12 Dec 2011 @ 9:36 PM 

Andy Sutton gets 8 games for his flagrant charge on Alexei Ponikarovsky

And, in a move that came as no surprise to me, the Hurricanes said about a day or two later that Jeff Skinner was out with “the flu”–but almost immediately reversed themselves and said that he had an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Gee, I dunno–Sutton checks him in open ice, follows through what WAS a clean hit with a Scott Stevens-style stealth-elbow, and…nothing happens.

If I said I wasn’t irate, I’d be lying out my ass. Officially, no concussion is involved, but I have my suspicions about it. Don’t be surprised if Skinner comes back on Thursday, after a week has passed (the required “concussion minimum”.

But in Shanahan’s defence, the penalty that was levied was levied specifically for the incident involving Ponikarovsky and only that incident–so I can’t be too irritated, I guess.

(as an aside: I apologize for the slim pickings on the blog of late. Fibro Fog ftl)

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 12 Dec 2011 @ 09:36 PM

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 08 Dec 2011 @ 7:59 AM 

Muller wins his first as Canes line-dance on Oilers’ bitch asses — N&O

Woohoo! That game was about the same level of effort as Tuesday night, but with a much better result. Shots finally went in, everything finally started clicking, and the frustration pretty much melted away.

Yes, it was bound to happen. And it happened despite the best efforts of Theo Peckham (who had a lovely little two-handed chop on Jeff Skinner) and serial recidivist Andy Sutton, who is looking at a suspension for his flying elbow on Alexei Ponikarovsky and a questionable hit on Jeff Skinner.

Come ON, you can’t tell me that Sutton wasn’t looking to cause injury with that hit on Skinner–did you see how his elbow went flying out IMMEDIATELY after Skinner started moving back down toward the ice? Sutton is a punk! He was a punk in Atlanta, he was a punk on the Island, he was a punk in Ottawa, and he’s STILL a bitch-ass little punk. His last suspension was five games–any bets on whether he’ll get more for that flying elbow on Ponikarovsky and his questionable hit on Skinner?

Anyone? Bueller?

On to Friday vs. the Thrashers. Hopefully the Hurricanes can get on a very nice little roll.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 08 Dec 2011 @ 07:59 AM

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 06 Dec 2011 @ 11:39 PM 

As I write this, the Falmes are schooling the Hurricanes 6-4. It was 6-3 when I started, but The Chosen One just scored. I’m frustrated and upset, and I can only imagine how the players feel.

So, let’s look at where the team is going wrong:

Effort is there. But frustration is setting in, and it will take an herculean effort at this point to overcome it.

Great Leader Peter Karmanos refuses to spend the amount needed to bring in veteran leadership to help this team along–he looks at the barest minimum he can spend, tops it up by a couple bills, and then JR goes and blows it on bad signings like Tomas Kaberle. It’s like the season was written off before training camp even started, and Great Leader doesn’t even care because he’s got a Cup Ring. That’s what pisses me off so much–this nickel-and-dime bullshit has GOT. TO. STOP. It’s become even more important now, with a realignment in the cards for next season that will put the Hurricanes in with teams that actually spend money. This shit’s gotta change, kids. And it’s gotta change at the top of the food chain.

I’m seriously giving thought to buying lotto tickets four times a week in the hopes that I hit the jackpot so I can invest in the team and actually have some frelling input. Here, here’s an extra few million dollars–GET A DECENT VETERAN OR TWO TO HELP THE CHOSEN ONE, YOU JACKWAGONS! Either that, or I’ll just go picket the SAS Institute in an attempt to get local billionaire Jim Goodnight to buy the damn team. #OccupySAS!

But, let’s look at the good that Admiral Kirk has done–he’s gotten the team to WANT to show up again. It’s clear that there’s a definite change in attitude on the team, and a definite upgrade in the effort level. Admiral Kirk doesn’t make excuses, and he’s very up-front with the players about what he wants and gives clear direction. They certainly didn’t have any of that with Chairman Mo. The team doesn’t quit now. They have the equivalent of duct tape and kukris left to them, and with 5:00 left in the third period they’re still fighting.

