Saturday, September 20, 2008

A key roster tweak is still needed

Justin Williams was just hitting his stride as a player in this league when he went down with the knee injury in December of last year. Consecutive seasons of 76 and 67 points made Justin an indispensable cog in the Canes offensive machine. Then last week, Kaboom! A ruptured Achilles tendon sets him back again. That has to be agonizing to a guy who knows the window of opportunity at this level is only open for a very short time. Good luck Justin. Make sure you max-out on glucosamine and chondroitin during your rehab.

So what to do in the waning days before the start of another season-another season the Canes can't afford to write-off because of key injuries. The Canes re-stocked the pantry with young defensemen this off season, but the forward corps looks very shaky. Cap'n Roddy, Whitney, Cullen, Walker, Ruutu, Eaves and Larose all have significant injury histories.

Here's what I'm not banking on:
1. Canes swinging a deal that brings in a Williams caliber player.
2. Jeff O'Neill suddenly becoming a dedicated two-way player.
3. Brandon Sutter showing up for game one with 25 pounds of extra muscle and the enhanced heart/lung capacity to grind out 20 minutes of ice time every night.
4. Some youngster or journeyman emerging from the league's worst farm system and have a breakout season.

So I say it's time to try again to move Kaberle or Seidenberg to create depth in the Canes forward corps. The Sens are said to be looking for an offensive defenseman. The Leafs have a Kaberle, why shouldn't the Sens? The Bruins and Kings are also looking for a puck-moving blueliner. The Kings only show four defensemen on their roster. And with all the exits they've had in the off season, Tom Preissing is the closest thing to a scoring machine on that roster.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Great Gig in the Sky

Pink Floyd keyboardist, Richard Wright, has died. I love those "Behind the Music" features they do on VH1. Check out the one they did on "Dark Side of the Moon" next time it comes on.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Staalsy Franchise

Big Red joins the upper-upper echelon of highest paid players in the NHL. From what I read, the extension kicks in next year and will bump Eric from $5 mil per to $8+ mil beginning next season. I like the deal. Earlier in his career, Staal would periodically morph into invisibility mode. He's now a proven leader on the ice and a force on every shift. He's also a friggin' ironman who has played 81 or 82 games every season since he joined the big club.

As it stands, only Sid and Ovy will be paid more. Staal will jump ahead of some guy named Richards, who I think used to be somebody with the 'Ning. And did you know Thomas Vanek makes more than guys like Jason Spezza, Jarome Iginla and Vinny Lecavalier? Anybody got the number for Vanek's agent?

Like it's 9/12 again

Find them. Fix them. Finish them. And all their buttboys hiding in Pakistan.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Presenting the Carolina Tropical Storm Sardaukars

I think I dig this new third impression gear. Has a dark, Nazgulie, Megatronesque, maybe Sardaukarish look to it. It's a bit superhero looking, but it's not a stylized constellation cow head, oily oblong gear or mighty fish stick guy. Plus how cool will it be going into overtime to hear the RBC PA announcer holler, "Hurricanes, Maximize!!!

Nothing old school about this get-up. I was hoping for something old school, but I guess I can live with this one. Not sure if Roddy is going to look like a warrior or a cartoon character in this wear.

Worse case scenario, Caniacs will have something to wear to the next Sci Fi or Comicon convention. I like bold marketing moves, and this one is definitely bold. Click here if you haven't seen the new stuff.