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remkin

Rating the Players, End of Season, Who to Keep?

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This will be a long post, since I intend to give an opinion about every player. To keep it a bit shorter I will divide it into forwards and defense and goalies. I welcome others opinions and dissent about all or even just a few players. This is for your reading enjoyment. If you don't enjoy reading long posts about just about every player, then don't proceed. If you do, read on!

 

I am giving them two ranks. Rank 1 is a grade on their performance this year. It is a blend of straight performance and performance vs. expectations A-F. 

 

Rank 2 is their value to the team 1-5 stars.

 

5: Uber core: do not trade ever:

4: Core: Trade only for overpayment.

3: Good player, but tradeable for fair value.

2: Some value, but should be traded.

1: Needs to go.

 

This is in part due to boredom and just to make conversation. In part because this team underperformed obviously and to that end, we do not like our group. Thus our group must change and this is how and why I would consider valuing each guy. This post is just my very non expert opinion. Clearly, since I did not get the GM job, I am not qualified to make these judgements. Which is why I am posting here, and not the GM.

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The Forwards:

 

5: Uber Core: Do not Trade:

 

Sebastian Aho. Grade A. Start with the only guy that the owner listed as uber core. Right off the bat the only reason Aho did not get an A+ is comparing him with himself. He is our best player, and really had an A+ year, but the guy did not score a goal in the first 15 games of the year. He has had these "slow" starts two years now. That kept him from hitting 30 goals, and in fact he would have pushed 40 if he had started faster. But that is really splitting hairs, he did get an A and is uber core 5, so really he's the bomb. This year he upped his game overall too. He gained in confidence and looked more dangerous than even last year. 65 points tied him for #47 of all forwards and .87 ppg, #57.  And he was tied for #34 in goals despite the slow start. His plus 4 was third best on the team, and he has sported a strong plus minus everywhere he's ever played, including #2 overall in the World Juniors. Considering that it is said that NHL stars tend to break out in year 3? Well that's next year, so yeah, no trading Aho.

 

Teuvo Teravainen: Grade A. Due respect to Dundon, but to me this is a no-trade guy too. One fewer point than Aho. Heavier on the assists, but we need playmakers too, and he did hit 23 goals despite his playmaking preferences. Also, at plus 8 he lead the team. This guy just exudes the calm skill of an elite playmaker. He meshes well with Aho too. This was Francis' master move. We need skill and we will not be able to get more of it in a deal that moves TT out.

 

4. Core: Do Not Trade unless the offer is rich:

 

Justin Williams: Grade A-. Really Williams was all of what I had hoped. Given his age his 51 points was strong. He just missed on goals, and his plus minus at -9 was negative for the first time since he left the Canes, or it would have been an A or even A +. This guy really was an amazing UFA pick up. Dundon should look at him before dissing the idea of picking up UFA's. He was a leader, despite being snubbed for a letter at the start. He is a true pro. If Darling had stopped a few more pucks, Williams would be a hero.


Jordan Staal: Grade B -. J's 19 goals and 46 points is pretty close to what we've seen recently, but I just think he can do a bit more. I no longer expect the points beast we saw briefly a couple of years ago, or he did in Pittsburgh for a while, but he can be a 55-60 point guy. Still he is a calm possession monster, wins faceoffs, hits, and makes guys around him better. He is always above team average or better in plus minus despite drawing the top centers in the league. I doubt we get value in a trade. And I personally think he's a quiet leader, and the true C.

 

Brock McGinn: Grade B+. McGinn gets there on the intangibles. He hits hard. He plays hard. He brings it 100%. This is why he is in category 4 on trading. We need more of this, not less. While 30 points and 16 goals is OK, I think he can hit 20 and 40, and be an even player, so no A.

 

Elias Lindholm: Grade C. Here again, his trade value grade is higher than his grade for the year. Lindholm did not have the breakout year I predicted for him. Last year he was creating assists at a pace that alone would have predicted a 60 point year this year, and he started putting the puck in the net at the end of the year suggesting the goals would come. I thought 20 goals and 65 points was going to happen. So 16 and 44, while not chopped liver, was far short. Further, the guy went into a massive goalless streak at the end of the year, with ZERO goals in 27 games until that last game. The thing is that Lindholm is an RFA and hopefully played his salary down, and if we can get him on a good deal, he has more upside than we can trade him for. Also he will play physical and can play center. He still has 65 point potential and if we get a good deal this can be great value.