HOWEVER:

What is being shown is the lack of veteran leadership on the team–The Chosen One is being expected to carry the forward corps with the help of only one Sutter. Our defence is Tim Gleason, Joni Pitkanen, a bunch of kids, one of those “DO NOT BACK UP, SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE” speedbumps, and a Krispy Kreme donut. That’s not going to win a lot of games. Let’s be honest. They’ll make it exciting, but wins will be few and far between for the rest of the season IMO.

Can’t wait to see what happens in Edmonchuk tomorrow.

(and as I finish this post, the game is over and it’s 7-6 Falmes. The Chosen One scored twice.)

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 06 Dec 2011 @ 11:43 PM

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 05 Dec 2011 @ 5:34 AM 

And gods did this team need it.

After a frustrating-as-hell nailbiter on Saturday night, the Hurricanes are in Calgary getting ready to take on the Falmes. In the postgame on Saturday, Jeff Skinner was visibly upset and really trying hard not to let things like missing on a wide-open net get to him.

Shit happens–but I think enough shit has happened to the Hurricanes, ok?

Admiral Kirk is still upbeat, and gods love him for it. Jim Rutherford has officially called out Tomas Kaberle, which begs the question:

What the frell do we do with him? The Hurricanes are about $3Million (generously speaking) above the salary floor–if they send Krispy Kreme 2.0 down to Charlotte, they drop below the floor and get fined out the ass per the CBA. But who in the wide world of sports are the Hurricanes going to trade him for, especially given how he showed up to training camp out of condition?

For that matter, what GM in his right mind is going to trade for the guy?

Discuss.

EDIT: Luke DeCock posted this editorial a couple hours after I’d originally written my post. As you can see, he keeps it real as always and sums up WHY Admiral Kirk is having a harder time in his first few games than Lavi did in his. Like I’ve said before, it’s going to be ugly for a while yet. :(

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 05 Dec 2011 @ 02:39 PM

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 01 Dec 2011 @ 11:14 PM 

New category for Admiral Kirk.

So, it’s been four days since Mo went for the second time, and Kirk Muller was brought in as his replacement. John Maclean was added as another assistant coach (holy crap this team has a shitload of assistant coaches).

What do I think so far? WELL NOW.

THE GOOD:

There is a definite bump in the energy level. The players are definitely displaying what can best be described as optimism–which of course is a plus–and it’s very apparent that Eric Staal feels a fuck of a lot less pressure now (isn’t it amazing what can happen when the coach actually talks to you?) I also like that players are allowed to stick up for each other–when Jeff Skinner was run into the boards during the third period, Anthony Stewart immediately stepped to Brian Boyle in an attempt to exact some rough justice. Under Mo? That never would have happened.

The most important change, however, is that the team is not giving up. Under Mo, if the team was down at the end of the second period that was pretty much it. Now, they keep fighting and slogging and trying to gut it out. But for the love of the gods, they show up for the game now.

The fans are slowly starting to trickle back in, which is very good, but it’ll take a win or three to really start to bring confidence back into the fanbase.

THE BAD:

We’re going to have to slog through pry another month or two of annoying WTFery, friends. Passes that go nowhere, suspect defence, and scoring that’s reminiscent of the scene in John Carpenter’s version of “The Thing” where the genestealer is gleefully kicking the ass of all of Kurt Russell’s buddies while poor Kurt’s trying like hell to get his flamethrower restarted so he can roast the thing.

For those who aren’t down with 1980s alien movies, here’s the scene in question.

THE “OH MY GODS KILL IT! KILL IT NOW!” UGLY

The Tomas Kaberle experiment needs to end, now. Buy him out, waive him and send his ass to Charlotte, call the aliens that swapped Cup Run Frankie out for Atlanta Frankie to come and get him, whatever. He just needs to freakin’ GO.

Alex Ponikarovsky needs to go too–or at least to be put on a VERY short leash. I see some potential in him, and he may yet have a place in this org. But for reals, it’s not looking too good right now. It’s pretty clear that dudeman was brought in here just for Chairman Mo, for whatever insane reason, but now he needs to prove himself. If Admiral Kirk can make something of him, great. Otherwise, it’s the door for him.

That said:

I’m looking forward to the next few games to get a better picture of what’s going on and whether the team is still going onward and upward.

Go Canes.

 28 Nov 2011 @ 10:14 AM 

Finally, after two years of begging pleading and anger from the fanbase, Chairman Mo has been deposed…again.

