So last time the Hurricanes had a winning streak I was so confident I wrote a piece about how they’re BACK. Well after it was posted they lost the next five games, so this time around I’m not making any Earth moving claims. Rather I’m going to revisit my trade piece I did six weeks ago on potential trade options for Raleigh’s hockey team.
The wild card race is a toss-up and it can shake out either way. The Canes are playing well now but anything can happen, so we could be in a buy situation or a sell situation come March 1. Whichever situation we end up in, it’s clear what we’ll need to do.
Needs: Forward, Back-up Goalie
I’m not addressing the back-up goalie situation because I don’t believe we should trade for a goalie. Cam plays well when rested, so I’d rather see the Canes get a little confidence and throw Eddie Lack in to give Cam a break.
Rather, if the Canes find themselves in the position of buying, then they need to focus on a top six forward to gain more scoring consistency. Preferably get a guy who has some meat left on his contract because this team is being built for the long haul. Below are two guys being linked to the Hurricanes:
Asking Price: Young defenseman, top prospect, and high draft pick.
If that’s truly the Av’s line in the sand then the Canes have to look elsewhere. However, if you can negotiate a Duchene for a young blue liner and a high draft pick, then you make that deal. Colorado doesn’t need to move Duchene, so I don’t see them lessening their asking price, but the Canes should keep the door open for an off-season deal.
Asking Price: Young defenseman
Eberle has been linked to the Canes and he somewhat fits their needs. Eberle has had some good years but has regressed the last two seasons. The one thing I do not like is his two remaining years at $6M a year. That is a not a deal the Canes can absorb for maybe the upside of 50 points a year. However, if the Hurricanes see something in him that will make it worthwhile then they should take advantage of Edmonton’s need to shed salary(preparing to sign McDavid). Offer the Oilers Hayden Fleury or Roland McKeown and maybe a fourth-round pick if they start complaining. However, I’m sure they’re going to want either Pesce or Slavin which should be off-limits for a guy like Eberle.
I’d be surprised if the Canes make any moves of significance to bring anybody into town. But you never know. The need for a top-six forward will most likely be addressed in the off season.
Let’s say February is a real bust and the Canes start to look to next year, then the ability to move some of the unrestricted free agents should be addressed. However, unlike last year, the Hurricanes don’t have a whole lot of intriguing pieces to receive anything of significance in return. Of the six UFA’s heading into next season only Ron Hainsey, Derek Ryan, Jay McClement and Viktor Stalberg (maybe) have any real value. Moving Ryan isn’t an option as the Canes need to sign him to a multi year deal in the off-season, but Hainsey, McClement and Stalberg could be moved.
Hainsey is a solid D-man that playoff teams would like to add for their push to the Cup. I don’t think expectations should be anything more than a mid to late round draft pick. A deal would be beneficial for the player and the organization: Hainsey finally gets on a playoff team, and his roster spot can be filled by Hayden Fleury or Roland McKeown for extended playing time.
Jay McClement and Viktor Stalberg are interesting pieces. Both are solid 4th line players who can give you some upside, but are not consistent in the stat sheet. McClement has played some time on the penalty kill so there’s a little marketability with him. The Devils trade of Vernon Fiddler for a fourth-round pick may have set the market for this type of player. Personally, I was shocked the Devils got a fourth-round pick but I guess that could bode well for the Canes. Best case scenario is you trade both of them and get a couple picks between the fourth and sixth rounds…maybe. Developmentally wise, moving McClement and Stalberg would open up spots to give Phil DiGiuseppe another shot and allow Lucas Wallmark to come up from Charlotte and get some playing time.
As long as the Hurricanes are in striking distance, I think they won’t send off any pieces. If they hold on to these players, it’s not the end of the world because you aren’t passing up any potential franchise changing pieces.