 

3. Good player, but Trade for Fair Value:

 

Jeff Skinner: Grade C-. This is based on how Skinner performed compared with his ability. Frankly there were stretches where I'd give Skinner a D. When the owner talks of players needing to play better, or harder, on the forward side, my mind went right to "Sir Coasts Alot". He went a long stretch where he was pulling up and coasting. His -27 was inches away from team worst. 49 points and 24 goals is not enough for a guy not playing defense. The thing about Skinner is that he had two straight strong and one absolutely stellar season right before this clunker. Also, with but one year on his contract, he is not likely to bring enough return. So while I'd move him for value, I highly doubt we will get value, so I would not trade him. Further, this team needs goals, and if Skinner is back track he gets them in bunches. But his let down and coasting this year moves him out of either version of the core, even though I'd probably keep him due to lack of value in return. If we could get a more traditional player with 30 goal potential, I'd do it. (Skinner has 40 goal potential).

 

PDG: Grade C-. PDG is almost in his own category. I think he can anchor the 4th line with upside. His end of year burst gives him the nod over Nordstrom to me as a 4th liner. I really don't know if his end of year burst was evidence of top 9 upside, but his first year he did put up more points, so maybe. He could easily be in category 2 also. His grade in the last several games was A, but there was an entire season.

 

2. Has Value, but probably trade or not resign:

 

Victor Rask: Grade C-. Easily could have been a D, but he was an even player and did win a bunch of faceoffs, and did put up some points. But for his expectations and his salary, 14 goals and 31 points is nowhere near good enough. I personally think Rask might be too D focused. Quite a few times there was a puck sitting there in the O zone and Rask would peel back to back check rather than going for it. I wonder where the world beater of the start of two seasons ago went, but he's been gone for about 1 and a half seasons now. I don't know if the injury was part of this, but I think he lost his confidence. Rask is slow too, so that might be the final nail.

 

Joakim Nordstrom: Grade C-. I know, I know, he does all the little things. And he does hit, but I want a 4th liner that will occasionally score. 2 goals in 75 games? One more than our goalie in Charlotte. PDG's burst of offense at the end of the year gives him this 4th line slot over Nordstrom to me.

 

1. Time to Go.

 

Derek Ryan. Grade C+. Ryan came on at the end to move out of the C- he was headed for. He has made the most of his size and skill, and still makes nice plays, but as we look at yutes pushing up and him getting pushed off the puck for a -15 year, the 15 goals and 38 points just aren't enough for where we want to go. These are NHL third line numbers though, so he might find a home. Just not here IMO. The main reason he's in category 1 for me is that to me he needs to be a top 9 player and he is not that.

 

Lee Stempniak. Grade D+. I really liked what Lee brought last year, but his age and recovering from his injuries this year, just left him out of the scoring game. 3 goals and 9 points in 37 games just badly missed the mark. At 35 years old, not worth bringing back. I'll remember him fondly for his first season here.

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DEFENSE.

 

I freely admit that I watch the D men more sporadically than the forwards or goalies. This is why when the D zone play of a Faulk or even a Hanifin jumps out to even me, it must be noticeable to just about everyone. Still, I started this so I'll take a swing.

 

5. Uber Core. Do not trade.

 

Jacob Slavin. Grade A -. Yes, Slavin had a less dominant year, but he still upped his goal totals a bit, and managed to finish plus 1 (4th best on the team) despite constantly drawing the best forwards in the game to defend and with porous goaltending. He is a beast, and IMO should have been on Dundon's no trade list.

 

Brett Pesce. Grade B+. Pesce was solid, but had a bit more of a down year than last year. His offense has been about the same, but there were more (still not many) D issues. He was split from Slavin a bit, and that may have played in. He still is what he is, a shut down RHD. The reason he is Do Not Trade for me is that. He shuts down on a team that doesn't always, and needs that, and he's a RHD. Especially if we trade Faulk, we need that. McKeown might end up being Pesce part II, but since they're both RHD, and there's TVR is more of a mid to lower pairing guy, we will need Pesce. As noted below, GM Remkin trades Faulk as a priority, so I need Pesce to stay put.

