Tag: carolina hurricanes

Eastern Conference Winners & Losers At The NHL Trade Deadline

The Eastern Conference has been the better of two divisions over the last few years. And looking at the division now with the Tampa Bay Lightning already at the 100 points 62 games into the season, the Eastern Conference has the biggest fish in the sea right now. Which means all the other contending teams have to go out and improve to make themselves compete vs Tampa Bay.

Winners: 

  1. Columbus Blue Jackets: No argument here. The Blue Jackets only have 3 draft picks this draft but they acquire a top-30 NHL player(Matt Duchene), an up and coming forward (Ryan Dzingel) who will need no time to adjust to the NHL as he has proven to be a top-six guy. In addition they add Keith Kinkaid who has had a rough season in New Jersey this year but a lot of that is due to the players in front of him. Never hurts to add a back up goalie. Finally, Adam McQuaid, depth is big in the playoffs and so is physicality and size. The playoffs are a different game and it gets more physical and guys like McQuaid who can kill a penalty and play the number six/seven role on Columbus is a perfect fit. In all honesty, with the way the Penguins and Capitals have looked this season, the Blue Jackets now have a legitimate shot at the Conference finals. As long as the Islanders do not upset them and Sergei Bobrovsky comes to play.
  2. Boston Bruins: The Bruins are well aware that they are not the top-dog in the East anymore. They have to make their roster especially their front end just as good if not better than Tampa Bay and Toronto. They did exactly that by adding Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson. Johansson now slots in at line two with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk and Coyle is a third line center. Depth down the middle and on the wing is big. Johansson is not the biggest playoff performer but he is finally getting healthy and could hit his stride here for Boston.
  3. Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres back end is really their biggest concern they lack consistency and depth there is no denying that. Their offense can definitely be more consistent too but the Sabres are losing games 5-4 too often. With the addition of Brandon Montour it really helps bolster this blue line for a possible playoff push but also further down the road. Montour provide his worth at the NHL level last season and has 25 points this season already on pace to surpass his 32 points last season.

Losers: 

  1. Florida Panthers: They are out of a playoff spot perhaps but they needed to do something in my opinion, maybe they are waiting for the off-season but the Panthers have Mike Hoffman, Alexsander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadanov on the front end they should be a better team. Adding some depth up front or a goalie would have been smart but the Panthers again stay still and do not improve and miss the playoffs.
  2. Washington Capitals: Coming off a Stanley Cup and all you add is Carl Hagelin is not going to cut it. Sure, Hagelin has playoff experience and adds some depth but the Capitals have been a disaster on the back end, they needed add some defensive depth and not doing so really hurts them. I don’t think we see this team play the same way they did last playoffs come this playoff run. For sure losers by adding just a bottom-six forward.
  3. Carolina Hurricanes: Currently in a playoff spot, have not made the playoffs in nine years, so much talk about re-location. Give the fans something to look forward too maybe a playoff series that is? Not just the hopes of a playoff spot. The Hurricanes have so much cap room too that they are just not using or waiting to spend on Aho. They did Nino Niederreiter but they need a little more fire power on the front end. A guy like Kevin Fiala could of helped, Tanner Pearson, Derick Brassard, Marcus Johansson. I don’t know for a team that is playing well and has a chance to sneak in and make the playoffs to do nothing is not great. They may have been bounced in the first round but at least making the playoffs gets the fans excited and puts the Hurricanes some what back on the map.

NHL Trade Deadline: Conversations About Matt Duchene’s And Michael Ferland’s Future

The trade deadline is about a week away and there has really not been much buzz about what players are going to be moved. We heard so much about certain players like Mats Zuccarello, Kevin Hayes, Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk, etc. But, as we hit the one-week mark it seems a lot has gone radio silence. Well, silence for us, the fans.

Anyways, the biggest player we have had our eye on all season is Matt Duchene. What is his future in Ottawa and what is he going to do. Well, after monitoring the situation, reading up on the player and his agent and more information. It seems Duchene is almost a lock to be moved at the trade deadline. It is unlikely he will sign with Ottawa but it is also not out of question it juts seems as if a trade is more likely.

