Can’t lie. When John Forslund drops by Cheaters Never Win, we get a bit giddy. As always, John drops knowledge, answers your questions, and even dodges our eff-marry-kill. John is a true pro, and we can’t thank him enough for being so gracious. We also drink and review a beer, that was almost as delicious as Mr. Forslund himself.
[This is part 20 of a multi-part series where I venture into an alternate universe where I take over the Carolina Hurricanes using Sports Interactive’s Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access.]
May 23rd, 2017
Eastern Conference 2nd Round
Columbus Blue Jackets (3) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (W1)
The Blue Jackets had the best record in the Eastern Conference during the 2015-16 season, but took a minor step back in 2016-17. The matchup was expected to be a close one, but after being shutout 4-0 at home in Game One, Columbus never recovered. The Canes took Game Two 4-3, then after going down 1-0 to Columbus early in Game Three, rattled off five unanswered goals (two shorthanded) to win 5-1 in Raleigh. In Game Four, it was the fourth line that took over after going down 3-1 in the second period. Paul Byron scored two goals and an assist, while Valentin Zykov scored a goal and three assists as the Hurricanes swept the Blue Jackets with a 5-4 win at home.
The sweep came as a relief to many players, but none moreso that Justin Faulk. The Canes defenseman had been putting in 27 minutes of ice time a night, and his fatigue was beginning to show. The Canes were hoping the Lightning/Islanders series would go seven games, but the Isles couldn’t reproduce the magic that got them past the Bruins, and Tampa took them in five games. Continue reading [Alternate Canes Universe] May 23rd, 2017 – So Close You Can Taste It
[This is part 19 of a multi-part series where I venture into an alternate universe where I take over the Carolina Hurricanes using Sports Interactive’s Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access.]
April 24th, 2017
Eastern Conference 1st Round
Pittsburgh Penguins (1) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (W1)
The Hurricanes went into their first playoff series in eight years with two major strikes against them. Not only were the Hurricanes without Evander Kane, the player who provided the spark that got the Hurricanes over the hump and into the playoffs, but they also learned they’d be without center Victor Rask for the rest of the playoffs with torn cartilage in his knee. Rask had taken a major step forward this season, going 14-31-45 while centering the third line for the Canes. The center position was especially thin for the Canes, and coach Lindy Ruff turned to Paul Byron to center Andrew Ladd and Troy Brouwer, while Shane Doan would be called upon to center the fourth line with Nicolas Deslauriers and Valentin Zykov. Byron, a former Flames prospect who had played in the Blues system the season before, was signed by the Canes when Ruff came on and ended the Brock McGinn center experiment. Byron showed flashes during the season, going 5-11-16 in 36 games and his 5’7″, 154lb frame reminded some of the since-departed Nathan Gerbe, but this was not ideal for the Canes as they got ready to face the Penguins. Continue reading [Alternate Canes Universe] April 24th, 2017 – It’s Been A Long Time
You know it’s July when you’re desperately looking for any kind of signing or player movement to make a post about. In this case, when the Canes do something, I feel obligated, even though nothing is official yet. But then again, I’m not a journalist.
As first pointed out by Cory Lavalette on Twitter, Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog mentioned in passing that the Canes had signed University of New Hampshire right wing Matt Willows. Puck Daddy linked to an article in the Journal News, which serves the Lower Hudson Valley of New York and they’re a respectable newspaper type thing, so I’m confident enough in that to go with it. Continue reading If The Canes Sign Players But Don’t Confirm, Did It Happen?
It’s the middle of July. We’re all starved for hockey news and hockey talk, right? Well, this podcast is like giving a honey bun to a starving man; its not nutritious, you’ll probably regret ingesting it, but it feels good while you’re doing it. We talk end of dev camp, potential Eric Staal negotiations, and enjoy a little brew from Lynwood Grill and Brewing Concern. Thanks as always for listening, we promise to do better next time.
The Canes announced this week that the team had re-signed forward Brody Sutter, the team’s lone remaining restricted free agent, to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level and $85,000 at the AHL level. Sutter made his Canes debut last season, posting no points in four games at the NHL level, but had somewhat of a breakout year for the Checkers, posting 12 goals and 13 assists in only 45 games in Charlotte despite missing nearly half the season due to injury.
Sutter was a restricted free agent coming off his entry level contract, and because of that was not eligible for arbitration this year. An announcement was expected by yesterday, as July 15th is the deadline for qualifying offers to be accepted, and while Sutter didn’t have to sign his QO in order to play for the Canes organization this upcoming season (and actually, he didn’t – I’ll get to that in a minute), yesterday was the last day that a firm offer (with specific required minimums) would have been on the table.
I mentioned that Sutter didn’t sign his qualifying offer, which indeed, he didn’t. By the requirements of the CBA, the Canes would have needed to offer Sutter an NHL salary 110% of his previous season’s salary, which would have been $643,500 (Sutter’s contract paid him $585,000 at the NHL level last season.) However, in the case of a two-way qualifying offer, the AHL portion of the offer only has to match the previous season’s number – in this case, $55,000. Sutter elected to take a more modest raise at the NHL level (from 585k to 600k) in order to get a more dramatic raise at the AHL level (55k to 85k). In essence, Brody went all J.G. Wentworth to get his money now instead of taking the risk of getting more money if he made the big club.
As for making the club, I still think Sutter has an outside shot, depending on whether or not he’s healthy and has a good camp. With minimal veteran right-handed shooters on the current Canes roster, there’s probably going to be some openings for a righty shot to stick on the roster. Sutter, Justin Shugg, T.J. Hensick, and Derek Ryan all look to be pushing for a spot, and of the four, Sutter’s size (6’5″, 203lbs) would probably lend more to a 4th line role than the others. Sutter will have to clear waivers in order to be sent down to Charlotte, but I don’t think that will better his chances for making the 23-man roster, as I’d assume he’d clear waivers at the end of camp.
[This is part 18 of a multi-part series where I venture into an alternate universe where I take over the Carolina Hurricanes using Sports Interactive’s Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access.]
April 11th, 2017
The first game after the trade deadline, the Hurricanes hosted the Washington Capitals at PNC Arena. Coach Ruff elected to start newly promoted Cam Talbot in goal, raising some concerns, but Ruff reiterated that Nedeljkovic was his starting goaltender, and that the start for Talbot was to show that he had confidence in him if he was needed and that his bad start of the season had been “forgotten”. Still, Talbot reminded Canes fans two minutes into the first period when Alex Galchenyuk buried one high glove side to give the Caps the early lead.
The Canes would come back, however, and in a back-and-forth battle, the teams would end up tied at three at the end of regulation and would enter overtime. A Dmitry Orlov interference penalty put the Canes on the power play, and when John Carlson made a weak clearing attempt, it was Evander Kane picking it off and putting it past Anders Lindback to give the Hurricanes a 4-3 overtime win. Continue reading [Alternate Canes Universe] April 11th, 2017 – Down The Stretch