 

4. Core: Do not Trade unless offer is Rich:

 

Hayden Fleury. Grade B+. I put Fleury in this category because at this point putting him in category 3, which is trade for fair value, likely does not return his true worth. Fleury is the classic D man progression of a guy improving as he should at every level. He struggled early in Charlotte then got it figured out. He got to the NHL and did pretty well, but had rookie moments as the season went on. Overall, for a rookie, he was solid. His -2, despite being somewhat protected was very solid. The + in B+ is based on expectations. As a rookie he exceeded them. Some will say as a #7 overall, he should be better, but I'm not counting that. His 8 assist and zero goals in 67 games was too light for an A, and along with his frequent scratches likely decreases his trade value. This is a guy who should improve next year and beyond. Funny, he is completely off the Cane's stat sheet and roster on the website. Is there something I missed?

 

TVR: Grade A-. The high grade is based largely on expectations. If he expected to be elite, he'd get a B or less. But this was a throw-in type guy, and he has been very solid. No, he is not slick or particularly speedy. He is not putting up big points. But his plus 9 lead the team, and again, he played in front of the leagues' worst goalie tandem. He was rock solid and a RHD. I would not trade him unless he brought back an overpay. Again, here, this is relative. Sure, if he brought back a top 6 forward, fire away, but he will not, so he is worth far more to us than likely return. So I put him here. And if he draws his brother here? Make it an A+.

 

3. Good Player: But Trade for Value:

 

Noah Hanifin. Grade C +. Hanifin goes here as inverse to the reasoning on TVR. Hanifin is more valuable, but thus also should bring a bigger return.  I have been as big of a Hanifin supporter as any. I still think that the promise is high. But this was not a good year in his progression to me. He is at major risk of becoming a smoother skating left handed version of Justin Faulk. He upped his goals nicely, but only put up 3 more points. But defensively he did not take that step forward. He continues to make major gaffs with the puck in his own zone including horrendous turnovers. And his career plus minus is building on the wrong side. This year he was -20, basically grouped with Skinner and Faulk. I am hoping that he has enough cache as a top pick and still young and oozing smooth talent that he could be traded for a similar potential, similarly young forward. We can slide Fleury up to middle pair and Dahlbeck to #6 while we wait for Bean. My only fear of trading him and Faulk is that they are our main offensive weapons from the back. So while I'd still do it for the right price, I'd move Faulk first.

 

Klas Dahlbeck. Grade B-. Dahlbeck is a tough one because he is a bottom pair guy, but he is also a soldier. He will play his off side, and he will be scratched over and over and still play solid D. He was mid pack plus minus. He is not fast, but he is physical and solid and can be had at a reasonable contract. I put him here more for his play than trade-ability. He is an RFA and more of a "should we sign him" guy. I think we should sign him, but he is obviously not core. He does not create offense.

 

2. Has Value but should trade:

 

Justin Faulk. Grade C-. Faulk and Hanifin's stat lines this year were nearly identical, but Faulk managed -6 more to take his rightful place at the bottom of the +/- barrel just one better than Skinner. Plus-minus is a very vague stat, but it's a "smoke" stat, as in where there's smoke there's probably fire and Faulk is billowing like a coal power plant on overdrive. He is now -109 for his career and at the bottom of the team 4 years running. And this is notable with the eyeball test too. He is also the less convincing head of the two headed Captaincy that needs to end. He is my #1 "trade that has to happen now" guy (assuming Darling is untradable). I would not hold out for value. GM's can read a plus minus stat too. Get what we can, move on.

 

1. Time to go.

 

I probably feel Faulk should go here, but he has value, so I put him in #2.

 

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Goalies:

 

5: Uber core: None.

4. Core: only trade for overpay. None.

 

3. Good player but trade for value:

 

Cam Ward: Grade B. Cam is a tough grade. Based on expectations, his forced increased work load and his win/loss record one could give him an A- with a straight face. But he was still #41 in save percentage (>25 games), and how can that be an A? Cam handles the puck, manages the game, and settles the guys, and that may play into his W/L record being so good compared to his save percentage. Hence the B. Cam saved us from utter ruin, but also from picking in the top 3.