Where can Duchene land? Well, that is unknown. There are a few teams who can add him as a rental player or a team that can add him and sign him for a long term extension if moved. Duchene could be moved to Winnipeg or Columbus but if he is moved to one of these two teams he will probably test the free agency market come July 2019. Deeming Duchene a rental for these two teams due to Winnipeg’s cap space and Columbus’s uncertainty with Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin. If he is moved to a Nashville, Islanders, Panthers or Vegas team they can be a team that signs him for a longer extension if he is moved there.

The Islanders have around 10 million in cap space and have a few RFA’s to re-sign and it would be a very tight squeeze to add Duchene, but that is not to say this is not a possible landing spot. Vegas has the same situation but a lot less in cap space but also a lot of RFA and UFA’s on the move that they can option to not re-sign and free up space. Panthers make for an interesting situation due to their very little cap space but 3-4 players worth 2.5 million or more on the move it can be a possibility. Nashville is a probable destination for Duchene due to their contention spot right now, their window seems to be closing more and more each year so they could be looking to make a push. Either way the Senators and Duchene seem to be on the agreement to part ways and explore Duchene’s future elsewhere.

Michael Ferland Trade Rumors
Michael Ferland continues to help Hurricanes make playoff push as trade deadline nears.

Michael Ferland is an interesting case, he was rumored to be on the block for the Hurricanes about two-weeks ago, but now as the Canes are making a little playoff push and are one point out of contention they may have pulled the brakes on this move. It is not to say that the Canes are not willing to still move Ferland but it seems a lot of talks have slowed down.

As of now we are excepting Ferland to test the free agency market come July 2019 and it seems that is what he wants to do as well. Ferland is coming off a $1.75 million cap hit right now he has 33 points in 50 games (16G, 17A) on pace for back to back 40+ point seasons. Ferland will probably be looking at a 3-4 year contract extension around the 4.5 million AAV value, possibly more.  Which if so the Hurricanes may be able to afford once they come to agreement with Sebastian Aho and Brock McGinn, therefore Ferland even though he is going to test the market could end up back in Carolina.

Top Sellers And Their Current Needs Heading Into The Trade Deadline

The trade deadline seems like it is so far away but in the blink of an eye it will be February 25th, therefore around this time, within the next two weeks we could see a flurry of moves. Always at the deadline there are three types of teams, sellers, buyers and teams staying put. Here are my top five sellers at the deadline and their current needs.

1. New York Rangers:

Clear as day this team is selling, they are probably performing a little above expectations but the team knows they have no intentions on winning right now nor in the next year or two. Therefore most of their roster/players that are ending or nearing the end of their contracts are on the move. For example, Mats Zuccarello is one of the many names on the list that will/is probably going to be moved. Adam McQuaid is on that list, Kevin Hayes, Vladislav Namestikov, and I believe Pavel Buchnevich should but have not heard much about him. The Rangers are going to be selling Zuccarello for sure, McQuaid more than likely, Hayes is 50/50 and same with Namestikov.

What could they use in return? The Rangers want prospects, high-end, projected top-three to six forward players. They could also use some draft picks, maybe another first rounder down the road, a first round this year, and definitely a second round pick. Essentially they want a top-three draft pick.

2. Carolina Hurricanes:

This comes of shock to me as well but the Hurricanes seem like they are in the boat to sell. They are in the market for some young prospects right now and I would say the Hurricanes want to sell because they usually are a team that comes in under the cap space and right now they have to worry about Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk and signing Sebastian Aho to a long term contract. Therefore they are looking to sell to do so. The Hurricanes are currently looking to trade Michael Ferland, Dougie Hamilton, Justin Faulk.

What could they use in return? The Hurricanes like forwards, young forwards, players like a Brock McGinn seems to be the Carolina fit. They said they do not want much defenseman actually and they would rather lose 5-4 then lose 2-1. Therefore the Hurricanes want top-two draft picks and high end forward prospects.