In his place comes Kirk Muller–who, unlike Chairman Mo, has a Cup ring and actual experience as a coach.

Like the first time, I’m thrilled about this. This org really needs to take a good long look at itself and really decide to make decisions that need to be made to bring it on a nightly basis–even if they don’t win a Cup or go super-deep in the playoffs every year, the fans in this area will reward a team that is actually TRYING to get shit done. They also appreciate accountability. Mo didn’t have it. Captain Kirk, OTOH, does.

Of course, given the “all of this has happened before, and it will happen again” nature of this organization, this does beg the question:

When will Chairman Mo come back like a chronic yeast infection?

I hope that question never gets answered.

Next game tomorrow at home against the Florida Panthers. Can’t wait to see how the team responds.

 26 Nov 2011 @ 10:02 AM 

…when, no matter how asstacularly the Hurricanes were playing that season, they could always be counted on to beat the Thrashers.

What in the blue hell was that last night?? Tomas Kaberle, whiffing on AN OPEN FREAKING NET. Really? Really?

Anyone who thinks that anyone not named Jeff Skinner, Chad LaRose, Brandon Sutter, or Cam Ward actually showed up and “played awesome” last night is either delusional or just plain stupid. I tried to watch the game again on the DVR to see if I could find at least something entertaining, but no–I finally had to give up and go watch a marathon of “Rocket City Rednecks” (which is highly entertaining, I might add–Safety Third!)

It was either that, or slit my wrists. Watching this team play under Chairman Mo is like being trapped in an abusive relationship, sometimes: you love them, they keep treating you badly, you really want to leave, but you keep going back to them because you love them.

Either that, or Mo is just the Coach of Life-Draining. Under any other coach, this team could actually play with some verve and maybe make some noise despite the fact that they’re relatively little and can be easily knocked-around. But under Mo?? Fuhgeddaboudit. Even Skinner and LaRose are starting to feel it.

Hell, under any other coach Boychuk and Bowman would actually get more than 5 minutes of ice time, Pat Dwyer would be on the 4th line where he belongs, and Chad LaRose wouldn’t get any higher than the third line. I would really, seriously, honestly, like for a Mo-apologist who doesn’t work for the Hurricanes to please explain to me why they feel Paul Maurice is an NHL-quality coach, when the previous FOURTEEN YEARS OF HIS CAREER have shown that he just isn’t.

Bonus points if you can manage to refrain from claiming that I have no right to say anything because I’ve never coached or played in the NHL.

The floor is open.

 21 Nov 2011 @ 9:15 PM 

I’m sitting here watching the Hurricanes try not to collapse?after going up 3-1?(hubby’s computer has a TV tuner card in it, so I can watch and blog at the same time tonight, and it’s now 4-2). They get three goals, and immediately go into a defensive shell. Watching?the Hurricanes?reminds me of a tactic that noob Magic: The Gathering players use:

The Glass Box.

This strategy involves playing Circles of Protection, cards that block damage from certain sources. You throw down CoPs for all sources of damage–the five colours, and artifacts. So you’re in a little glass box, and in theory you can cast all the offensive spells and creatures that you want, thus easily winning. Yeah yeah, more info than you needed–but this strategy?is outdated, because there are far better protective cards to play.

It’s also easily defeated by various means, with stuff like Tranquility and other anti-enchantment cards that are cheap as chips to play.

If I’m being a little too subtle with my point, allow me to put it another way:

The?defensive shell sucks, and is the oldest trick in the hockey book. It’s easily shattered, it’s like the Nickel D–everybody’s wise to it, few people use it anymore, and it’s only effective against teams that are not overly offensive. Scoring is rare, and a savvy coach can easily overcome it 9 times out of 10. It drives me insane to see something like this still being used in the NHL, especially with a team that’s supposedly as talented as the Hurricanes are supposed to be.

Is it any wonder that poor Cam gets hung out to dry on a regular basis?

 

Discuss.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 21 Nov 2011 @ 09:15 PM

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 21 Nov 2011 @ 6:31 PM 

I had a big long polemic written, taking potshots at the Sunshine and Unicorns Brigade in the Caniac Nation–but I deleted it.

