Keep or Cut: Defense
We’re looking at every player on the Canes roster and sharing our thoughts on whether we’d keep them or cut them (CBA rules be damned for this). Set aside all the thoughts of what free agents are available and who could be brought in. For this series, we’re strictly looking at should we keep each player were we building the team starting now. Today, we’re talking defense. Read what we’d do with the forwards here. Here are our thoughts on the goalies.
Derek: It would be a classic case of selling low if we moved him, but I think Faulk could use a new home. When his name started getting floated around a couple years ago, I laughed it off. After the past two seasons of inconsistent and less than stellar play, I’m ready to move on. If it weren’t for that pesky C on his sweater that he never should have had, I think it would be an easier trade.
Meg: Well, this is awkward. All things being equal, Faulk is the player who has to move on. His next contract is likely going to hamstring the club financially, and in theory they have enough defensive depth to replace him for cheaper. In hindsight, he should have been traded in the offseason. Instead, he co-captained this team into one of his worst seasons, essentially tanking his trade value. I would cut him just to get him a fresh start somewhere else, but I don’t know if they can get fair value for him now.
Dan: Part of me really just wants to get a beer with Faulk and talk about his experiences. But I can do that anywhere, and I don’t think he’s contributing enough here. I would cut.
Tom: He’s not happy, and I don’t know why. Does he not like the coaching staff? Is it the fatigue of being on this team draining his will to live? Did he recently discover he’s lactose intolerant? Whatever it is, it has to change. He’s plateaued here in Carolina, and I think it’s necessary to swing a deal before someone reveals him to be Jamie McBain, Scooby-Doo-style. Cut.
Pat: Faulk is not a player I would re-sign when his current deal expires. He is the Hurricanes version of Kevin Shattenkirk — overvalued by some, undervalued by others. On any other team he would play 5-6 pairing minutes at 5-on-5 and QB the second unit PP. Hold onto him until Summer 2019.
Derek: The second C is for keep.
Meg: Keep him. He’s having an OK year on a bad team, and he just got a huge contract that there is no point in moving. He’ll be fine.
Dan: I’m a fan of the game he plays even while most of rest of the team burns down around him. Keep.
Tom: We need a holy man to cast out the demons from this franchise. Keep.
Pat: #Unpopular Opinion time: Slavin is miscast on this team. He is not a Number One defenseman, and doesn’t help the team generate enough offense 5-on-5. Also, can someone encourage him to use the poke-check less often and use his frame more to defend? He looks like a lost labradoodle playing man-to-man coverage in the D-zone this season. I would look to trade this player. But if this is a simple binary decision you keep the player.
Derek: He’s an all-star! You can’t cut an all-star! Hyperbolic statements aside, he’s a 21 year old, 6’3″ defenseman who is still years away from what should be his peak seasons. Yeah, I’m 100% keeping Hanifin.
Meg: On a team that’s regressed defensively, he’s been one of the better players. He still has his gaffes, but he’s young and he’s trending upwards. For sure, keep him.
Dan: I’ll admit, I’ve said “Noah FREAKIN’ Hanifin” a few times this season in more of a frustrated or angry tone than that nickname was originally intended for, but when I was 21 I did a whole lot of significantly dumber things than he’s been doing this season, so…keep and continue to build.
Tom: There’s not enough room on this planet for Hanifin and Cheese Dip. If this team is insistent on keeping Faulk, then it’s going to be Hanifin going off to Ottawa or Edmonton or Colorado. I don’t think either of these guys is going to be here when they’re 30, but for now, Noah’s the one I keep.
Pat: Best all-around defensman on the roster. Keep.
Derek: I think Pesce is a perfectly capable second pairing defenseman who doesn’t make many mistakes. Keep him. Bonus: If he’s on your team, he’s less likely to hit you with an RKO out of nowhere.
Meg: Same situation as Slavin. Keep him.
Dan: Eh, he’s neither impressed nor disappointed me this season. I guess keep but remind me from time to time that he, you know, is on the team.
Tom: We need more New Yorkers on this team, even if it is just Westchester. His position is only in danger when we get a #GoodLongIslandBoy.
Pat: Two season ago I said Pecse’s the most likely of him, Hanifin, and Slavin to move. I stand by that statement today. Cut.
Derek: This is one where I’m solely looking at today’s NHL roster and that makes me want to keep him. I think/hope that our blue line prospect pool is deep enough to force TvR out, but today, he’s a good third pairing player who more often than not I don’t notice. And I mean that as a compliment. Keep him.
Meg: What a weird turn of events for TvR to be the best acquisition of the offseason. Trevor has been steady and dependable on the third pairing. Can’t say that I have much to criticize. He’s a solid addition to the club, and he should stay.
Dan: TvR can lead to some solid DVR jokes that no one has made yet. Keep him until Mike has mined that deep vein of humor dry.
Tom: I’m perfectly fine keeping him on the team, mainly because he seems to be one of the few on the team that actually cares about You Can Play and Hockey Is For Everyone. Also, he doesn’t seem to screw up, or at least he hides it well. Cons: doesn’t score enough (at all) to do a T-V-R thumb point after scoring. Keep.
Pat: Keep. Most consistent defender this season. That’s what the team needs as current constructed needs – consistency.
Derek: I think he’s worth keeping solely for his size and age. It hasn’t even been four years since he was drafted and this is still his rookie season. Unless you could tell me (insert player I covet here) is coming back in his place, I’ll hang on to Fleury.
Meg: I don’t know what to think about little Flower. He hasn’t been good this season, but he’s a rookie on a club that’s been pretty bad defensively. It’s hard to say how much of that reflects on Fleury alone. In any case, he’s worth keeping unless he can be packaged in some kind of trade for a center.
Dan: I think he’s great value for a trade down the line, so keep him and bundle him with someone in a trade next year for a high value player.
Tom: Cut, because I don’t think his ceiling is as high as his draft position, and his trade value is just going to go down, unless he suddenly starts producing the points that it seems like he’s capable of (at least at the junior/AHL level), I’m ready to get value for him while we still can.
Pat: Keep. If an NHL defender needs 400 games played to be considered polished, as Coach Peters has suggested. I’ve seen enough good in his play that it’s worth spending time correcting the bad.
Derek: LOL NO.
Meg: Sorry, bud. We signed you because Ryan Murphy didn’t qualify to be exposed in the expansion draft. Dahlbeck has not been bad in his limited role as the replacement defenseman, but we’ve got a younger guy in Trevor Carrick waiting for a call up. Cut.
Dan: Isn’t this the villain from some shitty 80s action movie starring Steven Seagal? Cut.
Pat: Keep. Better him be your 6-7 healthy scratch than someone on an Entry Level Contract.
Tom: Keep, because I want to see if you’re actually reading all of these or just skimming.