3. Detroit Red Wings:

Not big sellers but they are trying to get rid of, should not say get rid of but trade Gustav Nyquist and Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings know they cannot win right now nor next year they have full intentions and sights set on the future and with their current roster make up being a bunch of young up and coming players, it only makes sense to go after draft picks.

What could they use in return? The Red Wings do a helluva a job drafting, give this team two first round picks and they will find some gems. They got a steal in Filip Zadina last draft and would like to have some more draft picks this year. They have said the asking price for Howard and Nyquist are first round picks.

4. Florida Panthers:

The Panthers actually just made three call ups and placed Jamie McGinn on their non-roster. The Panthers are not what we expected this year they have got the goaltending, some inconsistent play and a slow start hurt this team.  Even with Mike Hoffman projected for 40 goals, Yandle having a Norris season and Barkov playing well they still are not in the playoff hunt. The Panthers wanted to be a playoff team this year but like we said things did not go their way and they are essentially just one piece away from being a playoff contending team. That piece is a goaltender. The Panthers could look to sell Mark Pysyk and Nick Bjugstad.

What could they use in return? A legitimate starting goaltender, top-six winger and second or third round draft pick. Could be a Jimmy Howard, Casey DeSmith situation for them but we have not heard much from the Panthers, just speculations.

5. Ottawa Senators:

The Senators have such a difficult off-season ahead of them in terms of contract renewals, they need to sign back Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, Cody Ceci and Ryan Dzingel probably only 2/4 or 3/4 players can come back therefore they are going to be selling one or two of these four names. If I had to guess after what has come out about Duchene and his agent, he could be gone and due to Ceci’s value he could be gone as well.

What could they use in return? Endless top draft picks never hurts, top-three/six forward and top-three/four defenseman prospects. You can easily get a first round, second and top-six prospect forward for Duchene and a 2nd round, bottom-six forward prospect for Ceci.

NHL Power Rankings: Teams projections from 25th on up…

25. Chicago Blackhawks: 33 wins, 73 points

NHL Chicago BlackhawksAfter missing the playoffs for the first time in what has felt like forever the Blackhawks really opened the eyes of NHL fans not in a good way though. Could the end of era be coming to an end? With Duncan Keith aging, Jonathan Toews not having that same jump to his game and Patrick Kane not having his counter part Artem Panarin, what is going on in Chicago? The Blackhawks struggled immensely on the backend, especially with Corey Crawford sidelined for a majority of the season, there was not much traction in Chicago. Brandon Saad is looking to be a terrible trade, Patrick Sharp is on his way out and it just seems the Blackhawks are too thin at the defensive position and lacking solid forward depth. They will be relying on Saad and Toews to climb out of their slumps, Alex Debrincat and Nick Schmaltz to be the two gunslingers along with the Patty Kane and rookie Dylan Sikura will get his shot at the professional level. I think the Blackhawks again finish outside the playoff race, a few games under .500 and with some major changes coming.

Key transactions: Brandon Manning, Chris Kunitz…

24. Carolina Hurricanes: 33 wins, 75 points

If anything the Hurricanes took a big step back this offseason, they took two step forwards to take a big step back. While the acquisition of Dougie Hamilton is great, the departure of Jeff Skinner hurts them a ton. They now have Martin Necas as their number two center, two rookies along side Sebastian Aho and not a ton of bottom six depth. They did add Calvin De Haan but he is not a deal break by any means. They will be asking Haydn Fleury and Brett Pesce to play a few more minutes and ultimately their goaltending is still a question mark. If anything the Hurricanes finish worse next season not better. A lot of pressure will sit on the shoulders of rookies Andrei Svechnikov and Valentin Zykov, and now third-year forward Aho. They Hurricanes may have a similar skill set compared to last year but it will be a different outlook for these Carolina players. I would guess a last place or 7th place Metropolitan finish, possibly a game under .500 or five games under .500.

