Alternate Canes Universe

[Alternate Canes Universe] EPILOGUE – Facts, Stats, and Where Are They Now?

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Aug 12, 2015  •  1 comment

Author note: A word before we start.A few months ago when I downloaded EHM and started messing around with it, I never thought I'd end up putting together enough posts to put together what amounts to a book (OK, maybe a magazine.) But I found as I kind of lost myself in the sim, it became very easy to write these little recaps, so I just started typing them out and saving them to the "drafts" section of the Section328.com supermegacomputer just for the hell of it. I didn't know if anyone would read them, and I kinda didn't care - I figured in the offseason, content is content, and if the boys wanted to use it, they could. If not, it wasn't going to hurt my feelings. Much.To my surprise, they read them, and they thought the posts were cool (or at least they led me to believe that - I'm pretty gullible when it comes to my writing). They also thought I was nuts for 1) punching out 22 posts, on average 800-1000 words each, and B) doing it over like a four week period, if that. We worked it out so they'd post staggered, two (or three) a week, with delays in case there was breaking news, like the draft or something real actually happening.What surprised me more? You guys actually read them. Or, at least, you pity-clicked. I'll take either - I'm not proud. But people on Twitter would ask me about them and the progress and talk about this little imaginary world I had set up on a goof.That's pretty cool. And, for that, I thank you.This is going to be the last one. There won't be another season to see if the team can repeat. I've already simmed it (hands-off, without me running the team) into the 2025 season. This last post was meant to be an epilogue just talking about a few players and what happened once we got into 2025, but I ended up taking something that I wrote earlier (when I wasn't sure if I was going to run another season or not) and making a little "wrap-up" post to come before the epilogue. And I still wrote the epilogue with more players than I initially intended. Oh, and I keep writing this. The result?I've broken the 3000 word barrier on this post, which I'm sure the boys won't make fun of AT ALL.Anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and if you're at all curious as to what happened to some player I didn't cover in the epilogue, hit me up on Twitter (@MrWorkrate) and I'll dig up the sim for ya.And thanks again. Enjoy?

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[Alternate Canes Universe] June 3rd, 2017 – Four. More. Wins.

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Aug 4, 2015  •  0 comments

[This is part 21 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.]June 3rd, 2017 Stanley Cup Finals Carolina Hurricanes (W1) vs. San Jose Sharks (2)Much like the Hurricanes, the San Jose Sharks were a surprise to be in the Stanley Cup Finals. They had a 30 goal scorer in Logan Couture, and established forwards in Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, and Marian Hossa to go along with young talent in Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels, but this was a team built on the blueline. Led by captain Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Brent Burns, the Sharks also had Tyler Myers and Matt Bartkowski and acquired veteran Francois Beauchemin at the deadline. Though goalie Antti Niemi was shaky during the regular season, he got hot at the right time, and after sweeping the Flames in the first round, beat the President's Trophy-winning Anaheim Ducks four games to two, after losing the first two games. Then, in a nip-and-tuck series, the Sharks took out the St. Louis Blues in six games to win the Western Conference.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] May 23rd, 2017 – So Close You Can Taste It

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jul 24, 2015  •  0 comments

[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.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] April 24th, 2017 – It’s Been A Long Time

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jul 21, 2015  •  0 comments

[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.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] April 11th, 2017 – Down The Stretch

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jul 17, 2015  •  0 comments

[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, 2017The 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.A high glove side goal against the Canes!?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.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] February 23rd, 2017 – Deadline Decisions