 

2. Has value but should trade. None.

 

1. Has to go:

 

Scott Darling. Grade F. I just cannot go to D-. I really don't want to give anyone an F, but if Darling was not a fail, what is? His .888 save percentage was dead last in the NHL for goalies with at least 25 starts. He was #51/51, and by a good bit. I put it elsewhere, but if he had gone regular .500, this same team with it's same forwards, and same coach, would have finished with 109 points. He failed straight up and especially on expectations. This guy was #5 in save percentage in the NHL the previous year. Further, the team floundered in front of him with worse than zero confidence, they had negative confidence when he was between the pipes. This goes beyond the stats.

 

Darling is such a special case that I need a second paragraph. Goalies fall off the Earth sometimes. Look at Cory Schneider or Brayden Holtby. Both thought elite goalies both just ahead of Darling in the save percentage basement. So, there can be an argument to try to rehab him and give him one more shot. But can we afford that? The price of failure is not just a few losses, it's gut wrenching, soul crushing defeats early in the season that might cause guys to ask "why is this happening again?". I can see the appeal of paying Darling to go to Charlotte and prove his worth since we probably can't trade him for a month-old previously opened 1/3 bag of low fat potato chips, but this fail was epic, and just having his name on a roster makes me cringe.

 

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Pretty sure Fleury being assigned to the Chex for their playoff run is the reason he's no longer listed certain places.

Edited by LakeLivin

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7 hours ago, LakeLivin said:

Pretty sure Fleury being assigned to the Chex for their playoff run is the reason he's no longer listed certain places.

I guess that explains it, but sort of weird to remove him from the stats page.

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19 hours ago, remkin said:

But this was a throw-in type guy.

Actually we traded for him specifically to fill an immediate need on the right side. He filled it and then some. And there's no way I move Dahlbeck. If we can rid ourselves of both Faulk and Hanifin, Dahlbeck and TVR get the reward they earned. If we keep either of the former two, we continue sending the wrong message to D.

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55 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

If we can rid ourselves of both Faulk and Hanifin, Dahlbeck and TVR get the reward they earned

 

So you are going to replace Faulk and Hanifin with two 3rd pair D-men. How does that make us better?

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Goaltending is the problem. Underwhelming as some were, the skaters wouldn't even be in question if Darling did what he was signed to do, because the team would still be playing hockey right now.

 

So for me, that's the biggest question: How do you solve the goaltending problem? I believe you do it by creating real competition for the job. You acquire two keepers this off-season and announce on day one of camp that they, Darling, and Ned are competing for the two NHL roster slots available. 

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14 minutes ago, OBXer said:

 

So you are going to replace Faulk and Dahlbeck with two 3rd pair D-men. How does that make us better?

I realize you meant Faulk and Hanifin, not Dahlbeck.

 

Faulk and Hanifin are barely third-pair Dmen themselves, and I say that in complete seriousness. Slavin, Pesce, TVR, Dahlbeck, McKeown, Fleury, and (insert the name of any greybeard veteran dman who will be available this off season, just like every other off-season) make us instantly better.

 

I don't know if you missed it or just ignored it when I posted it a few weeks ago, OBX, but the combined turnovers of Faulk and Hanifin exceed the total of the entire remainder of the Canes' d-corps. Neither is a d-first defenseman, and even as "offensive defensemen" both are streaky (at best), but not even sufficiently streaky to counterbalance the liabilities they present in their own end.

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5 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

I realize you meant Faulk and Hanifin, not Dahlbeck.

 

Faulk and Hanifin are barely third-pair Dmen themselves, and I say that in complete seriousness. Slavin, Pesce, TVR, Dahlbeck, McKeown, Fleury, and (insert the name of any greybeard veteran dman who will be available this off season, just like every other off-season) make us instantly better.

 

I don't know if you missed it or just ignored it when I posted it a few weeks ago, OBX, but the combined turnovers of Faulk and Hanifin exceed the total of the entire remainder of the Canes' d-corps. Neither is a d-first defenseman, and even as "offensive defensemen" both are streaky (at best), but not even sufficiently streaky to counterbalance the liabilities they present in their own end.