Really, it’s not worth it ranting about those stupid-ass people that think that you’re not a “real” fan or that you shouldn’t be allowed to be a fan if you don’t blindly support everything the team does.

Of course, one could also argue it’s not worth it ranting about how Paul Maurice fails as a coach and needs to be fired again–but of course I’ll still do it, because I’m a fan and that’s what I do.

 

Trufax!

 

And on that note, I and the Rumple Minze bottle are off to watch The Mighty Forslund and Fearless Leader call a game.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 21 Nov 2011 @ 06:31 PM

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 15 Nov 2011 @ 8:06 AM 

This will be kind of a quick-and-dirty post.

Another day, another crap game. Last night at the RBC Center, Peter Laviolette showed once again why he is a better coach than Chairman Mo.

The team looked like crap, like they forgot everything that worked during the Pittsburgh game…and Chairman Mo only stood behind the bench cracking his Big Red. Yet again, he showed why he’s an AHL (at best) coach.

Let’s be real here: the team kinda sucks right now. Tripp calling us Toronto South was, sadly correct–we’ve got Leafs retreads on the roster, and it shows.

Mo Must Go, Again.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 15 Nov 2011 @ 08:06 AM

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 30 Oct 2011 @ 5:19 PM 

OK, so let’s get right to the point:

Mo Must Go, Again.

I’ve been saying it ever since he came back like a bad rash, I’ll keep saying it until he’s gone again. I say it every time I see a promising callup like Zach Boychuk or Zac Dalpe be relegated to the fourth line for five minutes a night rather than getting a proper shot, while somebody like Chad LaRose is in the Top 6. I love LaRose, I do–but he’s not Top 6 material.

(In fairness, as of this writing Rosie is no longer in the Top 6.)

I say it every time I see Musical Lines being played in the middle of a game. I say it every time I see evidence that the team is essentially being left to their own devices during a game. I say it despite being called a “bad fan” or a “fake fan” by the motards that flock to the Hurricanes’ facebook page. I say it every time I hear excuses after a loss, every time I see the defensive shell (which SUCKS), and every time I see players floating lazily around the ice and playing not to lose while Old One-Eye (and I am NOT talking about Odin, thank you) just stands there cracking his Big Red.

Is Dave Lewis allowed to do anything? Dudeman has way more coaching chops than Mo does, and it seems all he’s allowed to do is just stand there and watch. And the Warchief? Where is he when he’s not standing behind the bench looking stoic? Is he only allowed to coach faceoffs at practice? I find it absolutely incredible that they brought Mo back to save money, gave him two assistants to ostensibly prop him up….and the team is still functioning the way it did before the Interregnum.

The more things change, the more they stay the frelling same. Welcome to the Carolina Hurricanes, the best self-coached team in the NHL.

MO MUST GO, AGAIN.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 30 Oct 2011 @ 05:19 PM

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 04 Oct 2011 @ 8:40 PM 

Oh, I can just see how much fun this will be. Earlier today, I got into it with some noob on Facebook who seems to feel Sean Avery (who is on waivers) is an enforcer and that the Hurricanes need him. When I pointed out his noobery, he got all upset (predictably), and told me to STFU because he’s “always been a canes fan” and “played hockey all my life”.

Yeah. Right. He needs to go hang out with the Juggalos of the NHL, they’re about his speed.

ANYWAY.

As much as I admire his bollocks in being up-front about supporting equality, Sean Avery is NOT, repeat NOT an enforcer in any way, shape, form, or fashion.

He turtles when challenged by somebody who gets tired of the little fuckhead running his yap or taking cheapshots. He has to wait until another player is restrained by the linesmen and unable to respond in order to get a punch in. His idea of “enforcing” is to be a one-man Morris dancing side in front of Marty Brodeur during a playoff game.

Anyone who thinks that’s “enforcing” is a moron or a noob or both.

Bob Probert (rest his soul) was an enforcer. The late Messrs. Rypien, Boogaard, and Belak were enforcers. Joe Kocur and Darren McCarty were enforcers. STUUUUUU Grimson, Esq. is an enforcer (and I’d be happy to have him represent me in court, too. Very smart fellow). Clark fucking Gillies was an enforcer. Dave bloody Semenko was an enforcer. Riley Cote, Dan Carcillo, Inglourious Backes, Eric Godard, and Zack Stortini are all enforcers.

