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Some interesting stuff on Bob McKenzie's Pod cast related to us. https://www.tsn.ca/radio/toronto-1050/the-tsn-hockey-bobcast-season-2-episode-18-1.1088242 (near the start, till about 16 minutes).

 

For those that don't follow him, McKenzie is one of the most dialed in guys out there. He gets a lot of stuff directly from GMs and teams. I'm going to break this into two posts:  One about ROR and one about "other" moves, Jeff Skinner.

 

The Sabres are open to moving Ryan O'Reilly. McKenzie lists us first as teams that would be interested, and then Montreal, and no further teams. Some interesting points:

 

ROR has a weirdly structured deal where he gets almost his entire salary before the season starts in the form of a $7.5 million signing bonus on July 1, then around $1 million for the rest of the year. McKenzie calls this "buyout proofing". So, the price in terms of return would go way up if the Sabres pay that bonus then trade him. To me this is a golden opportunity to pay a lower "return" price by paying that bonus. We have no cap issues this year.

 

Reportedly they are asking for a deal like the Mike Richards trade which returned a young Wayne Simmonds, prospect Brayden Schenn and a second round pick. This could be some combination of our good non Necas prospects and picks. But what of Faulk plus picks or plus Wallmark and a pick.

 

ROR is 27 years old, a center, an puts up 20-25 goals, 55-60 points pretty consistently. This is not John Tavares. And one of the things that McKenzie thinks could limit teams paying up for ROR is waiting until JT goes somewhere. ROR has a $7.5 million cap hit, which is pretty pricey for his production, but his deal is front loaded, after this next year, he makes $6 million/year. AND he does not have a NTC. So unless his game falls off the earth, he can be traded at the end if cap space is an issue. BUT unlike UFA's who tend to be starting their deals at 30-31. ROR, at 27, will only be 32 on the last year on this deal.

 

I am really really intrigued by this option. Of course, JT moves us instantly one goalie away from cup contention IMO. He is a superstar 1C. And I'd pay the man.  But what are the odds he wants to come here? This is a separate post, but while we do have some appeal, the odds are long. So ROR would be next best. Also, ROR can play either wing. One "concern" would be that Aho and Necas are both potential centers, as is Jordan, so short of a Tavares, do we really need a sort of second tier 1C? I say good problem to have. Let them switch around. Maybe Necas starts on the wing or in Charlotte, but eventually pushes ROR to the wing. Maybe eventually we trade ROR. But we are going to have high end talent in Aho, TT, Svech and Necas. We are not as desperate for it as we were before the lottery, and ROR will likely be $6 million plus per year cheaper than JT, and younger.

 

IF we could pull off ROR for say Faulk plus say Roy and our second round pick next year. We could ice this top 10:

 

Aho, Teravainen, Staal, Williams, Skinner, O'Reilly, Svechnikov, Skinner, Lindholm, Necas.  Or remove Skinner in a trade or Necas to Charlotte and still have a very good top 9.

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Mc Kenzie then goes right into some Cane's options for trades. Despite the "anyone but Aho" thing, he agrees with most of us that TT, Staal, Necas, Slavin and Pesce are pretty close to untouchable also.

 

He puts Faulk OR Hanifin as likely to be moved (one but not both). He mentions Rask being moved if possible. Unfortunately he stays out of the goalie debacle.

 

But the strongest language is reserved for Skinner whom he says "will almost certainly be traded" and has "no long term future in Carolina". This despite his NTC, and only one year left on his deal, and McKenzie admitting the return will not be huge, he seems to be the guy most on the block.

 

No mention of any sort of guess on the return. But McKenzie is very connected, so it is highly suggestive that some people within the organization have let that out.

 

I had hoped that with Peters gone, Brind'Amour could rehab the Skinner of a couple of years ago, but this suggests Skinner's drop off both in offense and defense, included things that contributed to the need for "culture change".  I have to think that Brindy, now a full committee member is not exactly pushing for Skinner to stay. All of this paragraph is just speculation on my part based on the force of McKenzie's statements.

 

I would summarize as: Faulk or Hanifin probably traded, Rask traded if we can find a taker, and Skinner almost certainly gone unless he invokes his NTC.

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Rem,

 

1. I don’t see a trade with Buffalo before the draft.  Don’t want to alter their needs and pick Svechnikov.  Also, I don’t see them getting Faulk after drafting Dahlin.

