Trevor van Riemsdyk is almost set to return to the ice after undergoing shoulder surgery in May. What will the Carolina Hurricanes do on defense when he returns?
The Carolina Hurricanes may have a problem. This problem, however, is a good problem. The Hurricanes and their defensive depth will be at the forefront, especially when Trevor van Riemsdyk returns. The team will have options, but how will they maneuver the defense so van Riemsdyk can get playing time?
As mentioned in a previous article, I stated that the Hurricanes might be forced to move van Riemsdyk in a trade due to the abundance of young defenseman the team has. What if the Hurricanes want to keep van Riemsdyk?
This would make one of the four left-handed defenseman a healthy extra. Jaccob Slavin obviously stays in the lineup as there is no moving him anywhere. Jake Gardiner is also a lock to stay on the defensive pairings. This comes down to Haydn Fleury and Joel Edmundson.
Edmundson’s play to begin the season has been surprising. He has been solid defensively and has shown some flashes on the offensive end. Edmundson isn’t known for offense by any stretch, but in the first few games he has made an impact on that end despite it not showing on the stat sheet. He has hit posts and has had some quality chances but have resulted in nothing yet.
Fleury has started the season very well. He has the slight edge over Edmundson as of now in terms of play, but will a slight edge keep him in the lineup? Like Edmundson, Fleury has had a couple of good scoring chances that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He also hit the post on a shot and had a grade-A opportunity foiled due to a broken stick on a slap shot.
Where Fleury has edged out Edmundson is on defense. He has been very sound on defense putting himself in near perfect position seemingly all the time. For example, Fleury was the defenseman on a two on one where the puck leaked Petr Mrazek after a shot and Fleury was there to clear it away.
More from Cardiac Cane
- 2023 Southeast Rookie Showcase: Takeaways from the Canes’ Strong Showing in Florida
- Week Two Coverage Of College Hockey In NC
- Derek Stepan Ends His On Ice Career As A Hurricane
- The Southeast Rookie Showcase Will Be a Good Look at Carolina’s Future
- Noesen Ready To Provide Depth For Canes
You haven’t seen a lot of mistakes from Fleury, but there was a big mistake made by Edmundson in the game against the Washington Capitals.
Edmundson had a costly turnover that led to a goal by Garnet Hathaway of the Washington Capitals. He had the puck along the boards and sent a weak pass around the slot where Hathaway took the puck and cashed in. The Hurricanes eventually won the game in overtime, but mistakes like that can be costly.
Joel Edmundson has been solid for the Hurricanes and probably will stay on the second defensive pair with Brett Pesce. Although Fleury has been playing well, the Hurricanes have no other choice, but to make Fleury the teams seventh defenseman. And to have Fleury as the seventh defenseman puts the Hurricanes in a great spot just in case something happens.
Question for CC Readers: Who should Trevor van Riemsdyk replace on the Carolina Hurricanes defensive pairs?