Sean Avery, bless his little turtling heart, is not an enforcer any more than I am the King of Siam. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

I’ll open the floor up to the five people that are reading this blog at any one time: Please, explain to me if you can how Sean Avery is an enforcer. (comment moderation should be turned off now, btw–I’m trusting all y’all to play somewhat nice, here)

 01 Sep 2011 @ 6:26 PM 

Yes, it’s true, I am ramping up for hockey season and am now free of the corporate fetters that prevented me from blogging.

Not that y’all missed me much–I admit, I lost a lot of what little punch I had after 2006 and before the Great Hiatus. But I’m still me, I’m still opinionated, and I’m going to give ‘er another go.

I want to talk today about Chopper Harrison. Lots of electrons have been spilled over the tragic deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak–may their ancestors welcome them all warmly into their halls.

But nobody really talks about superfans like Chopper. Chopper died on 23 August at his home, after a battle with cancer. He was a year older than my husband, which did kinda hit home for me.

Let me tell you about Chopper–I don’t know that I can do as good a job as Luke DeCock or David Lee, but I’ll try.

Chopper was annoying as hell. He drove everyone up the wall with his antics and blind homerism (the Warchief even called him on it after one particularly bad game, when Chopper said “yeah you guys played great last night!” and the Warchief said “What are you talking about? We played like crap!”), and after one incident where he said “asses” while doing an intermission whatchamadingding (during the 2001-2002 home opener), Great Leader banned him from doing any more on-ice stuff for the team. Of course, that ban lasted about as long as Dan Blackburn’s career, and Chopper was back on the ice about halfway through the season with his trademark “OVER HEEEEERRRRRRREEEEE!” and “THEY CAN HEAR YOU IN THE LOCKER ROOM!” bellowing. He was a hard drinker, a hard partier, scuttlebutt had the team telling Bates Battaglia and Shane Willis to stay the hell away from him, and eventually his antics drove the team away from him. He became the butt of jokes on message boards like thescoreboards.com and on blogs and among the folks at the RBC Center. I found myself apologizing on behalf of North Dakota for him on more than one occasion–as if my own famn damily didn’t make me ashamed enough to be from that state.

But there was no denying one thing: He was a Caniac through and through. He loved this team like he never loved anything else in his entire life–it was obvious to everyone with half a braincell. He braved Acrophobia for this team, by getting up on the canopy above the RBC Center’s box office as part of a season-ticket drive. For an acrophobe, that is a huge step. He stood up for them when few people in this state would, and was unceasing in his evangelizing of hockey and the Hurricanes to the college ball-watching masses.

Even after players eventually stopped talking to him and the org deliberately forgot he existed and Curtis Media Group fired him after a DUI arrest in 2006, he still loved the Hurricanes with his heart and soul and every last breath in his body–and when it was time for him to fight his final battle, he didn’t go back to Fargo, where he grew up and played hockey for the Spartans of North High. He came home to Raleigh, to be near his favourite team. David Martin, known to so many as Chopper Harrison, was, for all his many flaws, One Of Us–The Few, The Proud, The Caniacs–and the Caniac Nation (est. 1997) is greatly lessened by his passing.

Rest well, David Martin. May your ancestors welcome you warmly and may you enjoy a premium ice-side seat at the Eternal Game.

Posted By: The Acid Queen
Last Edit: 01 Sep 2011 @ 06:35 PM

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 05 Mar 2010 @ 8:57 AM 

Call me crazy on this one, but that deadline was more then I could have hoped for. After a bit of despair earlier about the way things were shaping up, especially say in the hour between 2:30 and 3:30 PM on the 3rd before the final 3 trades came through, it couldn’t ahve ended better. Whitney is still a Cane, but I’m OK with that. Corvo was unexpectedly traded, but Pothier in the past has been a good defenseman in his own right and could prove to be worth re-signing if his concussion issues are in the past.

But let’s look at the trades following the Wallin trade.

To Ottawa: Matt Cullen
To Carolina: 2010 2nd round pick, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, USS Enterprise.

Wait… not that Picard? This one’s a defenseman? An offensive defenseman that Ottawa fans maligned quite often this season at that? Yeah I think we’ve heard this one before, that one played out nicely. While I still need to give Alexandre his 10 games to see how I like where he fits in the system, early returns are promising. It definitely sucks to lose Cullen though and the 3rd line center position has been notoriously hard to fill for the Canes historically.