Fixed that..yeah I did mean Hanifin.

 

First I'm not saying you don't trade either. My point is that neither Dahlneck or TVR are puck movers. I don't think Mckeown is either. That doesn't mean there isn't a place for them only they don't make you better. If you trade Faulk you need to replace him with a right handed shooter that can move the puck and anchor the PP. The one part of Faulks game that can't be overlooked is that his shots almost always get to the crease. So when you replace Faulk IMO you need a like D-man that makes better decisions with the puck limiting turnovers.

 

Hanifn probable has the most potential of any of our youngish D. He can also move the puck and is a top point producer among our D.So at his age can he improve his D play or do you go out and get a Dman that can join the rush, produce points and improve the defensive side of the game.

 

I do believe if you trade both as you seem to want you won't gain more than you lose with the D pairs you suggest. My conclusion is trade them if you want but replace them with better including what they bring to the table and not count on two 3rd pair Dmen, a second year no show and a rookie to make you better.

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10 hours ago, OBXer said:

My point is that neither Dahlneck or TVR are puck movers.

 

 

But when they do move the puck, it doesn't get moved to an opponents stick in the slot for a shot against.  I'll take my chances.

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11 hours ago, realmdrakkar said:

 

 

But when they do move the puck, it doesn't get moved to an opponents stick in the slot for a shot against.  I'll take my chances.

 

There is that ;)

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22 hours ago, OBXer said:

If you trade Faulk you need to replace him with a right handed shooter that can move the puck and anchor the PP. The one part of Faulks game that can't be overlooked is that his shots almost always get to the crease.

I guess we're watching different Faulks. Slavin and TT (and I'll wager McKeown, after two years anchoring the PP in CLT) can move the puck on the PP just fine, and I beg to differ on Faulk's shot accuracy. He had trouble hitting the broad side of a barn early this year and only improved on that marginally in the second half, but (for me) nowhere near enough to justify his abysmal play on the back end.

 

Maybe a change of scene will wake him up, I don't know. But in a league where one goal is the margin of victory as often as it is in today's NHL, I'd rather have a D corps that is D-first top to bottom and doesn't score a single goal than one with two (supposed) all-stars who are actually turnover machines.

Edited by top-shelf-1
extraneous word

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22 hours ago, OBXer said:

a second year no show

Is this referring to Fleury? If so, I don't get it. This was his rookie year. If you're predicting his performance next year, don't bogart that thing--or give me access to your crystal ball.

 

Faulk and Hanfin are D-zone liabilities who seldom hit anyone. None of Pesce, Slavin, TVR, Fleury, McKeown, or Dahlbeck are even close to them in that regard, and D-zone liabilities are what they are under contract not to be.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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17 minutes ago, top-shelf-1 said:

Is this referring to Fleury? If so, I don't get it.

 

I was referring to Fleury. But I think you are missing my point. I think Fleury may have the most potential of all our D-men and if that potential translates into a top Dman it will be great. My point is that Fluery defensively was a big  liability as he learned his trade and offensively he was a no show. M ay point is if you trade Hanifin (Fleury and Hanifin skate on the same side) I think you need to go out and get a seasoned offensive minded Dman that brings a better D-game and not rely on a Fluery to replace him just yet.

 

The same holds true IMO with Faulk. TVR is the one D-man who has lived up to expectation and perhaps exceeded them. I ask is he able to skate an 82 game schedule as a second pair Dman or before you trade Faulk do you need a plan to replace him with a seasoned offensive minded Dman who makes better puck decisions.

 

Many here apparently see no upside to either Faulk or Hanifin. I do but also see the liability. My point is don't rely on what we have to replace them but if you trade make sure you replace with better, more complete players.

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I don't really want to jump into this debate, but since I graded these guys...

 

I see both points. Faulk, for all of his drawbacks, does move the puck, and when he is not turning it over gets it out and up quickly. He makes a lot of small, high skill plays. Hanifin does too. There will be a drop off in some degree of puck moving if either goes, and there will be very anemic offense from the blueline if both go.

