace for 7 years really, but has shown no fall off recently, in fact, just put up a career high 33 goals. He has averaged 26 goals in the last 4 years, with the lowest year being 19 goals. He has averaged 56 points over 4 years, but really if you discount an injury year, and the shortened lockout year, this guy will give you 50-60 points and at least 20 goals like clockwork. Just write those points in and hope for more.

 

And while I know not all agree, I am giddy with the fact that he is a career plus 115. Yes the Caps are a very plus team, but Oshie is historically at the top of the team also.

 

If last year's team had TJ Oshie, and a solid #1 NHL goalie, we could still be playing now. But then next year this underlying team should be better than last year.

 

Again, if we won the Oshie sweepstakes, it would get us that top forward without having to trade a Faulk or a Hanfin or even a Fleury or Bean or prospects.

 

Thus Francis could move on to the goalie issue with all of his players, prospects and extra draft picks in hand. With the expansions situation, he might be able to fix the goalie and still have lots of assets for a move up the draft board.

 

My fantasy: sign Oshie, use the expansion draft to pick off a nice NHL goalie for a decent cost, use a bunch of picks to move up the draft board and get a really nice forward.

 

If he did those three things, we'd have a playoff team, and more exciting prospects that Leo DiCaprio has at a Hollywood party.

Edited by remkin

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One last thing. This is NOT the year to lose Stempniak to the expansion draft. I hate to see a PDG or McGinn go. And this may end up being a long term mistake, but next years team needs Stempniak before one of our yutes is ready in two years. Stempniak is a 40 point guy and a veteran. Neither PDG nor McGinn has proven they can score at that rate.  Also, we are flush with prospects for the future. We need to make it next  year.

 

This top 9 gets it done:

 

Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal, Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm, Teuvo Teravanien, Lee Stempniak, Victor Rask, TJ Oshie, *****.

 

***** could be PDG, McGinn, Zykov, Guathier, Roy, Ryan, another prospect or another pick up.

 

Seriously, that is a lot of firepower, speed and skill.

 

 

For the record, it would be better to pick up a true 1C, but there are none in UFA, and if we can get a guy like Oshie and keep all of our powder dry it would offset that need somewhat.

Edited by remkin

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2 hours ago, raleighcaniac said:

(sp): sarcasm

 

Just saying...

A chasm is a gap. Sarchasm is "the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn't get it."

 

Check out the list at that link. Great stuff. (Hat tip to coastal caniac, if memory serves.)

 

Edit: Sorry, I see XRay beat me to it.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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As far as top 9 go don't discount out of one or more Checkers.  Good write up on Aleksi Saarela in last Saturdays N&O. This guy was an Aho and P. Laine teammate for Finland in last years World Cup and had himself a bunch of goals/assists in first 10 games or so with Checkers before being hurt.  Francis speaks highly of him and whats to say he cannot come in next season and grab 15 goals and assists?

 

Saarela_Aleksi_1617.png

Edited by raleighcaniac
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I'm very interested to see how Francis handles this offseason. What has me most intrigued is the situation with our forward prospects. We are highly regarded around the league as a team that is loaded with defensive prospects, but am I wrong to say that we may be even more loaded with offensive guys? And when you break it down, I really don't see how we make room for everyone. Combine that with all the picks we have and I think a trade is very possible.

 

Gauthier, Roy, Saarela, Zykov, Kuokkanen are all guys knocking on the door. Then you throw in PDG, Tolchinsky, McGinn and you have quite an impressive prospect pool. 

 

I'm excited to see what comes from this and I really don't know what to expect. Though, packaging one of the guys listed above with a defensive prospect and a pick could fetch us a nice player with NHL experience. Galchenyuk seems to be on his way out of Montreal and would be a great addition. 

Edited by TheFaulker

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3 minutes ago, coastal_caniac said:

 

It's the bozone layer.

 

Exactly!  I'm surprised AWAC doesn't get this!  He's always up there in the stratosphere, keeping our troops in contact with each other, letting them know of the bogies out and about.  Maybe even bouncing communications off of the ionosphere and other layers.  But he forgot that the bozone layer always stops sarchasm.

 

OK.  Back to reality. :)

 

raleighcaniac has a good point about Saarela.  This guy was our prize for dumping E.   Let's see what our scouts found.  If he is a gem, it will give me a lot of confidence in RF's slow, but deliberate ways.

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54 minutes ago, TheFaulker said:

I'm very interested to see how Francis handles this offseason. What has me most intrigued is the situation with our forward prospects. We are highly regarded around the league as a team that is loaded with defensive prospects, but am I wrong to say that we may be even more loaded with offensive guys? And when you break it down, I really don't see how we make room for everyone. Combine that with all the picks we have and I think a trade is very possible.

 

Gauthier, Roy, Saarela, Zykov, Kuokkanen are all guys knocking on the door. Then you throw in PDG, Tolchinsky, McGinn and you have quite an impressive prospect pool. 

