Carolina Hurricanes: What the team needs this Christmas

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 22: Santa Claus reacts as Victor Rask
BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 22: Santa Claus reacts as Victor Rask /

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and here at Cardiac Cane we thought we’d spread the Christmas cheer on this wonderful day. So sit back, grab a drink and enjoy as we bring a festive take to our Carolina Hurricanes.

It’s been an interesting season so far for the Carolina Hurricanes. We’ve had winning streaks, we’ve had losing streaks, we’ve had good and bad goaltending, Sebastian Aho’s record-breaking point streak to open the season, and a myriad of injuries, bad decisions and missed opportunities.

It’s therefore the perfect time for a reset – to take stock of the season thus far, and to look ahead to the coming months with festive positivity. The team here at Cardiac Cane has come together to answer three Christmas-themed questions, which allow us to reflect on what we’ve seen, and what we want to see for the remainder of the season for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Christmas is a time for giving – what gift would you give to Rod Brind’Amour this Christmas?

A stiff drink could have been in order; so too could a thesaurus, to help change up some of his post-game quotes. However, I eventually decided to go with the traditional gift of a child’s toy:

"I would buy Rod a new magic 8-ball. This is clearly how he decides his lines, and I fear his current one may be broken. ‘Should I put Andrei Svechnikov with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen? ASK AGAIN LATER!”"

Omar seemingly has very deep pockets, going by his choice. Perhaps he too has a copy of Grays Sports Almanac?

"For Christmas I am giving Rod Brind’Amour the gift of a lifetime. He better get ready to go where there aren’t any roads, because I am getting him a Delorean! That way he can go back in time and bring back Rod Brind’Amour in his prime. Or maybe bring back Justin Williams in his prime. Or Curtis McElhinney when he was young and not so easily injured. Or Scott Darling when he was averaging 0.926% with Chicago? Maybe go into the future and see exactly what he needs to do to end this playoff drought, or at least who would score in a shootout. The possibilities are endless."

Anthony has the right idea. If you’re going to give a gift, make it a good one:

"I would give Rod Brind’Amour the gift of Vladimir Tarasenko. A proven superstar talent that Raleigh has never seen before. This should make Rod’s job much easier. Throw em on the wing with Sebastian Aho and watch the goals pile in."

Erik wants to give Coach Rod not one, but two presents. Which is cheating, and I’d severely reprimand him, but I like the sound of these gifts. They would make for a spectacular Christmas:

"I would give RBA the desperately needed gift of a Right Shot Forward with a scoring touch. Either Kasperi Kapanen or Wayne Simmonds, preferably both. Kapanen would be the first line RW and Simmonds the second. This would instantly give the Canes legitimate playoff hopes and be only a move away from a good chance at being a top two team in the Metropolitan Division."

Todd, meanwhile, clearly wants to clone Sebastian Aho. Or does he actually want Ryan Nugent-Hopkins?

"The Canes and Brind’Amour are in desperate need of a smooth-skating center who can create opportunities for himself and his teammates. The team has been offensively-challenged for a decade, but this is one of the most anemic goal-scoring squads in franchise history."

Imagine how good this Carolina Hurricanes team would be if Rod Brind’Amour actually received all these gifts?

Which player on the Carolina Hurricanes needs a Christmas break the most?

I am obsessed with statistics, and there’s one that particularly bothers me:

"Jaccob Slavin deserves a rest. He’s carried the team defensively, seen his ice time increase by an average of 50 seconds per game above last season, and as a consequence of being on the ice for a losing team a lot, has picked up an ugly +/- rating. There have been many Kings – Elvis, Anze Kopitar, Jesus – but Jaccob Slavin is a King among men on this Canes team, and he more than anyone deserves to put his feet up for a few days."

Peace and love at Christmas time from Omar, who is a true and proper fan of the Canes:

"Scott Darling. He needs a serious Christmas break from everything. Especially this fanbase. He is a good guy in a tough position where nothing is working for him and a playoff deprived fanbase is throwing all their problems on him. He needs a nice Christmas break in Chicago to remind him that once upon a time he was loved by fans who are now discovering what a relationship with Cam Ward looks like."

