Carolina Hurricanes: Said it best by saying nothing at all


For what profit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his soul?

The 2019 NHL Trade Deadline came and went with the Carolina Hurricanes standing pat, in spite of what many armchair General Managers and prognosticators thought. General Manager Don Waddell made the bold, yet respectable, decision to ride the hot hand down the stretch, and keep one of the league’s best second-half teams together for the playoff push.

The decision was not made due to lack of talent and options on the market; with names like Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Wayne Simmonds up for grabs, there were many solid choices for the team to choose from. So why weren’t there moves made to “strengthen the team”?

I used “strengthen the team” in quotes deliberately, due to the fact that Carolina Hurricanes Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour has gotten his team to buy into his methods and the chemistry on the ice is clearly visible. The team has developed a chemistry on the ice that goes beyond the ridiculous surges and lighthearted jesting between teammates during interviews. It’s a chemistry that involves covering for each other’s mistakes, and rallying together in times where they normally would collapse.

The standard complaint from fans is that the team lacks a true number 1 center. Yet that complaint can not be made without ignoring the fact that Sebastian Aho has proven himself to be a great number one. The counter argument to that would have been for the team to acquire Matt Duchene from the Ottawa Senators. While Duchene is a great center, he brings with him the baggage of being a selfish and self-serving teammate, as indicated by his handling of the Avalanche situation and role in the Sens’ infamous Uber video. A player like that can disrupt the chemistry of any team, and delay development.

While adding a player like Mark Stone would have been nice the 8-year, $9.5 million AAV deal that he negotiated with the Golden Knights would have hamstrung the Carolina Hurricanes down the line, similar to the way the Jordan Staal contract is now where the services rendered are not worth the price paid. That Stone contract is $9.5m AAV until he is 35 years old, and with his better days likely behind him that will be a huge albatross for the team holding it.

Other fans would say that the Carolina Hurricanes should have acquired Wayne Simmonds for “grit”. What is grit? Does it mean Simmonds would fight? I always laugh when middle-aged men (myself included) say a team is soft or lacks “grit” while sitting on their couch dusting Doritos crumbs off their hockey sweater and reminiscing about how tough they are when they play beer league. Playoff Hockey is not known for its fighting anymore – over the past four playoff years there have been only 36 fights. There is hardly a need for “grit” there. Five years ago I would have been all on board for a Simmonds trade, but at this point in his career you are simply trading for an older, more expensive Micheal Ferland.

Which brings us to the team not moving on Michael Ferland! I will preface this by saying Ferland is a solid hockey player, and rawbone tough. However, he is not a player I would want to see the team invest in long term – or at least, not at the amounts people have been talking about. Having never played a full 82-game season, Ferland’s physical style will inevitably catch up to him leaving the team to carry a bad contract if he is signed to an exorbitant AAV. However as for right now, the team made a wise choice in not moving him. This is the most complete team the organization has iced in many years so why mess with it?

Stanley Cups are not won at the trade deadline, and if we’re to be completely honest as fans this team is nowhere near the caliber of a Stanley Cup team this year. Advancing to the second round would be a gross over-achievement. Since the Carolina Hurricanes will potentially be skated out as cannon fodder for the Tampa Bay Lightning, or at best the Islanders where they will have to crack Mitch Korn’s goalie puzzle, beating either of those teams 4 out of 7 games is a tall task. But let’s not worry about that just yet.

dark. Next. Home crowd could boost the Canes' playoff push

For the first time in many years post-trade deadline, the Carolina Hurricanes are trending upward. With a dynamic young team in Raleigh and the cream of the AHL crop in Charlotte, the organization has a bright future. Mortgaging the future for a quick fix in this case would be like stopping at Robert Kraft’s “Massage Parlor” on your way home to Scarlett Johansson. A stupid and potentially toxic move. So with the drama of a trade deadline behind us, it is time to hunker down and ride these last 6 weeks out hoping they are just a warm-up for some long overdue playoff hockey in Raleigh.