The Carolina Hurricanes have faltered quickly during the end of October; should they be seeking help in the wings this early?
The Carolina Hurricanes are currently facing a difficult set of circumstances during October’s final stretch. After a truly magnificent start to the season, Carolina is returning to earth. Despite their dominant win over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canes are proving the frailty that some expected heading into the 2019-2020 season.
There is little reason for panic; the season is still young, and the Hurricanes hot start put them in great position for this sort of inevitable problem. What is concerning, however, is the potential for this rough patch to be extended, and to begin eating into the playoff hopes for this group.
This sort of adversity will often breed a hope for action. Fans will look to management or the coaching staff to make noticeable changes in hopes of righting the ship quickly. The question becomes; do the Canes have to adjust course, or simply power through the rough waters?
It is no secret that Carolina has been in the market for added depth on the wing; and a time like this breeds speculation aplenty amidst those avid rumors. Players like Jesse Puljujarvi, and Jamie Benn have been the focus of such speculation, but there is perhaps a better option for this team in need of a spark.
That player may be Jason Zucker. This trade seems the most likely- more likely than some of the other suggestions- because of how disappointing the Minnesota Wild have been. The team currently stands at last in the Central Division, and their six total points since the start of the year is tied for second worst league wide.
Zucker is an interesting case to consider for the Carolina Hurricanes. He is still young at only 27 years of age, and already boasts three goals in ten games for the Wild so far this season. Add in the fact that Zucker has put up over 20-goals in four out of five seasons playing at least 50 games, culminating in a 30-goal season in 2018, and Zucker becomes an increasingly intriguing acquisition.
This move, to some, seems to be a lateral decision for the franchise. Don Waddell clearly looked to address the offensive concerns in the offseason; acquiring players like Erik Haula, and Ryan Dzingel to fill that void.
Zucker seems to be more of the same. Even if you appreciate his talent, is it really fair to say that Zucker is a tier better than Dzingel? This is a decision that only the Carolina Hurricanes can make, but it seems that not pulling the trigger would a greater benefit to the team in the long run.
Regardless of Waddell’s decision in this trade, building this team through adversity is what matters. The odds of Zucker having the impact that Nino Niederreiter had after joining the team post all-star break is very slim; while Haula seems to be doing a great Nino impression this season, delivering early in his Carolina tenure.
Many would agree that, unless the trade offer is one that Carolina simply couldn’t refuse, the team should focus their efforts on building the group they have. This challenge is one that should be delegated to the coaching staff now. Waddell did his job in the summer, he sustained the talent he had, and built upon it to mask its shortcomings.
But what do you think CC readers? Should the Canes go after Jason Zucker? Should they hang tight and push through the adversity? Is there a different trade you think they should make? Maybe for a better player?
Let us know! And, as always, Go Canes