To Anaheim: Aaron Ward
To Carolina: Justin Pogge, 2010 4th round pick

Hey, we get a 4th round pick back! That might be the most important part of the deal. Pogge should help Albany out a good bit though since Peters seems to be here for the long haul until Ward is back. With the Rats apparently running into some injury issues with Murphy and now Mike Morrison out this couldn’t come at a better time for them. Considering the way Ward had been playing earlier this season, I would have said the 4th alone is worth significantly more.

To Washington: Scott Walker
To Carolina: 2010 7th round pick

Meh trade in my books. It sheds some salary and Walker is one of my favorite foot soldier types not just in Canes history but around the league. If there’s anyone I’m OK with moving for absolute scraps to give him another shot at the Cup it’s Scotty. Besides, the 7th has been quality for us of late with selections like Kyle Lawson, Samuel Morneau and Tommi Kivisto in recent years.

To Washington: Joe Corvo
To Carolina: Brian Pothier, Oskar Osala, 2011 2nd round pick

This is the one that came out of left field for me that may in fact prove to be the steal of deadline day. It hurts a bit since I was a big fan of Corvo but fact of the matter is that this isn’t a huge downgrade for us. Pothier was at one point a VERY highly regarded defenseman in his own right with good two-way play. Some injury issues have hurt him though so it may be a little while before I am comfortable with that aspect of this. But Osala, damn if this kid isn’t a stud. He scores, he’s fast as hell, and he hits like a freight train. Not too long ago he was drawing comparisons to a pre-injury Erik Cole. The only issue with him is his inconsistency, which is likely the biggest reason he was traded on both sides of this trade. Washington has plenty in the wings in the pipeline and can chance him never panning out whereas we have the time to give him to sort this out to help him pan out. The 2nd rounder is just icing on this deal.

To Colorado: Stephane Yelle, Harrison Reed
To Carolina: Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll, 2010 6th round pick

Another meh trade, sending Yelle back to the place that put him on the map. Reed was looking like a complete and total bust here. Lalonde-McNicoll I have absolutely no clue about… and neither did anyone from TSN. So take that as a pretty big indication to not expect anything to come of this trade except for whoever we draft with that 6th.

To Vancouver: Andrew Alberts
To Carolina: 2010 3rd round pick

The one trade we made on deadline day that I didn’t care for. Alberts, while his salary goes up to 1.3 mil next season, was a reliable 3rd pairing type for us. He did exactly what he was advertised to do, clear the crease, hit, and provide a decent defensive game. But his upside may be tapped so we shipped him off to Vancouver. I still don’t think we got a good return on this one though.

But here’s how the deadline works for me. Despite trading Cullen and Corvo, the rest of the core of the team that’s been on this insane hot streak is essentially the same. We cleared out some dead weight and made some roster spots open for some younger guys to provide a bit more of a spark.

Here’s our lineup from last night:
Whitney – Staal – Jokinen
LaRose – Sutter – Ruutu
Samsonov – Dwyer – Cole
Boychuk – Brindy – Nonstopoulos

Gleason – Pothier
Pitkanen – Picard
Carson – Harrison

Trading out Ward for Jay Harrison is a wash, both #6 guys. Only Jay is actually paid like a #6 and Ward is paid like a #3/4.

Yelle was the extra forward, and while he’s been good at times this year he wasn’t needed anymore.

Walker was replaced by Boychuk. Why it wasn’t Osala or Blanchard is beyond me but any chance to see Boychuk in the lineup is a positive for me. That kid can just create chances out of nothing. See his forechecking on the TKO goal from last night.

Just as importantly we saved about 2.5 million in remaining salary and will likely be able to make a splash in UFA to pick up a real top 4 defenseman or two this coming offseason.

Posted By: DaveG
Last Edit: 05 Mar 2010 @ 08:57 AM

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 05 Feb 2010 @ 8:52 PM 

Sorry I couldn’t do the live blogging at the WJCs as planned. Some asshole from Nigeria obviously had different thoughts and rather effectively ruined my chances of bringing the equipment I would need… Hey I barely escaped without it going full body cavity search on me.