Key transactions: Calvin De Haan, Michael Ferland, Andrei Svechnikov, Petr Mrazek…

23. New York Rangers: 37 wins, 77 points 

NHL New York RangersThe Rangers may not be expecting a better year than last year, and not many will be surprised by another missed playoff chance for the Rangers. But the Rangers are in a little bit of rebuild, they had some terrible offensive production last season and their blueline was very thin, as they had 3 rookies or defenseman with 50 games fewer NHL experience playing a lot of minutes. The Rangers did not add anything this offseason but with this will come more time for Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil the Rangers first round selections in 2017 to see more ice time. We will see a lot of young prospects making their appearances this season as the Rangers have a magnitude of youth waiting for their shot. The upside to the Rangers poor placing is a solid first round pick again and a new coach. As the Rangers will be running with Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Lias Andersson, Mats Zuccarello and Vladislav Namestikov as their top six, there could be bright spots but in the end this top six does not rank up too well against other teams top six’s. I’d say a 6th place Metropolitan division finish is realistic for the Rangers.

Key transactions: K’Andre Miller, Vitali Kravstov, Nils Lundkvist

22. Edmonton Oilers: 37 wins, 79 points 

The Oilers have come out and said that they are going to be better than last year but what has shown that to be true thus far? They added, Tobias Rieder, besides that their team is the same exact team as last year. Is Ryan Strome magically going to come out of his shell? Is Milan Lucic going to come back to his old form? Is Connor McDavid going to put up 120 points to make this a playoff team. Is their defense going to stay healthy and actually be a productive, reliable back end? Is Cam Talbot ready for another 60 plus starts, fatiguing the goalie more than he already is? A lot of what if’s and question marks in Edmonton. Too many to consider them to be a playoff team or even better than last year, they got the hot hand in 2016-17 and ran with it, came back down to earth and are right where they belong. Until they add some more forward depth, and someone besides Strome and Ty Rattie to play alongside Connor McDavid it will be a long year for Edmonton. Another missed playoff year and basement finish in the Pacific division for Edmonton. Sorry Edmonton but McDavid is not literally McJesus and rising this team to the top all on his own.

Key transactions:

21. Buffalo Sabres: 39 wins, 83 points

Carter Hutton Buffalo SabresThe Sabres are moving up a lot here, yes hear me out though. Very short and simple. Jack Eichel has years under his belt now, Rasmus Dahlin is projected to be an Erik Karlsson esq defenseman, Rasmus Ristolanen is already a top-30 defenseman, they added a 30-goal scorer in Jeff Skinner, Sam Reinhart is coming off a year, Skinner-Eichel-Reinhart are going to be a thing to watch, a very underrated line one. Casey Mittlestadt is making his transition into the NHL, after a strong World Juniors showing this kid looks ready. They added a ton of depth and veteran leadership in Patrik Berglund, and Matt Hunwick. Vladimir Sobotka and Conor Sheary will be solid bottom six players as well they have another top projected prospect in Tage Thompson. Carter Hutton has a chance to steal the show and prove his #1 goaltending worth, he showed it in St. Louis for flashes he can do it but consistency will be key. If Hutton pans out and the Sabres keep a healthy blue line, they should be a much better team. I’d say a 5th place Atlantic division finish is my guess.

Key transactions: Conor Sheary, Matt Hunwich, Patrik Berglund, Rasmus Dahlin, Tage Thompson, Carter Hutton, Vladimir Sobotka, Jeff Skinner

 

Kovalchuk watch OVER, Carolina Calgary trade details

Ilya Kovalchuk is heading to Hollywood people! Kovalchuk scribbled a 3 year 18.75 mil dollar deal with the Kings earlier this afternoon. Of the four teams Kovalchuk spoke to on Friday, L.A. came winners of the prized KHL goal scorer and once NHL superstar. Kovalchuk has not played in the NHL since the 2012-13 season. Kovalchuk now joins Selke trophy, William Jennings trophy winner, Norris trophy winner and that tough, physical gritty L.A. style of play for three-years.

Carolina-Calgary deal

Calgary and Carolina sort of did a thing today. Earlier the Flames and Hurricanes worked out a deal no one saw coming.

Carolina received: Dougie Hamilton, Michael Ferland and Adam Fox. 

