Saturday, February 03, 2007

Decision Time Looming

Oooh, that was nice
1. Erik Cole's possible return to power forward status

Two four minute high-sticking penalties in the third period, a miserable PP and a dumb penalty from Eric Staal minutes into OT doomed the boys last night. The little cherry on top for me was having the condescending, crow-beaked, ESPN castoff, Jack Edwards as MC. After the Cory Stillman high-sticking incident (credited to Erik Cole?), the Caniacs proceeded to boo Zdeno Chara every time he touched the puck. Not sure why the Hurricane faithfull decide to boo Chara, but ole Jack took the opportunity to quip, "At least they are learning something about hockey." Yeah Jack, like how to win a Stanley Cup. You're living in your own private Nob Hill, weasel boy.

I know I vowed to not obsess about trade rumors. So this is not obsessive rant, just discussion going into Deal or No Deal season in the NHL. I don't think many trade scenarios will breathe immediate life into the Carolina Hurricanes. That chemistry (H/T Eman) will in the final analysis have to come from within these guys. Remember all the tales last season about how tight the Hurricanes clubhouse was? I'm not hearing many of those stories this season.

I blame the pre-season ropes course. Name me one instance where a ropes course turned out to be anything but a boondoggle. I say next year the boys ought to go on a rafting expedition thru Deliverance country there in North Georgia. If they survive that hillbilly/Thrash-Fan infested wilderness trek, they'll emerge a band of brothers.

That all being said, Most reports point to the Canes needing to add scoring depth first, and possibly look to upgrade on defense in a secondary move. I would argue that the despite a wealth of numbers on defense, the team is in deep need of a real stopper now and going into next season. Anyway, here's how I'd rank the possibles under two scenarios. In scenario one, JR believes he can brew up a cup-contending team this season. In scenario two, a more realistic JR is looking to fix some longer term issues while he hopes for some playoff magic. I like scenario two better for the Canes. So here are my priority acquire lists in each scenario:

If the JR believes the boys can still make a deep run this year:
1. Olli Jokinen
2. Mike Knuble
3. Bill Guerin
3. Peter Forsberg

If JR wants to position this club for next season, he might target these relatively affordable guys:
1. Jason Blake
2. Nathan Horton
3. Brad Stuart
4. Fredrick Modin
5. Joni Pitkanen
6. Brad Boyes
7. Eric Brewer
8. David Hale
9. Joe Corvo

Olli Jokinen might be worth cutting a deal for in a trade and resign gamble.

Rumor earlier today has the Oilers interested in Andrew Hutchinson.

1 comment:

JP said...

Here's an interesting stat on Cole - per Versus, he's drawn the second-most penalties in the NHL. You'll never guess who's first.