Anyway, as we have seen over the past 2 months, this team isn’t looking quite as craptastic as we were looking earlier in the season. But the worst cast scenario has happened on the trade front. The dreaded NTC has struck, hard.

First Ray indicated that he wanted to talk extension with any team that could be interested in picking him up. Oh he talked extension alright. There was a deal on the table that would have had the Hurricanes picking up another very high quality prospect from the 08 draft in defenseman Colton Teubert, who went 1 slot before Boychuk, and the Kings second round pick this year. Not a Kings ransom (ok, my only horrible pun tonight, I promise) but definitely a significant enough return that would have immediately boosted our lineup heading into the 2010-11 season and given us a rather nice asset to use to either trade up for another first or to select a good prospect.

What happened you ask? Ray went nuts. Bob McKenzie, who I trust more then anyone else in the biz, says that Ray wanted a 3 year extension with the Kings. http://tsn.ca/columnists/bob_mckenzie/?id=308689 3 years, for a guy that is going to be 38 at the start of said new contract. Sure thing Ray, how about the keys to the Taj Mahal while we’re at it. Bob speculates that he was simply trying to call his shot, but for the love of god, why do it like this? Instead of just outright not waiving his NTC for the offer he sets off red lights all around the league and a few teams that were interested no longer are. That may change now that Kovy is off the market, but COME ON RAY.

Now Wallin, it’s more of the same. While the return for Wallin is speculated to be a pretty nice package in its own right, if not outright comparable to the Kings package (Dman Derek Josslin and a 2nd) the problem that Nic ran into was in negotiating an extension with Sharks GM Doug Wilson. They were close to reaching a compromise, real close, but it didn’t happen. But I don’t put as much blame on the guy to be perfectly honest. Does it hurt? Yes. Do I expect some backlash at Wallin? Absolutely. But it’s misguided. He didn’t kill any chance of being traded. His demands were far more in line with reality.

And oh yes, we should look at the NTCs too. This isn’t the first time Jimmy has been burnt by NTCs. I’m sure some people will remember Sean Hill in 2003. He rejected a trade to New Jersey at the deadline that would have seen the Canes getting a fairly nice package back there as well. There was also a little something about a trade that would have seen Nic going elsewhere two years back. It wasn’t Philly as speculated though, it was San Jose (sounds familiar) and the reported return at the time was Christian Ehrhoff. The same Ehrhoff that’s currently the #1 defenseman in Vancouver. What is that old saying? Ah yes, “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me”. I wonder what they would say about being fooled four times? Maybe it’s time the fans give a nice little chant at the arena next game to give Jimmy the sense that we’re watching and that we most definitely want and deserve answers.

Edit: Looks like we don’t have to blame the NTC either, at least on this one. The trade was approved just this afternoon, Nic and our 5th this year for the Buffalo 2nd round pick from San Jose, which they had acquired in the Rivet trade a while back.

These are the picks we currently have now:

CAR 1st, CAR 2nd, BUF 2nd, CAR 3rd, NSH 5th, CAR 6th, CAR 7th

Posted By: DaveG
Last Edit: 07 Feb 2010 @ 08:51 PM

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 05 Dec 2009 @ 11:24 AM 

Two seemingly unrelated moves this week could have big implications for the Canes down the road.

Firstly, the Hurricanes moved this past drafts #27 overall pick, Philippe Paradis to Toronto for Jiri Tlusty, a top 15 pick from 2006. On the surface this is a real head scratcher. Well, so was the pick of Paradis to begin with. When a guy isn’t regarded as a possible first rounder by any publication or Bob McKenzie, who usually has a pretty good pulse for what scouts are thinking and has a good relationship with our GM, then odds are the guy simply isn’t first round matterial. Most places had him listed as likely mid to late 2nd… painful. One of the guys drafted only a few picks after Paradis, Klingberg, nearly made the NHL out of the Thrashers camp this year. You know, the same Thrashers that are scorching us in the standings this year. Another, O’Reilly, DID make his NHL team out of camp and is a big reason for the Avs huge turnaround this year.

That’s not to say that credit shouldn’t be given for getting rid of Paradis while he still had value. But I have to question the inner workings of this team at the draft table at times. Sometimes it works nicely (Sutter) but others… I don’t think I need to go over the career of one Igor Knyazev as a refresher on this one, do I?

