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hockeydad-ch1

Aaron Ward coming back

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First of all, we have several guys who fit his mold including Tim Gleason, a younger version of Ward. Secondly, I'm not saying he was on our team in the past because he is well liked. You misunderstand. He was younger, cheaper, and better. People seem to want him back now so badly because they really like him and what he has done here in the past. I don't think he's not good, I just think we don't have a need for him, he's not much of an upgrade, if at all, over what we have now, and he isn't worth what he's being paid.

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Hockey Buzz is a fake website anyways isn't it?

Nope, it's home to a notorious hockey blogger named Eklund. He reports on rumored trades and signings and is hardly ever right. Lots of the things he reports are so outlandish that hardly anyone believes anything he says anymore, I know I don't.

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Players cannot reconstructure their contracts in the new CBA. Ward will make $2.75M next season.

Our need is a puck-moving defenseman that can quarterback the PP. In other words, the polar opposite of Aaron Ward. Spending this sort of money (and assets) on yet another defensive defenseman makes absolutely no sense. If he didn't win the Cup with us, this wouldn't even be discussed. He does not fill a need.

not disagreeing with you, but Ward would fill a need... and it happens to be something very noticeably missing last year called "team toughness"

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That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.

Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.

I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.

Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too

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Hockey Buzz is a fake website anyways isn't it?

Nope, it's home to a notorious hockey blogger named Eklund. He reports on rumored trades and signings and is hardly ever right. Lots of the things he reports are so outlandish that hardly anyone believes anything he says anymore, I know I don't.

I wouldn't completely discount what he says. He hits on quite a few rumors that are dismissed at the time they are posted. I remember when he said we were interested in Jeff Hamilton, NO ONE else had us interested in Jeff Hamilton, and a few minutes later it appears on all of the websites that the Carolina Hurricanes have signed Jeff Hamilton.

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That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.

Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.

I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.

Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too

David Tanabe would never accept that offer. There is atleast one team in the NHL that could have David Tanabe on their roster. AHL would add about as much humility to Tanabe as it did to Anton Babchuk, which is none.

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That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.

Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.

I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.

Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too

David Tanabe would never accept that offer. There is atleast one team in the NHL that could have David Tanabe on their roster. AHL would add about as much humility to Tanabe as it did to Anton Babchuk, which is none.

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First time post in three years. I have been sitting back and reading for all that time. Some may remember 17 Fan, that is me! STH for the last 7 years. I have to put in my 2 cents on the AW trade rumors. Gleason and Seidenburg are good young prospects that are only a year or two away from proving they can be contenders in the NHL. AW has the track record but may be too costly unless we unload a 4th line forward. Do not think Cole can be traded! The boy is about to have a break out year, and his assist numbers are going to go through the roof. I always thoght that Danny Markov would make it for this team. Consider that he only played 18 games last year for the WINGS and he may be a possibility. Not the greatest d-man but a good up side is is offensive end. Just a thought.
That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.


Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.


I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.


Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too


David Tanabe would never accept that offer. There is atleast one team in the NHL that could have David Tanabe on their roster. AHL would add about as much humility to Tanabe as it did to Anton Babchuk, which is none.

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That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.

Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.

I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.

Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too

David Tanabe would never accept that offer. There is atleast one team in the NHL that could have David Tanabe on their roster. AHL would add about as much humility to Tanabe as it did to Anton Babchuk, which is none.

Coles assist numbers about to break through the roof? What have you seen over the course of his career that even remotely indicates that. He's not a playmaker at all and if anything we'll see his goal totals increase, not his assists. As for Markov, no thanks. His offensive ability has really dried up in the past few years and the last thing we need is another injury prone defenseman. Not sure where you get your stats either, saying he only played 18 games last year. Might want to look into that because I'm sure he played a good chunk of the season and after taking a second to look it up found out he played 66.

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That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.

Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.

I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.

Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too

David Tanabe would never accept that offer. There is atleast one team in the NHL that could have David Tanabe on their roster. AHL would add about as much humility to Tanabe as it did to Anton Babchuk, which is none.

Coles assist numbers about to break through the roof? What have you seen over the course of his career that even remotely indicates that. He's not a playmaker at all and if anything we'll see his goal totals increase, not his assists. As for Markov, no thanks. His offensive ability has really dried up in the past few years and the last thing we need is another injury prone defenseman. Not sure where you get your stats either, saying he only played 18 games last year. Might want to look into that because I'm sure he played a good chunk of the season and after taking a second to look it up found out he played 66.

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For the record, the rumor is just that Ward will be moved to clear cap space, not that he will be moved to Carolina specifically.

Check out the actual post:

The Bruins are trying to clear cap space, and it is likely that the player they want to clear it for is Markov. I am hearing rumours of Aaron Ward perhaps being moved, possibly back to Carolina, to clear that space.