Rask, Gauthier, and a 2nd (before the big payout) or Rask, Wallmark, and next years first rounder after the payout.  

 

2. Also them picking up the signing bonus doesn’t affect the cap hit, it’s about dollars paid by us.  A money strapped team, like Ottawa or Arizona, could benefit from waiting. Arizona should be all over this.  A guy with a 7.5 million cap hit but only pay him a mil?  That is their type of deal.  Plus they have very little cap spent on offense.

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Interesting thoughts about them picking Svech. I doubt it would happen that way, but really hadn't thought of that. Still, if we make the right move, we'd still end up much better. Say we trade Faulk plus for ROR. The Sabres then pick Svech. Then we pick Dahlin. So we in effect switch Faulk/Svech for ROR/Dahlin. Either way we're a better team. Also, if that did happen, then Hanifin is suddenly very very tradeable.

 

As to the draft, there is a week between the draft and July 1. This would seem to be a good time to make this deal if we want to limit what we pay in personnel. The cap hit is only an issue for teams close to the cap. This may limit the market for ROR, but doesn't affect us or Buffalo really.

 

What does matter is the cash itself. If Buffalo pays it, the return in terms of players coming back goes up. So my point is that Dundon should shell out the cash and keep the players and make a better player for player deal. In all fairness, it is ROR's salary for the upcoming year, so it's not like we're getting ripped off. Yes, he's overpaid a bit, but that's the point. We have the payroll space (as well as cap space) to pull something like this off.

 

What about Faulk and a non Necas/Svech prospect and a second rounder for him? Maybe they don't want Faulk. Then Skinner plus maybe. Hanifin straight up or maybe they add a pick?

 

There may be other options out there: Hoffman, etc. And we do need to get a goalie as job one. But I am intrigued by adding a guy like that to our forward core of young guys.

 

Also, ROR seems like the kind of guy who might really respond well to a change in scenery. He hates losing (something we want) and got bogged down by all the losing last year in Buffalo. (I also think Hoffman or Stone from Ottawa might actually increase output with a change from the D first team).

 

I mention ROR mainly because McKenzie puts us on him.

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In thinking about ROR I find it helpful to consider J Staal.  Similar roles, ROR is 2 years younger, better offensively, probably not quite as good defensively, ROR even better than J on face-offs, and very similar contracts (ROR gets $2.5m more this season, but both get $6m per for the 4 seasons after that). 

 

With Buffalo getting Dahlin, and presumably hoping to contend sooner rather than later, I can't see getting ROR for mainly futures or a main piece like Rask or even Skinner (given that he's a 1 year "rental").  I think about what we'd require in exchange for Jordan and expect Sabres would want even more in order to move ROR.  If Sabres would accept Faulk as the main piece coming back, I'm all over it (Dahlin is a left shot so I don't see him affecting Faulk's desirability).  If they don't want Faulk, I suspect we'd have to start with Hainfin+ or perhaps Lindholm++.   I can see the 23yo Lindholm as having a good chance of becoming ROR lite, if not more.  On the other hand, sounds like ROR has the attitude we're trying to create, whereas Lindy . . . well, perhaps not so much?

 

To me, ROR seems like he's a bit redundant with Jordan, although probably a bit of an upgrade.  With the way Necas and Aho project at C, how much do we want to give up for 5 years of ROR given that we're already committed to 5 years of Jordan?  Or, would it make sense to bring on ROR now with the recognition that we might want to move one or the other a year or two down the road given the overlap and likely development of our yutes?  It probably all comes down to what we'd have to give up to get him.

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ROR is similar to Jordan, including a beast in the circle. I just don't see us trading Staal, but I guess a lateral move with more offense in ROR is not crazy, but I don't trade Staal for ROR personally.

 

But ROR can play wing too. I know he wins faceoffs, but so do other guys. And what a guy to have come in on a waive off.


I do wonder, since we have pegged Aho as a Center, and Necas likes it there, and Jordan is not a winger, what the long term plan might be w/ ROR. But Necas could start on the wing, and Aho can play wing too. Lots of flexibility there.

 

Just a rumor, but McKenzie is a pretty good source that we are at least looking into it.

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17 minutes ago, remkin said:

ROR is similar to Jordan, including a beast in the circle. I just don't see us trading Staal, but I guess a lateral move with more offense in ROR is not crazy, but I don't trade Staal for ROR personally.