 

I'm excited to see what comes from this and I really don't know what to expect. Though, packaging one of the guys listed above with a defensive prospect and a pick could fetch us a nice player with NHL experience. Galchenyuk seems to be on his way out of Montreal and would be a great addition. 

No we are not loaded with offensive prospects.   What's even.more concerning is the goal prospects or the complete and utter lack there of.  We basically have a rental goalie carrying the checkers in the playoffs because all of our goalies totally suck.   Tolchinsky is a huge let down.  Can't even score at the AHL level.  Saarala might pan out but until he produces at the NHL level on a regular basis the verdict is still out.  The way I see it is we have no offensive prospect depth what do ever.  Hence why we need it via USA.  Even Peters said so.

Edited by bluedevil58

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3 minutes ago, bluedevil58 said:

No we are not loaded with offensive prospects.   What's even.more concerning is the goal prospects or the complete and utter lack there of.  We basically have a rental goalie carrying the checkers in the playoffs because all of our goalies totally suck. 

 

"prospect".   Does not equal "proven."

 

We're discussing both, and the need for both.  You still need good prospects.  And one of the problems is we have no goalie prospects, as was unfortunately admitted by RF in his darts comments.

 

Yeah, I'm just as disappointed as everyone else that we didn't win the lottery and get Matthews.

Edited by wxray1

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I dont think there is a Semin effect that is keeping PK from spending money.  GMRF had to build a foundation first and as one of our illustrious members here has told me, "Rebuilds aren't for the faint of heart".  Signing UFAs last summer that would have to be protected in the expansion draft would have exposed other players to loss.  Leave the pitchforks and torches in the shed until the trade/draft/UFA season is done.  If RF "likes our group", I promise that I'll be elbow to elbow with you in the angry mob.

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We really do have a lot of interesting forward prospects. See some discussion of this in the In the System area, but one of the more interesting things to me is the progress of some late round guys. We only have one first rounder in the system with Gauthier, who I still think is going to be special, but many of our assembled picks and traded for prospects are making noise in various places. So here's a list of non first round forwards and what they are doing:

 

Kuokkanen: Showed serious skills last year in camp and Traverse City. Went back and played well in Juniors. Made the Finnish World Junior Team on the low age range. Didn't have a great showing, but the team struggled and he got 4th line minutes. Very good in Juniors Playoffs, now getting a taste in Charlotte. Here's what Vellucci our Director of Hockey Operations said about him just the other day:

 

"He was on fire and had a great playoff series. … He played really well. He's a smart guy. His hockey sense is off the charts. I don't want to put any pressure on him, but he has a little bit of Sebastian Aho tendencies. They're both from Finland, they both have very good hockey sense, are good skaters and have a great shot."

 

Roy: Huge center, has put up mega numbers in Juniors two straight years. Made Canadian World Junior Team and played very well. Is still killing it in CHL playoffs. This guy was, like Saarela, once considered an uber prospect. He fell off, but seems back on track. He could be the steal of that entire draft still.

 

Here's a link that talks in detail about guys in the CHL playoffs: https://www.nhl.com/hurricanes/news/in-the-system-hurricanes-prospects-shine-in-chl-playoffs/c-288991694

 

Saarela: This guy was an uber prospect when he was just starting out, but fell back due to injuries and maybe other things. But he's shown periods of really high potential. He is fast, and has an NHL shot. He has adjusted immediately to smaller ice in Charlotte with 6 goals and 10 points in 9 games.

 

Zykov: We got to see just a speck of him, but he is also a guy with skill, and who goes to the net. LA is pretty good at second round picks and grabbed him. He's another guy who had "first round" potential who has had injuries and slower to find his game, but he has potential.

 

David Cotton. 6th rounder. 2015. 6'3" is reportedly killing it at BC. Tony MacDonald is very excited about him.

 

Warren Foegle. 3rd rounder 2014. Lots of shifty skill. Having a really good CHL playoffs. Looked good in camp and Traverse City.

 

Spencer Smallman. 5th round 2015. MacDonald also very positive about him. High hockey IQ. Leader. Grit. And putting up points in the Q. Compared to Scott Walker.

 

Matt Filipe. 3rd rounder last year. 6'2". Playing D1 hockey at Northeastern, and doing well. Good skater, protects puck, tenacious, goes to the net, PLAYS A HEAVY GAME, likes the physical challenge. 19 points in 35 games. Not too bad for a Freshma

 

Lucas Wallmark: 4th round 2014. Great year in Charlotte. Tons of points, mostly goals, massively plus player in first year, and now killing it in the playoffs. Had a couple of very good games up here and Peters liked him a lot. I think he's our 4th line center next year.

 

Steve Lorentz. Leading his team and most of Junior hockey playoffs with 20 points in 8 games. Team Captain. Name keeps popping up. Just signed pro contract. 6th rounder.

 

 

 

And then there's my favorite: our first rounder, Gauthier.

 

 

We may not have a bunch of first rounders there, (we've picked 3 straight D men in the first round), and our best young prospect already put up 24 goals and 49 points in the NHL, but there are interesting guys there.

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