Because no one reads blog posts on a Saturday, let's get you up to date with what happened over the weekend.Eddie Lack signs a two year extension with the CanesSup, girl.Going into training camp, we've said that Eddie Lack and Cam Ward, both with one year left on their respective deals, were essentially auditioning to be the starting goaltender for the Canes in 2016-17 and beyond. Six preseason games later, we've apparently got our answer, as the team announced Saturday that Lack signed a two year, $5.5 million extension. The extension will pay the goaltender $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $3 million in 2017-18, equating to a $2.75 million cap hit those two seasons.
Update: Tears In Heaven is the winner, and NEEEEWWWW Worst Canes Goal Song! We’re now down to the final 2 songs in our search for what would make the worst Carolina Hurricanes goal song. After 2 rounds of voting has eliminated contending songs from…
[This is part 4 of the "Handicapping the 2015-16 Canes" series. I go into a little bit more detail by position in parts 1-3, which can be found here: Goalies, Defensemen, and Forwards.]After a lot of discussion (and two rounds of cuts, which were made after I wrote parts 1-3), we should have a somewhat clear idea of who is going to be playing where come opening night. But there still are a few spots up for grabs, and for those not making the big club a trip to Charlotte isn't guaranteed. As of October 1st, here's my best guess as to how the Canes organization is going to look.
Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Versteeg, KrisThere are (as of October 1st) 15 forwards left in camp, which means all but one of them is going to make the team. I still believe that there were only four spots up for grabs here when camp opened (see yesterday's post), and Brad Malone and Chris Terry impressed enough last season that it would have taken a poor camp for them to get cut. Joakim Nordström is promising and new, and I could see him getting claimed on waivers in a situation not unlike how the Canes got Andrej Nestrasil last season if he were to be exposed.That leaves one spot up for grabs between 28-year-old NHL rookie Derek Ryan and impressive prospect Brock McGinn. I'm going with Ryan over McGinn just because McGinn benefits more from being sent down and playing regular 1st/2nd line minutes than grabbing the 14th slot on the main roster. Ryan has already done his time (albeit overseas); while the Checkers would likely benefit from him being sent down, Ryan isn't going to benefit any. I was surprised that neither was active for last night's home preseason opener against Washington.
It's been a fun 24 hours of voting in round 1 of Horrible Canes Goal Song Ideas, and now we're on to the semifinals. I've taken the winners (not sure if that's really the right term here) from each division to move on to the Ultimate Quartet (don't wan't to get sued by the NCAA).Here are your results from the opening round:Crunk DivisionBubblegum Division: Somber Division:Worst Division:
(Ed. Note: This article was written prior to Friday's roster cuts. So, you know, take that for what it's worth.)I think of all the positions to try to handicap, it's the forwards that are the hardest to try to predict, because it's not necessarily going to be the top 12 (or 14, really) players that make the team - lines need to be taken into consideration, as well as roles. The first six and last seven were pretty easy, but once you start getting closer to the middle, the difference becomes much less noticeable, and things outside of performance and talent can make the difference between being with the big club or finding yourself on a bus to Charlotte.NOT IN DANGEREric Staal
Victor RaskBarring an injury or a trade, these six are going to be with the big club, and will probably fill the first two lines. Sure, Lindholm and Rask could still be sent down without requiring waivers, but it's going to take a pretty big dropoff for that to happen.
Update: We're now in the semifinals. Click here to see the winners and vote!If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that people love brackets. You hand someone a bracket with options on it, and by goodness, they'll fill that sucker out. Some may pontificate upon it until the last possible moment, others will complete the bracket post haste. Either way, brackets are fun, so let's do one.Word is that the Canes are experimenting with new goal songs, possibly replacing Blur's Song 2. While it wouldn't be missed by many, and we don't know any potential replacements, we want to open it up to see what it ABSOLUTELY WON'T be. Check out our nominees for "Worst Possible Hurricanes Goal Song" and vote for your favorites (be they actual or ironic) below.You can vote every hour, and the winners will move on at some point this week.See the bracket here: http://brkc.co/39985
(Ed. Note: This article was written prior to Friday's roster cuts. So, you know, take that for what it's worth.)It's said that defense wins championships and yeah, sure, why not. The Carolina Hurricanes blue line in the last few years has been a gumbo of occasional deliciousness mixed in with mystery meat, rocks, radioactive waste, and a shoe a sad hobo left behind because even he has standards. However, there's some light on the horizon if you pay attention to major hockey sportswriters (which of course you would because what would us southern rubes know about stick and puck?), because according to them, the Hurricanes have - through a combination of the draft and trades - accumulated an impressive collection of young defensemen. While it might look good on paper, some of these players are a few years away, and I'm pretty sure games are going to have to be played every season. So, let's take a look at how the Carolina Hurricanes blue line might look when the season opens in October.THE GOLDEN GOOSEJustin FaulkMURICAAll due respect to the Staals, but Justin Faulk is the cornerstone of the franchise right now. Signed through the 2019-20 season on what looks to be a steal of a contract, Faulk was already an Olympian and an All Star by the age of 22. He nearly led the team in scoring this past season, which is equal parts awesome for Faulk and sad for the rest of the team. You knew he'd be here - he deserves his own tier right now.
[NOTE: Since I seem to be best at writing multi-part posts, this will be a three-part post handicapping the starting 2015-16 Carolina Hurricanes opening night roster. We're starting off with the goaltenders, because it's shortest. I'm not considering anyone who isn't in training camp, so you won't see Alex Nedeljkovic in this list, as he'll be back in junior this season.Ed. Note: This was written before recent roster cuts. So, you know, take that into account.]A wise man once said that without goaltending, hockey would be a much higher scoring sport. It'd also have a lot less scapegoats.No position quite plays with the fanbase's emotions quite like a goaltender. Take the Canes whirlwind romance with Anton Khudobin. Signed out of Boston after backing up Tuukka Rask in Boston to a minimal one year, $800k deal, Dobby won 11 of his first 14 starts and looked like a #1 goalie, while Cam Ward had the worst season of his career. Then they interview the guy, find out he plays with LEGOs, and he becomes the darling of the entire fanbase because he's just so damned adorable. A two-year, $4.5 million contract extension is totally logical, because he should probably be making more than that because he's so good and so cool and the Dobby era is just beginning in Raleigh!How could you NOT love this guy?
In Star Trek (stay with me here), cadets who strive to be captains of their own ship face a training simulation that’s known to fans of the show as the Kobayashi Maru scenario. In it, the cadet, running a simulated mission as commander, is faced with a choice of trying to answer a distress call from the ship Kobayashi Maru (hence the name) and potentially start a war in the process, or ignore the distress call and leave the Kobayashi Maru’s crew to die a certain death. Knowing they’re screwed either way, cadets try their best to approach the task with the least amount of harm, and generally fail miserably, perhaps most notably Vulcan Kirstie Alley in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.Ed. note: I assume all of the above is accurate, but have never watched Star Trek.Unfortunately for Canes GM Ron Francis, his Kobayashi Maru is all too real, except that it’s called Eric Staal.
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.