OK, so all we have to look forward to now is the Draft.
Well, except for me–I have Rangers playoff games to look forward to (Give ‘em Hell, Harry)…which, to be honest, is exceedingly small comfort. I would much rather have the Hurricanes in the playoffs than barrack for this season’s application of The Malik Effect.
Back on message, AQ.
Oh, sorry about that.
Anyway, the Draft. I’ve been looking at our depth chart, and what I see is the same old shit: we’re thin on our left side, our defence is getting older, and we have like half the goaltenders in the known universe because our GM insists on drafting at least two every year rather than actually trying to seriously address our paper-thin left side or our aging defence.
So, let’s address our needs:
This is kinda “duh”, here. We have Ray Whitney, Sergei Samsonov, Tuomo Ruutu, Chad LaRose, My Man Ryan Bayda, and Wade Brookbank. Umm…hmm. I am guessing–though not immediately assuming–that Samsonov will be offered a contract, though whether Sammy signs or not will more than likely be contingent on whether or not we retain Laviolette as coach. Ray has one more year IIRC. Same with Ruutu. Rosie will be staying unless JimR can find somebody that will offer us an upgrade for him–and I would make that deal too, even though I adore the Chuck Norris of Hockey, because the team is far more important than any one player. Bayda will more than likely stay in the speed dial as first callup unless he really impresses in training camp this fall, and Brookbank? We’ll keep him around for the judicious application of excessive force, I’m sure.
We can’t have Casey Borer, Timmy Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg, and Joe Corvo holding down the fort by themselves once Glen Wesley and Bret Hedican retire, Nicky Wallin goes back to Sweden to raise his 2394878724 children to be proper Vikings, and Atlanta Frankie gets taken away by the aliens for the last time. They need some serious help–especially because Joe isn’t getting any younger himself and Dennis and Timmy (much as I adore them both) are pretty much mid-range kinda guys. Which leaves Casey Borer, who (though promising) is not a Jedi yet, and Tim Conboy–who the fans love because he’s willing to drop ‘em (and he’s a good egg), but let’s face it: he’s a callup type of guy, and not much else.
I will say it now: If the Warchief isn’t back in September then I fear he may not be back at all–which will hurt, but not as much as having Trevor Letowski as our second-line center behind The Chosen One. Brandon Sutter is currently in Albany on an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract, which means that he’s there on his dime. It’s my sincere hope that this franchise decides to go against type and doesn’t rush him, but I have a feeling that he’ll be rammed into the lineup and spend all of next season getting pushed around (because really, he’s like Wierd Harold: 6’9″ and 50 pounds). You know, like Eric Staal in his first season–though hopefully we’ve taken the lesson from his experience and will actually take some time with this kid.
We are actually kinda okay…ish. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe…ish. Erik Cole may wind up being trade fodder for a defensive upgrade (or, with our luck, another freaking goalie)–depending on the guy we get in return, I could dig this. And I say that as a charter member of Erik’s Caffeine Nation. After Cole, we have JWillie, Remo Williams, Patrick Eaves, and…and…err…
*looks at depth chart again* *blinks* *rubs eyes* *looks askance at bottle of diet coke*
Fuck me, did I say we were okay here? Am I high? Right side, we need it. We need it bad.
Ward, Leighton, Nastiuk, Peters, Manzato, Akerlund. I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH GOALIES, DON’T YOU? And Grahame is a goner. His backbending stretches may turn the ladies on, but he’s just not pushing Cam like he should have been. But of course, JimR will trade half our team for another freakin’ goaltender. Why don’t we get Manny Legace back? I’m sure he’ll LOVE that.
So, the Draft. I was planning a trip up there, but the hubby has decided that we need to move to a new apartment the same weekend–which, needless to say, pisses me off greatly cos I was (and am) hoping to organize a blogmoot. Bah. So anyway, if you’re there and you hear somebody bellowing out “DEFENSE!” “RIGHT WING!” “NO MORE GOALIES!” from somewhere in ScotiaBank Place every time the Hurricanes are on the clock, you’ll know I made it.
This was a smart move–the kid wasn’t getting enough ice time on the 4th line, and he hasn’t been playing well enough to be on any higher line. He needs to get clear of R’lyeh and get some ice time in the AHL and get his head back together.
In other news, the Hurricanes have made Tom Barrasso their fulltime goalie coach as Greg Stefan has left to go coach the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. This will be interesting.
I just love waking up to crap like this, I really do.
In a nutshell: Anton Babchuk was asked to report to Albany of the AHL now that Frankie’s back–it was a temporary move, and done only because somebody had to be sent down and Babs was the only one of our guys not subject to waivers.
What is there to think about? “Dude, spend a little time in Albany until we get somebody else traded. It’s not permanent.” What’s so hard about that? Even Babs with his so-so (at best) English skills should be able to understand that. And then there’s this little gem, courtesy of the N&O’s ‘Canes blog:
Jay Grossman, Anton Babchuk’s agent, said his client doesn’t feel he’s a minor-league player and would prefer the Hurricanes trade him to another NHL team.
Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford suspended Babchuk on Wednesday after the 22-year-old defenseman refused to report to Albany (AHL) when the Canes sent him down to clear a spot for Frantisek Kaberle on Tuesday.
“After playing well and for a good part of the season, especially at the beginning, in the top four, playing more than 20 minutes a night, he doesn’t feel he’s a minor-league player,” Grossman said. “I know there’s interest out there and teams that view it the same way. At the same time, we understand the prediciment Jim faces. We’ve been communicating regarding that and we’ll see what happens.”
Babchuk appeared in 51 of Carolina’s first 55 games, and his 14 points are second only to Mike Commodore among Carolina defensemen.
How many teams are going to ask about the kid, given this little stunt? Come on Jay, surely you’re smarter than that you little slimeball. And are you aware that this stunt has pretty much screwed the ‘Canes over by ruining whatever trade value that Babs had? And after the org moved the heavens and the earth to get the kid’s name on the Cup too. Classy.
“We had to do it, it’s the rules.”
If the kid stays, it’ll be because the coaches want him to stay or because Ron Francis advises JimR not to trade him.