 

But ROR can play wing too. I know he wins faceoffs, but so do other guys. And what a guy to have come in on a waive off.


I do wonder, since we have pegged Aho as a Center, and Necas likes it there, and Jordan is not a winger, what the long term plan might be w/ ROR. But Necas could start on the wing, and Aho can play wing too. Lots of flexibility there.

 

Just a rumor, but McKenzie is a pretty good source that we are at least looking into it.

 

I wasn't alluding to including Jordan in a trade for ROR, but now that I think about it, if you take a completely cold and clinical approach to personnel, wouldn't replacing Jordan with the 2 year younger, more offensively potent, and similarly contracted ROR would make sense for the organization?  I can't see a direct deal with Buffalo as they're probably looking to get younger due to their competitiveness window.  But if we were able to land ROR in a deal for, say Faulk + or Lindholm +, and separately trade Jordan for a nice return to a club legitimately contending for the Cup right now, should we consider it?  As I said, I recognize that this would be a very hard-boiled move, but isn't that what Dundon was alluding to when he said "it's our job to find a player better than you"?

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I guess I'm just a fan of what Staal brings. I've always seen him as a quiet leader where others have seen him as too quiet. But he seems to carry his line, make guys around him better and never seems to let up the work ethic. Jordan was also one of the specific guys that Brind'Amour mentioned as guys that can bring more offense, as in different coaching can get more out of him. Also, while he doesn't hand guy's heads to them, he does have a physical side and is a big guy.

 

I know that few are enamored with the plus/minus stat, but Staal is an outlier. Over the past 5 years on a hugely negative goal diff team, Staal, with lots of defensive zone starts and drawing the top centers in the game and their lines is cumulatively -5. While, oh, say, um, oh Faulk for instance, often not on the top pair, with offensive zone starts. has managed -85.

 

It just seems so tidy to have Jordan as the 2C, especially if he can up his offense a little (and as our wingers get better, and if Brindy has some insight into it, he could), if we could just land that 1C, or get there with Aho.

 

It's why Tavares would be worth paying just about whatever. Tavares-Staal-Lindholm would be very strong to hang Teravainen, Aho, Svech, Necas, Williams and Skinner off of. Dang that would be good. And that requires no trades outside of getting a goalie. OK pipe dream, but ROR-Staal-Lindholm would be decent given those wingers too. Put a halfway decent goalie in there, and that is a playoff home team. OK stop dreaming.

 

It would be easier in a way to get Mike Hoffman for RW, especially if we moved Skinner. Similar production to ROR, maybe would be better if freed from Ottawa. He's only signed for two more years though, and then is that tricky 30 yo UFA. To me Faulk + for Hoffman would be a good deal for us. We could leave Aho at center. With a top 9 of: TT, Aho, Svech, Necas, Williams, Skinner, Lindholm, Staal, Hoffman. If Necas and Svech arrive, that is a lot of fire power. Then in year 2 slide our best prospect in for Williams and watch as Svech, Necas, Aho, and TT hit their strides. And by the time Hoffman is UFA at least two of our non Necas/Svech prospects should be full on ready.

 

Of course McKenzie has Skinner out of here, but I'm just drooling over him getting back to form in that lineup up there, and re-signing him to possibly trade later if his value comes up.

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I'm also a fan of Jordan's.  On the surface, moving an effective and dedicated player like J in favor of a younger one like ROR seems pretty cold and calculating, even if ROR is arguably a slight upgrade and the 2 year age difference probably makes an even bigger difference in 3rd to 5th year that each has left on his contract.  I'm not advocating it, but it has got me thinking about how ruthless TD may be when it comes to "it's my job to find someone better than you". 

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7 hours ago, slapshot02 said:

After watching much of the Cup playoffs I continually ask myself could the Canes even compete in many of these games? Many games have been very physical and we would be having a hard time competing. I'm afraid we would be stuck with a ref waiting for the plane from Charlotte to land with replacement players.

 

I was going to post something about this earlier, but since I'm trying to quit the internet, I declined.  You stoked a fire.  :)

 

First, playoffs are different.  Always have been.  But...  I look at the Canes and the way they played this season, and I compare to any of these four teams and they way they are playing, and I am simply DISMAYED.  Not sunshine-rainbows-lollipops-unicorns. 