The bolded part is just Eklund's own guess at where Ward is going. He must figure since Carolina did it once, there's a chance they'll do it again and he's just playing the odds, or perceived odds. The rumor he's reporting on doesn't say anything about where Ward would go.

Depends on if you really think lightning will strike twice. I'm betting it won't.

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That would make it seem like David Tanabe would be some type of upgrade over what we have, which he isn't. I don't want the team to re-acquire Aaron Ward, but atleast he would add much-needed toughness if he was acquired.

Our need is for a puck moving defenseman that can QB the PP. Tanabe fits that mold moreso than Ward. We have a Ward on the team, his name is Tim Gleason.

Am I saying Tanabe is the best at this, No, but right now he's the cheap one that fits the mold. This team doesn't have the money, so we need to get someone cheap, right now, that's Tanabe.

I don't know if he is the best option available. As far as I know, Brent Sopel is still on the market and likely would cost about the same as Tanabe.

David Tanabe is not a powerplay quarterback. His best attribute is when he accidently passes the puck to the right guy at the right time. He has the shot of Anton Babchuk minus the velocity, he has the physicality of a hamburger-less Niclas Wallin, and he has the passion of an Anson Carter. He isn't the answer to anyone's problem. Unless Florida needs someone to replace the moves of Ed Belfour.

Sopel will go for more than Tanabe, easily. At least $2 mil a year. You seem to forget how well Tanabe played for us towards the end of last season. I'd rather give him another chance at perhaps finally panning out for $1 mil then bring back Ward, a type of player we have plenty of, for almsot 3x that salary.

the only way I'd let Tanabe back would be a two-way $650k contract... that way you wouldn't have to send a good defenseman down or put somebody on waivers. 2 reasons for this 1) Tanabe has never played a game in the AHL, and perhaps some time in the minors would teach him some toughness (face it those guys in the minors would beat the mess out of his prima dona behind) 2) Tanabe has always been overpaid for his performance and could use a lesson in humility... would be good for us and if he learns his lessons well, good for him too

David Tanabe would never accept that offer. There is atleast one team in the NHL that could have David Tanabe on their roster. AHL would add about as much humility to Tanabe as it did to Anton Babchuk, which is none.

Coles assist numbers about to break through the roof? What have you seen over the course of his career that even remotely indicates that. He's not a playmaker at all and if anything we'll see his goal totals increase, not his assists. As for Markov, no thanks. His offensive ability has really dried up in the past few years and the last thing we need is another injury prone defenseman. Not sure where you get your stats either, saying he only played 18 games last year. Might want to look into that because I'm sure he played a good chunk of the season and after taking a second to look it up found out he played 66.

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Ironically, in the absence of real rumors Eklund often links ex-players with their former teams but totally missed the Cullen-to-Carolina reacquisition. His Ward-to-Carolina rumor is another example of just idle commentary without any basis. It makes zero sense and of course, as usual, he offers no explanation.

Reassembling the Cup-winning roster seems to be a sentimental preoccupation for some. Aaron Ward is not what is needed or the missing link. The Canes didn't run roughshod over the league the year they won the Cup apart from a hot start and sizzling January. They adapted very quickly to the new rules and built a big lead. In the last 30 games though they were a .500 and their uneven play nearly got them bounced my Montreal. Two things saved the day - hot goaltending and a dynamite PP. Period. They won in spite of only an adequate defense - on both sides of the puck but glaringly weak on the offensive side.

You can bring back every member of that roster and still flame-out. What they lack right now is a mobile, offensive-minded Dman who is also defensively responsible. Aaron Ward, though every likable is an average player with a tendency to make boneheaded decisions, hardly the missing ingredient. When they Canes were at their best in the regular season, they had two puck-moving Dmen who could initiate a breakout and contribute on the PP - Kaberle and Tverdovsky. In the latter part of the year Tverdovsky fell apart but his offensive contributions have yet to be replaced. Gleason is like a younger Ward with a sounder game but still there is nobody to fill the 2nd O-Dman role.

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This would be a "great" move by JR if it were to happen but unfortunately, I don't see it. I think our D still sucks and something needs to be done. But seeing how we are over 4 mil over our own budget now, I don't see it getting any better. I hope I'm wrong but I seriously don't see Hedican making it 1/3 of the season before his hip gives out. Then what?

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Ironically, in the absence of real rumors Eklund often links ex-players with their former teams but totally missed the Cullen-to-Carolina reacquisition. His Ward-to-Carolina rumor is another example of just idle commentary without any basis. It makes zero sense and of course, as usual, he offers no explanation.