Calgary recieved: Noah Hanaifin, Elias Lindholm

This will be Hamilton’s now third team in 6 years. Hamilton spent 3 seasons with Boston who drafted him 2011, 3 with Calgary and now will be settling in with Carolina at age 25. Hamilton has 220 points in 423 career games and has been the number two defenseman in Calgary for the past three seasons. Michael Ferland is coming off his best year tallying 41 points last season. Ferland has been with Calgary since they drafted him in the 5th round 8 years ago. Ferland has played three full seasons now, coming off his best year with 21 goals in 77 games. Adam Fox was also sent over to Carolina, drafted in the 3rd round by Calgary has spent the last two years at Harvard tallying 68 points in 64 games. While winning All-Ivy League first team(2016-17), Ivy League rookie of the year(2016-17), NCAA (ECAC) Rookie of the Year(2016-17), NCAA Best Defenseman(2016-17), NCAA All-Star Team(2017-18), Best Defenseman(17-18), All-Ivy League First Team(17-18), Top 3 player at WJC (17-18) and a Gold Medal in 16-17 and Bronze Medal in 17-18.

The Flames received Noah Hanafin who was rumored to be working out a deal with Carolina for a contract extension but now finds himself on the other side of things. Hanafin was drafted in 2015 5th overall wasting now time to emerge in the league, perhaps he did not get off to the best start his first two seasons. Now, Hanafin is coming off his best year yet with 32 points in 79 games(10 G, 22A). Elias Lindholm has been on the Hurricanes since 2013 another 5th overall selection, Lindholm has not put up 5th overall mumbers though. Coming off two 40 plus point seasons, perhaps he is starting to come around. Lindholm is 23 years old tallying 188 points in his 374 career games.

Cam Ward to hit free agency, Oilers open to moving #10 pick

Cam Ward has spent the last 13 seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, winning the Conn Smythe the year the Hurricanes won their last Cup in 2005-06. Ward spent a little of last year on the disabled list but once he got healthy again he quickly took over the ranks from young goaltender Scott Darling. Ward for sure surged the Hurricanes to be near contenders last season. Posting 23-14-4 record with a 2.73 GAA and .906 SV percentage. There has not been an immediate reason as to why Ward does want to leave and hit free agency but it could be due to a different face in Carolina, the Hurricanes not being a successful team in recent years and some things coming to change in the locker room in Carolina. Plus Ward is 34 nearing the end of his career, for sure a paycheck, in a comfortable spot, where he doesn’t have to battle for a starting role is what he wants. Ward’s career numbers are 318-244-84 with a 2.70 GAA, .909 SV percentage and 27 shutouts.

Where can we see Ward land? 

The New York Islanders are in the hunt for a starting goalie, Ward is a perfect fit, two-year deal and someone who can be a quick fix right now. Buffalo Sabres as Robin Lehner is leaving the team in a few weeks to test the market as well, Buffalo could bite at Ward. Vancouver is a possibility, with no real solid number one goaltender, the veteran skillset, and experience Ward has would be a perfect fit for the Canucks if the Canucks were to be in the market for a goalie. Same goes for Colorado, while Varlamov is a solid goaltender, I am sure Colorado would have liked to have a more experienced and trustworthy goal towards the end of the year when Varlamov was battling injuries. All in all, I’d be surprised if the Islanders don’t jump at Ward.

Edmonton moving #10 pick…

Edmonton wants to move #10 pick? Yeah me neither I don’t get it. They are looking to move Milan Lucic already, which while we are on that topic, he does have an NMC(no movement clause) he already said he’ll waive so will the Oilers and it all it really comes down to is how much of his salary the Oilers will eat. Anyways, the Oilers are ACTIVELY looking to shop the number ten overall pick in this year’s draft. What they may be looking for is probably either a top-four forward or top four defenseman. The Oilers need some offensive support to help Leon Drastali and Connor McDavid. But they also need someone to fill the void of the number four on the team, and really any top-four role in Edmonton. The Oilers have Oscar Klefbom, Andrej Sekera(out last year), Adam Larsson, Kris Russel and Darnell Nurse(RFA) but none of these defensemen have really stepped into a top-four role and solidified themselves. In the end, the Oilers are really looking to do something with this #10 pick, they obviously do not need whoever they are going to get they think so a team that is willing to part ways with a top-four player forward/defenseman, this will be a draft day deal. Probably chatter will be going on all day about this and a deal will get done when its the Oilers turn to pick.