 

However, when I compare to regular season play... Well, the dismay gets worse!   The Canes were terrible in physicality and good, serious, useful shotmaking.  The physicality is one thing.  The quality of shots I've seen from these teams blows me away.  Seriously, the way Darls played, I could see 10 shots going in.

 

So, yeah, slaspshot, I share your concern.   The Committee better damn well get to work.

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On 5/18/2018 at 6:38 PM, bluedevilcane said:

Guys, knock yourselves out on this one, but I haven’t posted on it.

My error, thanks BDC. pepcane made the comment about other ways of being a pest, here. I've corrected the ref in my OP. 

 

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On 5/18/2018 at 6:58 PM, coastal_caniac said:

But I'm desperate for something other than ultra-soft.

We certainly agree on this.

 

I think part of what's influencing the discussion is that we're watching a level of physicality now that we just don't see during the regular season. If every game were played like those in May and June, the NHL season would end in November for lack of healthy players.

 

But yeah, when Jeff Skinner is arguably the Cane who has stepped up his physicality the most over the past three years... Houston, we have a problem.

 

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Just reading through recent posts, and don't want my last to seem like an endorsement of trading Skins. I think it would be a crappy thing to do, in all honesty; the guy has back-to-back career years, and because your GM doesn't replace his playmaking winger from the prior season (Stemp) when he can't play and won't be back anytime soon, you don't extend Skinner? Who is the remaining roster's most-experienced winger (outside of Williams)? 

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11 hours ago, top-shelf-1 said:

...and because your GM doesn't replace his playmaking winger from the prior season (Stemp) when he can't play and won't be back anytime soon, you don't extend Skinner? Who is the remaining roster's most-experienced winger (outside of Williams)? 

 

I just read PDG’s year in review and I found it interesting that Skinner averaged 0.60 points per game in 30 games with PDG as the other wing. He averaged 0.596 points per game in 52 games when someone else was on the wing. Almost identical, and actually fractionally lower without PDG.

 

This doesn’t match up with those saying that Skinner’s linemates were holding him back. Maybe Skinner’s numbers with Ryan would show something, or whoever was at center in general.

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1 hour ago, Kyrule said:

 

I just read PDG’s year in review and I found it interesting that Skinner averaged 0.60 points per game in 30 games with PDG as the other wing. He averaged 0.596 points per game in 52 games when someone else was on the wing. Almost identical, and actually fractionally lower without PDG.

 

This doesn’t match up with those saying that Skinner’s linemates were holding him back. Maybe Skinner’s numbers with Ryan would show something, or whoever was at center in general.

 

 

This doesn't tell me anything other than PDG was an adequate-at-best linemate for Skinner, just like pretty much every other linemate Skinner had was adequate-at-best.  Pointing at PDG as one of Skinner's better linemates really kind of confirms his linemates were the problem.

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47 minutes ago, realmdrakkar said:

 

 

This doesn't tell me anything other than PDG was an adequate-at-best linemate for Skinner, just like pretty much every other linemate Skinner had was adequate-at-best.  Pointing at PDG as one of Skinner's better linemates really kind of confirms his linemates were the problem.

 

Not following the logic here. I didn’t say PDG was one of his better linemates, I’m pointing out that he had the same production whoever was on the other wing.

 

So Aho, Williams, Lindholm, and Stempniak (along with PDG) were the problem? That’s who was used on the right side most of the season in our top 9.

 

.

 

Edited by Kyrule

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Many articles out there with Skinner as a potential trade partner. Perhaps his fall off last year is driving much of the rumors and perhaps his lack of effort is driving many of the conversations. Perhaps internally the committee identifies Skins as part of the stink in the room as he did take many games off. My personal opinion is that trading Skins would negate a piece of TD's philosophy. We need to do everything we can to make our players better. Would this not include providing higher end talent to Skin's third line or at least move one of your highest point producers up to the second line? I'm still in the camp of surrounding Skins with better talent and I mean a much higher level than a PDG or equivalent player.

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The committee needs to get moving. I find it a very scary scenario that we could move 1/3 of our existing roster pieces with several AHL replacements and not see a fall off in production. Time to get moving with higher end talent. Players that need to move on are PDG, Nordstrom, Rask, Ryan, Stemps, Faulk, Mongo.