But I’m getting a bad feeling about Tlusty. He’s a Czech born player that is regarded as being supremely talented but has yet to put it all together at the NHL level, meh it happens. He struggles with the defensive aspects of his game and is seen as more of a parimeter player, not good, but that’s not a career killer. His work ethic has been called into question more then a few times and he developed a reputation for partying it up rather then focusing on hockey in Toronto, wait this is starting to sound familiar but I can’t quite place it… He reported to Leafs camp overweight this past year when it was likely he would win a roster spot out of camp… this can’t be good. Tlusty has also threatened to head over to the KHL after this season if he was not given a full time roster spot in Toronto, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

Yes, the dreaded Pavel Brendl comparison has been made. The scary thing is that the similarities of their stats in the NHL at the point in Brendl’s career that Tlusty is at now is outright frightening. Mind you?Tlusty made the threat and isn’t exactly what would be considered a “Burke Player”, whereas that was the only option for Brendl at this point?in his career. But?truly the biggest difference between the two is skating speed, where your average midget house league player would be able to give Brendl a run for his money. Tlusty has speed to burn and if there is anything that could turn his career around it will be if he learns to properly utilize this to his advantage.

On to the second item of the week:
The Philadelphia Flyers have hired Peter Laviolette and Kevin McCarthy to replace John Stevens and one of their other assistants. All I can say on this is “good, about time Lavi got another shot”. While he’s not the best fit for Philly, personally I was thinking Ted Nolan or even MacTavish, it was obvious to me that John Stevens was the worst coach in the league after Keenan was canned.

How does this effect us? Well, we now no longer have Lavi on the books and?are no longer?hamstrung by that contract should we decide to pursue another coach if we do make a change. Sad to say but personally I think this season is prettymuch a loss and would like to see a real coaching search done in the offseason. About the only short term solution I could live with is putting Tom Rowe in the drivers seat as he’s one of 4 I would really look at for the coaching position. The other three, Kevin Dineen, Willie Desjardins and Scott Arniel, are all under contract at the moment and almost certainly could not be brought in until the season is finished.

Posted By: DaveG
Last Edit: 05 Dec 2009 @ 11:28 AM

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 02 Dec 2009 @ 6:30 PM 

I will say I do have a tinge of disappointment looking at this years WJC lineups.

The US team, which should be a competitor for the medal if they get their coaching issues sorted out, doesn’t have any Canes prospects on their list of players for this tournament. But that was to be expected this year to be honest. Brian Dumoulin (2nd round 2009) was our best shot and he likely will not get the call until the 2011 tournament.

Canada, however, was far more disappointing for me in that they did not even tender an invite to Philippe Paradis. While Paradis wouldn’t have been counted on for his offense he likely could have played the 4th line grind it out role that Andrew Ladd did back on what was likely the strongest WJC team of all time in 2005.

But that doesn’t mean the Canes will be without representation, not by any means. 3 European defensemen should all be named to the teams of their respective counties for the upcoming tournament and we likely could have had a 4th in LW Mattias Lindstrom.

Michal Jordan, a now 3 time player for the Czech Republic in the tournament, has already been named captain for the Czech team.

Fins Tommi Kivisto and Rasmus Rissanen are also expected to be named to their WJC teams. Kivisto played for Finalnd last year registering 1 goal in 6 games and should be expected to play again this year despite not having the best of seasons so far split between the Jokerit SM-Liiga team and the Jokerit Jr A team.

Rissanen, on the other hand, has been a fast riser. Rissanen reminds me a lot of an Ulf Samuelsson type player, albeit a decent bit cleaner, and played a key role on the Finland U-18 team this past year. Unlike most defensemen from Finland he’s not afraid to get dirty and will drop the glove from time to time. He’s not without some offensive upside either with 3 goals and 4 assists in 25 games with Everett of the WHL. I fully expect him to be a 2 year player in the WJCs as Finland will need to add some grit to their team if they have any hopes of medaling this year with such strong teams put out by the Canada, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

Lindsrom, who was regarded as a virtual lock for the Swedish side this year heading into the season, suffered an injury and is not likely to return from surgery until after the trournament.

Posted By: DaveG
Last Edit: 02 Dec 2009 @ 06:32 PM

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