 

But at the risk of opening the plus/minus can of worms, at some point the guy at the very bottom of the team 4 years running, that same guy who when he has been on the ice 5/5 our team has given up over 100 more goals than we've scored, simply HAS to mean something. That guy is Faulk.

 

When I think of the idea of trading Faulk or Hanifin, in terms of the team for me, Faulk goes first. Faulk just finished year 7. He is 26. He has now put up 4 seasons of horrendous plus minus in row. I kept thinking he could clean it up, but now I'm really not so sure, at least not here. His style of play is very high risk, and that risk seems to come true a lot. Also, trading Faulk would be an easy fix to the co captain thing. Hanifin troubles me. He is even more D zone mistake prone than Faulk. The main difference is that Hanifin is 5 years younger and at 21 still below the line where most NHL dmen figure things out. So absolutely I keep Hanifin over Faulk.

 

Here's the thing though. GM X may have a player, a young forward with proven chops, but maybe just not fitting in, or maybe he just has to fix his D. The "like for like" trade for that guy is probably Hanifin. Or maybe GM Y has wanted Hanifin for years, and has a talented young forward to trade. Maybe GM's are looking at Faulk's plus minus and see him as damaged goods and the return just isn't there. We rarely get to know the return offered. This is key to me. We don't need a third line journeyman winger. We need a youngish guy with proven NHL scoring chops. Faulk may not bring that back.

 

In my book Faulk has to go. But if Faulk's return is a marginal forward and a draft pick, then that doesn't get us where we need to be. In that case, if a GM values Hanifin enough to make a trade like the Johansen for Jones or Hall for Larson type trade, then we should do it.

 

Trade them both? That would be risky IMO. Not just the puck moving, but the offensive production. I do think winning teams get some production from the back, and those are our two best offensive defenseman. I will say this. Fleury put up the equivalent of 31 points/81 games in his last year in Charlotte and most of that in the back half of the year. I look to him to bring more offense next year and beyond. And eventually Jake Bean was drafted to bring offense, but too soon to tell on him.

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OBXer, I can't speak for the others. But for me I am fine with trading Faulk and Hanifin, as long as it is a trade not a contract dump. We need more help up front and if there is a decent trade for those two, then take it. I am comfortable with the rest of our D being able to play D, Fleury should be able to handle 2nd pairing minutes if we can't find a veteran to fill them. I would prefer better offensive forwards to poor defenders with some offensive upside. If the only trades look like contract dumps or prospects, then I keep Hanifin and take what I can get for Faulk. Anyone I shop would be informed of the value, particularly the lack of, that was offered and challenge them to make the other GM regret not offering more.

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I don't see how you can get value outta a vastly underperforming 5.5 soon to be 6 mil player who had doesn't give a crap written across his face much of this season. Can't see teams looking at him as an answer to getting over their humps. Doesn't mean it can't happen but I don't easily see it.

 

Hanifin, I think you can get fair value for the most part. We all have that hunch he's a headcase, I'm not entirely sure he's shown his hand as a headcase though to hurt his value.

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I am fine with trading both, and as some have alluded, for offensive help. Meaning top six forwards, not D.

 

I don't know if we're just talking past each other but I'll say it again, and I'm completely serious when I do: I DON'T CARE IF OUR D EVER SCORES. Any goal we get from D should be gravy, not expected, if they're doing their jobs.

 

On Fleury, he gave the puck away roughly half as much as both Faulk and Hanifin, even accounting for his 10 or so fewer GP. I and others here thought he acquitted himself very well in his rookie year, and (yet again) I don't care if he scores! He was solid in his own end. Faulk and Hanifin can't even find it.

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10 hours ago, OBXer said:

M ay point is if you trade Hanifin (Fleury and Hanifin skate on the same side) I think you need to go out and get a seasoned offensive minded Dman that brings a better D-game and not rely on a Fluery to replace him just yet.

I am fine with trading both Hanifin and Faulk, and as others have alluded, for offensive help. Meaning top six forwards, not D.

 

I don't know if we're just talking past each other but I'll say it again, and I'm completely serious when I do: I DON'T CARE IF OUR D EVER SCORES. Any goal we get from D should be gravy, not expected, if they're doing their PRIMARY jobs.