Reassembling the Cup-winning roster seems to be a sentimental preoccupation for some. Aaron Ward is not what is needed or the missing link. The Canes didn't run roughshod over the league the year they won the Cup apart from a hot start and sizzling January. They adapted very quickly to the new rules and built a big lead. In the last 30 games though they were a .500 and their uneven play nearly got them bounced my Montreal. Two things saved the day - hot goaltending and a dynamite PP. Period. They won in spite of only an adequate defense - on both sides of the puck but glaringly weak on the offensive side.

You can bring back every member of that roster and still flame-out. What they lack right now is a mobile, offensive-minded Dman who is also defensively responsible. Aaron Ward, though every likable is an average player with a tendency to make boneheaded decisions, hardly the missing ingredient. When they Canes were at their best in the regular season, they had two puck-moving Dmen who could initiate a breakout and contribute on the PP - Kaberle and Tverdovsky. In the latter part of the year Tverdovsky fell apart but his offensive contributions have yet to be replaced. Gleason is like a younger Ward with a sounder game but still there is nobody to fill the 2nd O-Dman role.

I have to say that I agree nearly word for word with Stormrider's assesment. Aaron Ward is not the answer. He was a bold soldier who took pucks to the body for the team, but he is slow, and mistake prone, with a major tendency to turn the puck over is our end, and very beatable. If he is traded it will be his 4th team in 3 years. With all of our offense (10 people with the potential to score 20 G), we need defensmen to clear the zone and move the puck up.

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This would be a "great" move by JR if it were to happen but unfortunately, I don't see it. I think our D still sucks and something needs to be done. But seeing how we are over 4 mil over our own budget now, I don't see it getting any better. I hope I'm wrong but I seriously don't see Hedican making it 1/3 of the season before his hip gives out. Then what?

FYI, were not $4 milliion over our own budget, we're about $800,000 over our own budget.

However, I agree with stormrider, Ward is not the answer to our defense. And for the one who said Ward will bring team toughness, we have team toughness in Gleason and Walker who will drop the gloves in an instant. Not to mention Commodore can be an irritant as well as Craig. We don't need to bring Ward back for team toughness.

I woudn't mind bringing Ward back next off season. He will be cheaper and could provide good veteran leadership to the young guys. I say we wait until he's a FA and sign him to a cheaper, affordable contract.

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Reassembling the Cup-winning roster seems to be a sentimental preoccupation for some. Aaron Ward is not what is needed or the missing link. The Canes didn't run roughshod over the league the year they won the Cup apart from a hot start and sizzling January. They adapted very quickly to the new rules and built a big lead. In the last 30 games though they were a .500 and their uneven play nearly got them bounced my Montreal. Two things saved the day - hot goaltending and a dynamite PP. Period. They won in spite of only an adequate defense - on both sides of the puck but glaringly weak on the offensive side.

Don't really agree with this. We were THE best team in the NHL from the start until the Erik Cole injury, only after that did we start to struggle and that was because Doug Weight and Mark Recchi needed time to adjust to their roles on the team. If Erik Cole hadn't been injured and we had still acquired Doug Weight and Mark Recchi, we likely would've broken the 60-win barrier.

However, I do agree with your last statement. We were successful that season because we were one of the few teams in the NHL prepared for the "new NHL". We were able to use our speed on offense to cover up our weaknesses on defense, we could out-score any team in the NHL on any given night. This season, everyone else in the NHL caught up with us in the speed department and it showed. The defense that we had neglected to improve upon in the offseason was exploited and we paid the ultimate price because of it.

If we enter next season with essentially the same defensive core, we'll be exploited once more. Suppose we should just hope that our offense returns to it's '05-'06 form and Cam Ward returns to his '05-'06 playoff form.

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Reassembling the Cup-winning roster seems to be a sentimental preoccupation for some. Aaron Ward is not what is needed or the missing link. The Canes didn't run roughshod over the league the year they won the Cup apart from a hot start and sizzling January. They adapted very quickly to the new rules and built a big lead. In the last 30 games though they were a .500 and their uneven play nearly got them bounced my Montreal. Two things saved the day - hot goaltending and a dynamite PP. Period. They won in spite of only an adequate defense - on both sides of the puck but glaringly weak on the offensive side.

Don't really agree with this. We were THE best team in the NHL from the start until the Erik Cole injury, only after that did we start to struggle and that was because Doug Weight and Mark Recchi needed time to adjust to their roles on the team. If Erik Cole hadn't been injured and we had still acquired Doug Weight and Mark Recchi, we likely would've broken the 60-win barrier.

