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Trades, Player moves and Free Agency

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As I think on the present goalie conundrum plus the Bales situation, what I can't help from wondering, and this is just me, but I am curious if these events about which we are presently agonizing were out of left field and thus as much of a surprise to DW as to the fan base, or hopefully he had/has some contingencies? To be sure, he should have anticipated that Mrazek accepting his 1 year deal was a prelude to seeking a larger, multiyear one? And McIlhenny coming to us sort of like "captive audience" surely made a longer term commitment on his part iffy unless he was really wowed by the area? Thus I have to believe that Waddell must have a Plan B, albeit unpredictable depending on who was/is available? Here again, I hope Waddell is the GM we thought he was this past season with several noteworthy moves. Guess we'll find out shortly?

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Imo, we have to make a offer to Bob as Option A. Option B. wait out the market and see what Maz and Mac decide to do. Option A+ as of right now. move up and take this kid Knight in the draft and play Ned next year in a starter or back role. Nonetheless its not a dire strait situation at the moment...

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Goalie is everything. And our history is pathetic. Our best historical goalie years have always been followed by down years, and with one outlier in 1988-89, even our best has not been very good. This at arguably the most important position, by far, on the ice. When we've had even decent goaltending, we've done pretty well. Imagine if we every got top goaltending? Who knows, because outside of one year over 20 years ago, it's never happened. Just have to keep imagining. So, yes, throw it all at Bob. Trade up and draft Knight. Turn this whole thing around. 

 

As much as I think we need another forward, we need to get goalie right more, a lot more. None of last year's magic would have happened if we had the goaltending we rolled out just about any of the past 20 years. Not even close on the vast majority of years. Despite all of the other great stuff from last year, with the team gelling, our well above average D, Aho and TT breaking out, etc, we needed every bit of that goaltending. Carolina team save percentage rank last year was #14. Pretty much center mass. The 6 previous years: #31, #27, #29, #27, #18, #27. In 11-12 we were #15, so about the same. In fact, last year's #14 save percentage was the second highest this team has EVER had, and the highest in 20 years. 

 

I went to look year by year, and as I cycled through 27th, after another 25th, and 28th etc etc. I realized that this organization has probably had the worst goaltending in the NHL over the stretch of its existence. Or right in the bottom few if not the cellar. If not bottom, pretty near it. 

 

I knew it wasn't good, but I didn't realize how bad it's been. In finishing this post I'm going to list them all. But since the year 1999 we have never a single season with a save percentage in the top third. Not once. Our highest finish ever was 08-09 where we finished #11.

 

Starting with last year, here is the list of our save percentage ranking: Bold is dead center and down.

Going back in time from this year:

 

14, 31, 27, 29, 27,18, 27, 15, 11, 21,11, 28, 25,15, 23, 28, 17, 19, 20, 5, 15. 

 

Note that every good year was followed by a not good year, or a bad one. Outside of our very first years here, we have never put together back to back seasons at goal that those two seasons averaged top HALF in save percentage. 

 

Want to compete for cups and make the playoffs regularly? Nothing else matters if this continues.

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52 minutes ago, remkin said:

If we slip back in goal, even a little. We fail.

I’m trying hard not to be majorly concerned...but this revelation is NOT good.

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11 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

Ehlers being shopped and we are mentioned as a trade partner for a RHD? Anyone here like that?

Been discussing that for a few days now (it’s a few pages back).  Consensus is “depends.”

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6 minutes ago, remkin said:

Want to compete for cups and make the playoffs regularly? Nothing else matters if this continues.

I’m all for trading up...our first, a second, and a prospect (or Fleury level d-man) to grab Knight.  I just don’t see us doing it, unfortunately.  

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7 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

Ehlers being shopped and we are mentioned as a trade partner for a RHD? Anyone here like that?

We were discussing this a couple of days ago. I offered some pluses and some minuses a few pages back.

 

But in a word, I'm interested. 

 

There are two ways to get elite talent besides drafting it. One, UFA. That is thin for most teams not called the Rangers. But for us, the thought of landing an elite UFA is basically :rofl:. The other way is to trade.

 

But, here's the thing about trades. The other team has to have a reason to trade the guy you want. And short of that guy coming up on UFA with no interest in staying put (Stone), then there is often something not perfect about that player. Maybe some 'tude, maybe hasn't scored in the playoffs, but something.