 

On Fleury, he gave the puck away roughly half as much as both Faulk and Hanifin, even adjustting for his 10 or so fewer GP. I and others here thought he acquitted himself very well in his rookie year, and (yet again) I don't care if he scores! He was solid in his own end. Faulk and Hanifin can't even find it.

 

10 hours ago, OBXer said:

TVR is the one D-man who has lived up to expectation and perhaps exceeded them. I ask is he able to skate an 82 game schedule as a second pair Dman or before you trade Faulk do you need a plan to replace him with a seasoned offensive minded Dman who makes better puck decisions.

And I'm saying TVR (and Fleury, and for that matter, Dahlbeck) has already proved himself. TVR played 79 games and was the best of all players who played half the season or more in his ratio of giveaways to takeaways: He stole the puck 2.4 times more than he gave it up. In other words, he took care of it.

 

He averaged 17 minutes TOI and just two years ago played 20 a night in Chicago. How much more proof is needed that he's a solid 3-4? And your puck-moving concerns... have you not noticed him skating the puck out of the zone, through the neutral and into the Ozone, often right up the middle? That takes explosive speed and confident stick-handling.

 

I guess in the end, I just do not see any downside at all - given the D we have in the stable that has not been coddled - in getting rid of two ridiculously over-rated alleged "studs" who have been.  

 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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We need to do what makes the TEAM better.  It can't be about who goes.  The exit commentary has them all saying they'll get better, but what is the track record?  There will be some hurt feelings and some of us will be disappointed that our favorite (fill in the blank with name/names of your choice) isn't around next season, but a couple of weeks ago the sentiment was blow it all up.  We can't have it both ways.

 

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Bottom line is, we aren't built for the regular season.  In addition to not having top-end talent, we are just too weak down the middle, which I accredit to not getting consistent net-front presence.  Our goalie situation is terrible, and our defense was all around inconsistent.  We can say trade this person or that person, but the market decides what we need to do to get what we need.  And to me, the only true player that shouldn't be traded is Aho.  We have some good pieces, most of whom will likely not be traded, but having a solid forward crop is proving to be more beneficial to playoff runs.  There should be a clear game plan.  Since TD prefers the trade route, I think we should try to acquire a legit, proven, veteran center that's a 50-60pt scorer and goaltender by draft night.  If it takes Faulk or Hanifin, 1st, any prospect but Necas, so be it.  If there's someone who's 70+ pt caliber available, I'm not above doing the unthinkable and consider trading one of Pesce or Slavin.  If we can't get what we want on draft night, they absolutely have to consider free agency.  If JT goes to free agency, and we aren't involved, then our management has seriously failed us.  There are some other names available that are legit good options, and if they don't come to us, they're going to teams we need to surpass.  We've seen it before, and it's what keeps us in mediocrity when we stay status quo while other teams are taking the necessary steps.  As WilmingtonCaniac so eloquently put, all of us (myself included) need to come to the realization that offseason may not go exactly how we want it to.  But if we come out of the summer with a #1C, a 50pt forward, and a starting goalie, I will be a satisfied Caniac.

 

Some names potentially available:

 

John Tavares

Ryan O'Reilly

Paul Stastny

Joe Thornton

Matt Duchene

RNH

Tyler Seguin (very slim chance)

 

Alex Galchenyuk

Max Pacioretty

JVR

Evander Kane

 

Mark Stone

James Neal

Reilly Smith

 

OEL

EK

 

Holtby

Hutton

 

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Lots of good thoughts about what we need and what it might take to get it. But there needs to be an overall plan in place before we start making moves, and I don’t see how we formulate one without a GM in place. I’m sorry Tom, but you can’t put together an overhauled team by committee, and you darned sure aren’t going to get it done with a hockey neophyte owner conducting GM/coach functions like exit interviews. And most surely not trades. So first and foremost, this team needs to get a hockey guy with a vision of what the Canes should be and a fresh perspective in to run the team. If we are going to blow it up, and it’s hard to argue against it, we better get the moves right or the rabbit hole is going to be a lot deeper than 9 years. So first and foremost, find a GM who is knowledgeable and shares TD’s vision for the team, then let him make the offseason moves we all know are needed. No successful team is run by a committee (or Don Waddell), or by an owner that is new to hockey. 

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