However, I do agree with your last statement. We were successful that season because we were one of the few teams in the NHL prepared for the "new NHL". We were able to use our speed on offense to cover up our weaknesses on defense, we could out-score any team in the NHL on any given night. This season, everyone else in the NHL caught up with us in the speed department and it showed. The defense that we had neglected to improve upon in the offseason was exploited and we paid the ultimate price because of it.

If we enter next season with essentially the same defensive core, we'll be exploited once more. Suppose we should just hope that our offense returns to it's '05-'06 form and Cam Ward returns to his '05-'06 playoff form.

I disagree about being exploited next season, the target is off our back and on Anahiem so they will be skating with the bullseye. More than likely we will be thought of as the team that didn't make the playoffs and may get overlooked. that will be our advantage.

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Reassembling the Cup-winning roster seems to be a sentimental preoccupation for some. Aaron Ward is not what is needed or the missing link. The Canes didn't run roughshod over the league the year they won the Cup apart from a hot start and sizzling January. They adapted very quickly to the new rules and built a big lead. In the last 30 games though they were a .500 and their uneven play nearly got them bounced my Montreal. Two things saved the day - hot goaltending and a dynamite PP. Period. They won in spite of only an adequate defense - on both sides of the puck but glaringly weak on the offensive side.

Don't really agree with this. We were THE best team in the NHL from the start until the Erik Cole injury, only after that did we start to struggle and that was because Doug Weight and Mark Recchi needed time to adjust to their roles on the team. If Erik Cole hadn't been injured and we had still acquired Doug Weight and Mark Recchi, we likely would've broken the 60-win barrier.

However, I do agree with your last statement. We were successful that season because we were one of the few teams in the NHL prepared for the "new NHL". We were able to use our speed on offense to cover up our weaknesses on defense, we could out-score any team in the NHL on any given night. This season, everyone else in the NHL caught up with us in the speed department and it showed. The defense that we had neglected to improve upon in the offseason was exploited and we paid the ultimate price because of it.

If we enter next season with essentially the same defensive core, we'll be exploited once more. Suppose we should just hope that our offense returns to it's '05-'06 form and Cam Ward returns to his '05-'06 playoff form.

Losing Cole was a blow but there were more important reasons the Canes slumped over the last 30 games. The rest of the league caught on to the stretch passes that the Canes were using so successfully early in the year, Tverdovsky got hurt and never recovered which really hampered the ability to start a rush, and Gerber ran out of gas and slumped very badly the last 1/3 of the season.

Even with Cole those second and third factors would have contributed to the fall-off. Don't forget either that that team had an uncanny ability to stink it up for half the game and win improbably 2-goal comebacks. You can only realistically do that so often, especially with a mediocre D.

Good point on your last comment.

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This would be a "great" move by JR if it were to happen but unfortunately, I don't see it. I think our D still sucks and something needs to be done. But seeing how we are over 4 mil over our own budget now, I don't see it getting any better. I hope I'm wrong but I seriously don't see Hedican making it 1/3 of the season before his hip gives out. Then what?

FYI, were not $4 milliion over our own budget, we're about $800,000 over our own budget.

However, I agree with stormrider, Ward is not the answer to our defense. And for the one who said Ward will bring team toughness, we have team toughness in Gleason and Walker who will drop the gloves in an instant. Not to mention Commodore can be an irritant as well as Craig. We don't need to bring Ward back for team toughness.

I woudn't mind bringing Ward back next off season. He will be cheaper and could provide good veteran leadership to the young guys. I say we wait until he's a FA and sign him to a cheaper, affordable contract.

Well I missed that by a long shot then. We were just talking in the office the other day about how much we were over budget. I don't know how we came up with 4 mil.

I would say JR would be a fool not to pick up Ward if they are only 800,000 over. But as I have said before, I have total faith in JR and his decisions. I can't help but think how awesome it would be to have Ward back though.

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Well I missed that by a long shot then. We were just talking in the office the other day about how much we were over budget. I don't know how we came up with 4 mil.

I would say JR would be a fool not to pick up Ward if they are only 800,000 over. But as I have said before, I have total faith in JR and his decisions. I can't help but think how awesome it would be to have Ward back though.

How can you say he would be a fool not to pick up Ward if we're only $800,000 over our budget. That budget was set for a reason, this is a business where they're trying to make money. We've already stretched our budget and I doubt they're going to push it even further. They said they could go over by a bit for the right guy but Ward doesn't bring anything we don't already have on this team. Cullen was the guy they wanted. If there is anything this team needs still it's a puck moving defenseman, the exact opposite of Ward. I understand people have fond memories of Ward but this is two seasons later and he doesn't have a place on the team anymore.

Anyone who really thinks we should trade for him, I'd like to hear an argument as to why we need him so bad because all I see so far is people talking about how much they'd love to have him back with nothing backing up why we should go further over our budget to bring him back.

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