Erik, not content with stuffing a turkey this Christmas, has given our rookie coach a right royal stuffing. It’s hard to argue some of it, but the signs are there that Rod is finally getting the hang of this coaching malarkey:

"I’d say RBA needs a Christmas break. He’s taken a lot of heat and rightfully so. His lines have often not made sense and it has carried over into his shootout lineups. There seems to be a lack of accountability in the locker room from the coaching staff. RBA needs some time off to rest, recover, and recharge."

Todd went for a guy who edged himself into Calder talk for all of one week, who did score a goal recently and who must feel like Superman right now:

"Warren Foegele needs a break. Any kind of break. After getting two goals and an assist in the third game of the season, he tallied just one of each in the next 26 games and compiled a 22-game (and counting) pointless streak as of the 4-1 loss to the Maple Leafs on Dec. 11. A gifted point producer throughout his minor league career, he has yet to find his niche for the Hurricanes on a team that desperately needs offense."

Anthony agreed:

"The player that needs a good Christmas break the most would be Warren Foegele. Skates his tail off every shift and has find it tough to be rewarded in the points department. Have a great break, be jolly, come back and light it up like earlier this year."

I’m going to be completely unbiased and say that Foegele has worked hard, Coach Rod is focussed, Darling is broken, but that Jaccob Slavin is indeed the person who deserves time off the most. He’s been an absolute horse this season for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Who from the Canes is on Santa’s nice list, and who is on his naughty list?

Perhaps it’s the cold weather outside, but I struggled to stay positive after the recent spate of losses by our beloved Carolina Hurricanes. So I wore my Noah Hanifin hoodie to warm me up, while cursing Dougie Hamilton’s name:

"Dougie Hamilton is getting coal this Christmas. No doubt he’d find the idea of receiving a present that’s millions of years old very exciting, but Dougie cost this team Noah Hanifin, and he’s done next to nothing to make up for that. He needs to wise up, sharpen up, and show us what he’s capable of asap, else he’s going to lose the support of Canes fans in the not-too-distant future."

Omar also wants to give coal to Dougie Hamilton. Should he be worried?

"Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, and Andrei Svechnikov have surpassed Santa’s Nice list. They officially work in Santa’s Workshop creating GOALS. Michael Ferland, Jaccob Slavin, Calvin de Haan, and Curtis McElhinney should all look forward to nice presents under the tree from Santa. On the flip side, Justin Faulk, Dougie Hamilton, Brock McGinn, and Phil Di Giuseppe shouldn’t bother reaching into their stockings because the only thing they are going to find is some serious COAL. Maybe that can take that and turn the C into a G and try to get back into Santa’s good graces. And if they were extra good, they might find their way back into my good graces too."

Anthony decided to make Svech the villain, which he must surely be in the eyes of several goalies around the league:

"Petr Mrazek and Curis McElhinney make the nice list. Giving the Canes solid goaltending for the majority of the year and usually giving them a chance to win games has been something that has not been seen in Carolina for some time. The season would likely be a wash already if not for these guys. Andrei Svechnikov is on the naughty list just for what he has done to opposing goaltenders the past couple of weeks. Blowing by Shea Weber and beating Carey Price on the backhand for a highlight goal and absolutely sniping one past the Coyotes’ goaltender was just mean, Svech."

Erik was absolutely nowhere near either myself or Omar, yet came to the same conclusion about Hamilton:

"Is there any other choice for the nice list than Sebastian Aho? Maybe Svechnikov as these two players have been the limited bright spots for the meddling Canes. Naughty list… Dougie Hamilton all of the way. He’s been soft, lacked a scoring touch, and has been the same Dougie Hamilton that saw him traded by the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames. Seems like he has already received his lump of coal in the form of third paring time over the last week or so."

Todd doesn’t like traditional Christmas films. He’d rather watch the classic children’s animated film, Turbo. Credit to Todd for not piling in on Dougie:

"Teuvo Teravainen would be on anybody’s nice list because of his unselfishness. He is second on the team with 15 assists through Dec. 11 after leading the team with 41 last season. The naughty list would have to include goalie Scott Darling, whose lack of confidence earned a trip through waivers and then to Charlotte, where he was the highest-paid player in the AHL."

And with that, the team here at Cardiac Cane wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Next. Canes prospects show future is bright. dark

Question for CC readers:

What do YOU want the Carolina Hurricanes to receive for Christmas?