Carolina Hurricanes: Why Brett Pesce is irreplaceable

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Brett Pesce is the Canes’ best RHD

On a team featuring fellow righties Hamilton, Justin Faulk and Trevor van Riemsdyk, it’s amazing that Pesce is one of the names being bandied about in trade talks. Make no mistake – Pesce is this team’s best right-handed defenseman, despite having two flashy offensive dynamos in Faulk and Hamilton.

We know this because Pesce has proven many times that he’s capable of playing quality top pairing minutes, which you simply don’t get to du unless your coach sees you as being the best option. You also don’t lead your team in short-handed ice time unless you’re considered the best on the team defensively.

Pesce’s stats also back up our hypothesis.

While not renowned as an offensive contributor, only Dougie Hamilton has more goals from the blueline for the Carolina Hurricanes this season. Pesce is level with both Jaccob Slavin and Justin Faulk with five goals – a career high – and has done so in nine less games, and all at even-strength.  Considering that Slavin and Faulk are expected to score, and receive considerable power play time, it’s mightily impressive that Pesce has taken this step.

Pesce blows his fellow Canes defensemen out of the water with his plus/minus record – he is +18 on the season, with his closest rival on the Canes’ blueline having just a +3 record. Say what you want about how flawed the plus/minus stat is, but that’s quite the achievement. Another crucial stat in which Pesce excels is blocked shots; he sits just one behind Jaccob Slavin for the team lead, and would lead were it not for those nine missed games. Our under-rated big-money UFA signing from last summer, Calvin de Haan, is a renowned shot stopper, but even he has less blocks to his name than Pesce.

Brett Pesce brings under-rated offense, outstanding penalty-killing, and puts his body on the line for the team. He brings more to the team than any other RHD on the team.