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jul 15, 2015  •  0 comments

[This is part 17 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.]February 23rd, 2017 (29-24-6)As good as January had been for the Canes, February seemed to be a wake-up call. A loss to Philadelphia on the 21st was Carolina's third in a row, and put them a point out of the playoffs. The Canes had seen other teams make moves as they approached the trade deadline, and it was looking more and more like Bob Workrate would have to make some kind of deal as well if the team wanted to make the playoffs.Workrate had gotten calls earlier in the season about Leland Irving, who despite seeing limited action behind Alex Nedeljkovic, was looking like he might be making the jump to a #1 goaltender. In 11 games since being called up from Charlotte, Irving was 6-3-2 with a 2.43 GAA and a .907 SV%. Irving saw the jump as well, and didn't want to negotiate another contract extension, preferring to test the market for a #1 opportunity. The best offer he had gotten was from Boston, who offered their 1st round pick in the 2017 draft for Irving. Knowing that they'd lose Irving to free agency and fully confirming that they were committed to Nedeljkovic, Workrate sent Irving to Boston, calling up Cam Talbot to take his place. Talbot responded to his demotion positively, making the AHL All-Star Team while in Charlotte, but wanted to prove himself back at the NHL level.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] January 28th, 2017 – A Change In Attitude

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jul 10, 2015  •  0 comments

[This is part 16 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.]January 28th, 2017 (26-17-6)January was proving to be a good month for the Hurricanes. Going into this matchup with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the Canes had taken points in nine of the ten games played that month. The Rangers weren't the President's Trophy winning team they were two seasons ago, but they were still a tough opponent, especially on the road.The Hurricanes were coming off an impressive 4-0 shutout of Chicago at PNC Arena, with Leland Irving picking up the shutout and Troy Brouwer picking up a hat trick. While Lindy Ruff had turned to Alex Nedeljkovic to be the #1 goalkeeper, Irving had been playing lights out hockey in a limited role. Brouwer too was seeing a bit of a career resurgence, having already topped his goal total from the previous two seasons.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] December 30th, 2016 – Leadership Down The Lines

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jul 9, 2015  •  0 comments

[This is part 15 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.]December 30th, 2016 (18-16-4)When Lindy Ruff came on board as Carolina Hurricanes head coach, GM Bob Workrate immediately went to work with him looking over the roster. He realized he had gotten off on the wrong foot with Guy Boucher, and he wasn't going to let that happen with Ruff. Workrate wanted Ruff to know that he was in charge, but he also wanted Ruff to tell him what he wanted on his roster.Ruff looked over the roster. "First off, I can't believe you went for that long with eight defensemen on your roster. That's just a waste of space."

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[Alternate Canes Universe] November 12th, 2016 – An Unexpected Turn

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jun 30, 2015  •  0 comments

[This is part 14 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.]November 12th, 2016 (6-7-3)It was becoming increasingly obvious that Alex Nedeljkovic and Guy Boucher weren't going to be sending each other Christmas cards. Boucher had handed the starting goaltender job to Cam Talbot in training camp, and Talbot was doing all he could to give it back. The Hurricanes opened the season against the New York Islanders, and Talbot looked great, shutting out the Isles 4-0. But in the rematch in Brooklyn the next day, Talbot stopped only 27 of 32 shots and the Canes fell, 5-1. Talbot then gave up four goals to Buffalo, five to the Rangers, three to the Avs (his only other win), and four to the Ducks.If Nedeljkovic was frustrated, he didn't show it. After dropping his first start of the season to Arizona on October 21st, the rookie goaltender looked strong against Calgary on October 30th, making 25 out of 27 saves in a 4-2 Hurricanes win. However, it would be against the Washington Capitals where Nedeljkovic would have his coming out party. After giving Talbot the next two starts against Columbus (both losses), Boucher put Nedeljkovic in net again on November 5th against the Caps. At the Verizon Center, Nedeljkovic would make 32 saves and shut out the Caps, 4-0. It was a star-making performance.

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[Alternate Canes Universe] September 30th, 2016 – Damned If Ya Do…

by Tom Edwards •  @MrWorkrate •  Jun 25, 2015  •  0 comments

[This is part 13 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.]September 30th, 2016 (TRAINING CAMP)The difference between the 2015 training camp and the 2016 training camp became obvious in the first few days. The previous season saw players separating in smaller cliques, but this season saw the players come together. The additions of Brouwer, Ladd, plus the returning Backes seemed to already be paying dividends.The lines seemed to be setting up more like Workrate had envisioned them, with Backes sliding into a first line wing with Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm, and Jordan Staal centering a line with Jeff Skinner and Wayne Simmonds. Victor Rask was surrounded by the veteran presence of Andrew Ladd and Troy Brouwer.

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