Edmonton fans keep in mind the Oilers most recent trades though

Adam Larsson for Taylor Hall (Hall just won the Hart trophy btw…)

Ryan Strome for Jordan Eberle (Cap reasons, yes but still sheesh)

Al Montaya for a 4th round pick 

David Desharnais for Brandon Davidson (Davidson later moved for a 3rd this year)

Justin Schultz for a 3rd round pick 

Griffin Reinhart for a 1st and 2nd round pick

Need I say more, Oiler fans do not expect to come away a winner in this deal.

P.A. Parenteau annouces retirement, Islanders and Hurricanes in pursuit for Philipp Grubauer

Parenteau retires 

P.A. Parenteau spent 10 years in the NHL coming into the league at 27 and playing in a total of 491 games with 8 different clubs, collecting 296 points. Parenteau was what we would call a journeyman, he bounced around his whole career and never spent more than 2 years with a club. Parenteau’s best years came with the Islanders in 2010-2012 playing 161 games with the team tallying 120 points and a career-high 49 assists during his final year with them. From then on after he left the Islanders in 2012 Parenteau was never able to settle down with one team, spending two seasons in Colorado the following years playing in 103 games with the Avalanche to then bouncing around between Montreal, Toronto, New Jersey and then ending his final moments with the Predators this season. Parenteau drafted in 2001 by the Anaheim Ducks in the ninth round, at age 35 announces his retirement. Parenteau was definitely a player that had the skill set and ability to play in a teams top six, bottom six forward mix but not many teams gave him a chance and ever committed to him long term, which left the playmaking right winger always trying to land a spot on many NHL rosters. At 35-years-old Parenteau commits to leaving the NHL behind him as he starts a new chapter in his life.

Philipp Grubauer trade news

The Capitals did come out the other day and say that they are fully committed to trading Philipp Grubauer and have been in conversation with the two most interested teams. The Hurricanes and Islanders. The Hurricanes will look to acquire Grubauer to make sure they can afford to send off Scott Darling. Now if Grubauer does go to Carolina he will most certainly replace Darling, who spent just one season with Carlina starting in 41 games posting a 13-21-7 record with a 3.18 GAA(goals against average) and .888 SV percentage(save percentage). From the likes of it, Darling did not fit well in the starting role and it seems Carolina is in no position to wait for Darling to find his groove. Which is their reasoning probably to go after Gruabuer who is coming off his best year since coming into the NHL, starting in 28 games posting a 15-10-3 record, a 2.35 GAA and .923 SV percentage. And as we all know the Islanders situation, with Jaroslav Halak and Tomas Greiss failing miserably last season and being one of the many reasons the Islanders bombed out this season. The Islanders are in need of a starting goaltender. With Greiss signed for the next two years and Halak becoming a UFA July 1st, the Islanders are actively pursuing Grubauer. The price for the 26-year-old backup goaltender is unknown.

Grubauer is a 4th round pick, has started in a total of 79 games in his 6 years in the league and has yet to take on a full-time starting role. From what we have seen with Scott Darling, Antti Raanta last year, sometimes back up goaltenders that are successful as the backup’s do not always make the transition well to full-time action. But the Islanders are desperate and the Hurricanes would like to get rid of Darling it seems. From both teams and what they have, Grubauer is going to get the same offer AAV wise from both teams as they both have around 27 million in cap space available. The Islanders hold the upper hand with picks wise and prospects, and both teams play in the same division as the Capitals so Grubauer knows what the teams he will be facing are like. The Islanders per say have a bright future, with Matt Barzal, Andres Lee, John Tavares and a pool of prospects upcoming. Until we hear more, we have to just wait…