 

So no, Ehlers is not the top guy I'd run my finger down the list of all forwards and rank #1. But that's not realistic. What he is, is a flat out legit, better than average FIRST line winger, who put up those numbers at 20-21 years old. He is still only 23. This is a 25-30 goal, 60-65 point guy right now. In the bank. He's signed for EVER at $6million per. This could be a massive bargain given what some guys are getting in UFA even now, let alone 5 years from now.

 

His only real downsides is that he's not hugely physical, and he's struggled to score in the playoffs so far (aside from not playing center). 

 

I'm interested.

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1 hour ago, gocanes0506 said:

Talbot may be a 1 year cheap deal reclamation.  I would want a solid backup with Talbot.  Miller or Smith seem like a good one year option to me as well.

Calgary will keep Smith, as Rittich collapsed on them late in the season and during the first round.  I don’t know about Miller...too many injury issues.  

Talbot is an interesting issue...when I saw him live in Edmonton back in Jan, we were lighting him up like the 4th of July...he was playing out of position a la Mongo. 

 

 

EDIT:  Nevermind on Miller...TSN reporting Ducks will re-up him.

Edited by AWACSooner

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Okay Guys, I'm sorry if I'd forgotten that discussion on Ehlers but just saw it on TSN so peaked my curiosity? Also have been distracted by a few things at work lately?

 

rem, on your goalie revelation, I guess the single thing that I focus on is WHY? Seems with our 1st GM being an ex-goalie, wouldn't one think he knows and/or feels the criticalness of that position. RF and DW maybe not so much, but if you can find and illustrate those dismal figures for us (and not being dismissive of your abilities), wouldn't you think that with all the hype about out stat gurus and their fancy stats that are hinted at, that someone would have seen that trend? Maybe you should apply for that position? So again I ask WHY? Doesn't a blind squirrel find a nut sometimes? Makes zero sense?

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I'm thinking Robin Lehner. There is always the risk that his bipolar/substance issues could flare up, but when he's got that under control the guy is off the charts good. And, as mentioned in the Ehlers thing, if he had no outside issues, he would never be even possibly available. 

 

At 27, he's in his prime age-wise. So much was made of Tuuka Rask's glorious playoff run with GAA and Save %. And it was amazing. Except it was second in both categories to Robin Lehner. And during the regular season? #2 in the NHL in Save %, and #3 in GAA. 

 

This guy could put us at the very top for years. 

 

This sounds nuts, but frankly, if we could overpay McE for one year of services, and not give Lehner a NTC, the risk of a largish contract for Lehner would be mitigated. Next year we could roll out McE and Ned if needed. 

 

Lehner is so good, that even when he was struggling with his issues, he wasn't terrible, coming in around .908. Way better than Mongo, and NINE of Cam Ward's worst years. 

 

I don't think Lehner gets Bob money either, and he's 3 years younger.  

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I just don’t see Lehner coming here...I think he ultimately re-ups with the Isles...

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32 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

rem, on your goalie revelation, I guess the single thing that I focus on is WHY? Seems with our 1st GM being an ex-goalie, wouldn't one think he knows and/or feels the criticalness of that position. RF and DW maybe not so much, but if you can find and illustrate those dismal figures for us (and not being dismissive of your abilities), wouldn't you think that with all the hype about out stat gurus and their fancy stats that are hinted at, that someone would have seen that trend? Maybe you should apply for that position? So again I ask WHY? Doesn't a blind squirrel find a nut sometimes? Makes zero sense?

 

Turned out Cam Ward was average at best. Sorry. But it turned out to be right. And our wagon hitched to him for a lot of those years. Cam was also the only first round shot at a "can't miss" goalie prospect. Ned was next as a high second, but goalies went ahead of him. Goalies take a long time and top prospects can be huge misses. But we've really only swung for the fences with Cam.

 

OK we had some bad defenses too, to be fair. But really Cam's career never warranted the sequential years as clear #1. Of course back ups had us very low on their list too. Couldn't see passing Cam and had to play behind some porous D. 

 

Before 2005, I wasn't really paying attention TBH. Have to leave that analysis to others.

