April 7, 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Carolina Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller looks on during the second period against he Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Greetings Canes fans! Yesterday the Hurricanes announced the signing of defensemen Mark-Andre Gragnani. The former 3rd round draft pick signed a one year, two way deal with the Hurricanes. Is this our replacement for Bryan Allen? I doubt it but it shows that the Canes are continuing to try to improve the structure of the team. As far as the pursuit of Shane Doan, it appears he has pushed his deadline back to July 16th and has expressed interest in four teams which apparently does not include the Hurricanes. So this leads back to question that has been asked several times “What is the game changer?” The only answer we hear is Jordan Staal. I’ve got it! Jordan Staal is a huge game changing player. He was a good start to what many believe was the beginning of a busy summer in making the necessary roster moves. This will help the Canes to make a run at the playoffs. As we all know, when you get in the Stanley cup playoffs anything is possible.
Maybe the Canes front office is content with the team they have on paper and are comfortable with what they have on the ice. All we can do is go by what we hear. The last information I heard was that they were looking for defensemen and possibly an additional forward. I understand they were leaning towards acquiring a player via trade but the fact of the matter is that a majority of the NHL teams want Jeff Skinner and/ or Justin Faulk involved in any possible trade. There isn’t much left on the Hurricanes roster, other than those two, that would have other NHL teams pulling the trigger on trading with the Canes. This is why I have spent the summer going over free agency options for the Canes. With a trade, you have to give something up to get something. With free agency all you are giving up are the green backs, the all mighty dollar, the Benjamin’s. At one point this summer the Canes were willing to spend money in free agency when they submitted offers to Parise and Suter’s agents. They did open up their pocket book by signing Jordan Staal to a lengthy contract, although I find it hard to believe that they didn’t account for that money prior to offering contracts to Parise and Suter.
So this leads us to where we are now. It sure has been a roller coaster of an off season and its only mid-July. We went from Jordan Stall, to striking out with Suter and Parise, to walking away from the Rick Nash Sweepstakes, to saying goodbye to Bryan Allen and Derek Joslin, to showing interest in Shane Doan. Whew, did I miss anything? Is this what Canes GM Jim Rutherford meant when he said “The perception about the Hurricanes bringing Jordan Staal in has made a difference in free agents picking the Hurricanes to come too.” In all honesty I don’t think there were NHL teams fighting for Gragnan i’s services. I believe it was a conservative move and a move to possibly let him continue to develop in Charlotte. Only then we will see if he can contribute to the Canes blue line.
So I ask you the following, ”What is your perception of the Hurricanes now? Are you comfortable if the Canes don’t make any other moves prior to the start of the season? Or do you think we need to improve on the blue line? Or is there another need we should address?” Feel free to send me your responses via twitter @Caniac_John .
I am interested to hear what you have to say.
Well Caniacs, if you want to get away from the heat and enjoy an evening of family fun don’t forget to stop by the PNC Arena on July 20th for the fifth annual Canes summer fun fest. The party starts at 5:30 and it will be inside this year. As for this Caniac, I will be on vacation for a few weeks so enjoy the dog days of summer. I look forward to updating you with some great Hurricanes news in a few weeks. Only 93 days until the puck drops in Winnipeg!!!!