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39 minutes ago, Kyrule said:

Not following the logic here. I didn’t say PDG was one of his better linemates, I’m pointing out that he had the same production whoever was on the other wing.

 

So Williams, TT, Lindholm, and Stempniak (along with PDG) were the problem? That’s who was used on the right side most of the season in our top 9.

 

 

I'll give you Williams but i don't remember too many instances of Skinner and TT being on even strength lines together.  Mostly i remember Skinner being paired with PDG or a cold-from-injury Stempniak on the other wing and yeah, i'll include Stemp along with PDG in pointing out Skinner didn't have much on the other wing to help him out.  You did mention Ryan as well, though, and i'll definitely point to that little setup as much of the problem.  Maybe he had a few games with better linemates, but playing the bulk of the season with Ryan and PDG/injuredStempniak isn't going to give anyone their best numbers.

 

Edited by realmdrakkar

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9 minutes ago, slapshot02 said:

Players that need to move on are PDG, Nordstrom, Rask, Ryan, Stemps, Faulk, Mongo.

 

I agree.

 

Letting PDG, Nordstrom, Ryan, and Stempniak walk is the easy part.

 

Moving the contracts of Rask and Darling will be difficult, if not impossible in Mongo’s case.

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36 minutes ago, realmdrakkar said:

 

 

I'll give you Williams but i don't remember too many instances of Skinner and TT being on even strength lines together.  Mostly i remember Skinner being paired with PDG and a cold-from-injury Stempniak and yeah, i'll include Stemp along with PDG in pointing out Skinner didn't have much on the other wing to help him out.  You did mention Ryan as well, though, and i'll definitely point to that little setup as much of the problem.  Maybe he had a few games with better linemates, but playing the bulk of the season with Ryan and PDG/injuredStempniak isn't going to give anyone their best numbers.

 

Actually I had to edit that, TT pretty much played LW all year and Aho went from RW to center iirc.

 

I did mention Ryan for a reason, if you are going to have two smaller, soft, offensively-minded players on the same line they better be producing at a high rate to offset their deficiencies. I cringed when we had the lead and that line came out.

 

With Skinner I agree on one point, we need to either 1): trade him, or 2): let him play consistently in the top 6 (with better talent) and work with him. Paying a goal-scorer with unique talent 5.7 million and putting him on the third line makes no sense. It’s been going on for far too long. Either he improves, or you move him along. It’s time to sink or swim, but put him in the position to do one or the other. Leaving him languishing on the third-line only raises more questions when things don’t work out. 

 

I don’t think Peters ever trusted Skinner, and that’s why there are so many questions surrounding him. Skinner doesn’t exactly fit the mold when I think of a Brind’Amour type player either, so I think there is a good chance he is traded. Hopefully it works out either way.

 

.

Edited by Kyrule
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4 hours ago, Kyrule said:

 

I agree.

 

Letting PDG, Nordstrom, Ryan, and Stempniak walk is the easy part.

 

Moving the contracts of Rask and Darling will be difficult, if not impossible in Mongo’s case.

I agree that Mongo and Rask probably will still remain unless something very creative is accomplished.

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5 hours ago, Kyrule said:

 

r 1): trade him, or 2): let him play consistently in the top 6 (with better talent) and work with him. Paying a goal-scorer with unique talent 5.7 million and putting him on the third line makes no sense. It’s been going on for far too long. Either he improves, or you move him along. It’s time to sink or swim, but put him in the position to do one or the other. Leaving him languishing on the third-line only raises more questions when things don’t work out. 

 

 

 

.

I agree 100%. He could remain on the third line if we increased our two other third line slots. If he doesn't improve after providing support this year I fully support a move.

Edited by slapshot02

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Good dissection of Skinner but on a goal starved team getting rid of a 3 time 30 goal scorer and perennial 20+ goal scorer doesn’t seem like the way to win more games. 

Edited by raleighcaniac
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I have to think that Skinner would be more productive on a line with more...NHL level talent.  Didn't he have a really good run with JStaal a couple of years ago, and then BP broke it up?  Seems like Canes coaches have always preached balanced forward lines, and that has resulted in 4 lines that struggle to score.

 

On moving Skinner, I think a big part of that revolves around what he plans to do.  If he's going to hold out for the last dollar, he has to go.  Somebody is going to overpay for him next summer

Edited by super_dave_1
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