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Here’s the issue with a lot of goalies even considering us in free agency: Ned.  

 

He just won the Calder Cup and the top goalie award for the AHL, so he’s obviously going to get a shot at #1 sometime soon.  If you’re a goalie in your prime, why would you want to even consider coming here if someone like him is hot on your tail?  

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5 minutes ago, gocanes0506 said:

Lehner is in the same situation as Mrazek. I doubt either are taking what we are wanting to do.

The difference is that Lehner, on his game is a top 5 goalie for an entire season. And has been in that ball park for 3 of the past 4 years. Mrazek has not. 

 

Lehner is a legit potential Vezina-caliber goalie. He'll get paid, but given the uncertainty of his other issues, he will probably not get paid Bob money.  Why would we not want to pay for the #2 goalie in the NHL and #1 goalie in the playoffs? 

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Ehlers "outside issues"? Obviously I do not know about those. I'd have thought that the hangup was the ask for a RHD and specifically Faulk or Hamilton which we do not want to give?

 

Lehner is intriguing but like AWACS, I doubt he leaves the bright lights of New York? 

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23 minutes ago, AWACSooner said:

Here’s the issue with a lot of goalies even considering us in free agency: Ned.  

 

He just won the Calder Cup and the top goalie award for the AHL, so he’s obviously going to get a shot at #1 sometime soon.  If you’re a goalie in your prime, why would you want to even consider coming here if someone like him is hot on your tail?  

If you're Bob or Lehner, I don't think you're too worried about Ned TBH. 

 

That might be an issue though, for a lesser goalie. Possibly something Mrazek was thinking on, especially since they're both similar goalies. 

 

The problem with Ned is that he is unproven in the NHL and won't be for a couple more years because unless he pulls a Binnington, it takes a couple of years to establish NHL cred.

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2 minutes ago, remkin said:

The difference is that Lehner, on his game is a top 5 goalie for an entire season. And has been in that ball park for 3 of the past 4 years. Mrazek has not. 

 

Lehner is a legit potential Vezina-caliber goalie. He'll get paid, but given the uncertainty of his other issues, he will probably not get paid Bob money.  Why would we not want to pay for the #2 goalie in the NHL and #1 goalie in the playoffs? 

Yep but we are looking to make Ned the starter as early as 20-21. I doubt Lehner will take something short with us.

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1 minute ago, remkin said:

If your Bob or Lehner, I don't think you're too worried about Ned TBH. 

 

That might be an issue though, for a lesser goalie. Possibly something Mrazek was thinking on, especially since they're both similar goalies. 

 

The problem with Ned is that he is unproven in the NHL and won't be for a couple more years because unless he pulls a Binnington, it takes a couple of years to establish NHL cred.

All legit arguments...and I sure as hell don’t want to have Ned as our #1in October.  

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2 minutes ago, KJUNKANE said:

Ehlers "outside issues"? Obviously I do not know about those. I'd have thought that the hangup was the ask for a RHD and specifically Faulk or Hamilton which we do not want to give?

 

Lehner is intriguing but like AWACS, I doubt he leaves the bright lights of New York? 

On Ehlers, I'm not saying he has "issues". Lehner does. I just mean that when we look at the short comings of an available guy: (not a hitter, doesn't score in the playoffs) we need to remember that there has to be some reason for a guy to be available. 

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Just now, remkin said:

On Ehlers, I'm not saying he has "issues". Lehner does. I just mean that when we look at the short comings of an available guy: (not a hitter, doesn't score in the playoffs) we need to remember that there has to be some reason for a guy to be available. 

Yah: they’re up against the cap and have to re up Kyle Connor

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2 minutes ago, gocanes0506 said:

Yep but we are looking to make Ned the starter as early as 20-21. I doubt Lehner will take something short with us.

If Lehner is tearing it up and Ned is also, we might have to make a trade. But I doubt it is an issue before 21-22 IMO, as Ned might want to be #1, but just has to split time for at least a couple of years. But isn't that so much better of a problem to have than what we've seen in the past 20 years?

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2 minutes ago, AWACSooner said:

Yah: they’re up against the cap and have to re up Kyle Connor

That too. The last time we stole an elite young guy from a cap pressed team he turned into the TT now scoring a ppg. 

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