Before the NHL shutdown, the Carolina Hurricanes had been acclimated to a new look franchise post the NHL Trade Deadline. Part of that transition was the acquisition of Vincent Trocheck; a move that could pay dividends for Carolina.
Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell is either an unrelenting wizard in his negotiating, or an unapologetic thief, and it’s time for the NHL to accept that.
The Hurricanes were wrought with injuries this season. Dougie Hamilton, the team’s best defenseman and one of the leagues prominent offensive forces at that position, went down with a leg injury. Brett Pesce soon followed. Waddell addressed that need by getting two for the highly touted D-men in this year’s trade deadline pool; Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen.
What wasn’t expected, however, was Waddell capping the deadline day with Vincent Trochek. That should have never happened; but that the Caniac’s stars it did.
Trocheck is kind of the perfect player to acquire at this point. He is young, but not too young; able to have experience and upside. He is talented, and easily a top tier player, but doesn’t command a top-ranked salary for the other players at his position.
Trocheck is a wealth of potential and production, and his role with the Hurricanes is one that should be ever-changing; allowing the player to adjust to the needs of a team that could always use the scoring depth. In his 7 NHL seasons, he has continually proven to be a valuable NHL asset.
He has compiled just over 280 points in over 475 games, making Trocheck a reliable point-getter at a position that so relies on that skill. In his six full seasons playing with the Florida Panthers, Trocheck was one of the teams, underrated performers.
Compiling over 50 points in three seasons; the only three seasons the Pittsburgh native played over 70 games, Trocheck tallied a career-high 75 points in 2018. These three seasons, undoubtedly speak to the player that Trocheck could be consistently; the player that Caniacs and Don Wadell hope he can become.
As an offensive Centerman, Trocheck boasts an all-around skill set. In those three seasons, he recorded more than 20 goals in each and averaged around thirty assists in for those years. This is about where many projects the 26-year-old to settle in as an NHL contributor a 60 point player who is responsible in every area of the ice.
What is important to note about Trocheck, more so than just what he does in an offensive capacity, is what he does in the locker room. It was widely repeated; the Panthers locker room was going to miss the presence of Trocheck as a leader. This is a value that is difficult to quantify, but a value that the Hurricanes brass has always thought very highly of.
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Head coach Rod Brind’Amour has formed a career on some of the best leadership skills the game has ever seen. The Hurricanes locker room has always been built around the commitment to chemistry and playing the game the right way. Players like Justin Williams and Jaccob Slavin have proven that.
Vincent Trocheck was a masterful addition and added some youthful experience to a forward group that could always use the offensive prowess.
When the NHL season returns, or if it does, Trocheck will have every opportunity to be the kind of impact player many NHL fans know he can be. His steady offensive presence and leadership capabilities make his contribution to this team a necessity if they are to be successful in the long term.
His future seems like its brightest days are ahead, and the depth and talent on the Hurricanes roster means that he will have every opportunity to make the most of that talent. There is no doubt that he will be an important contributor moving forward.
A 60-point s a year player with potentially a decade left in his career, and a team with depth and talent like the Hurricanes; Trocheck and Carolina could be a match made in hockey heaven.
And Don Waddell may finally get his due after all
Question for CC Readers: When it is all said and done, will Trocheck be Remembered as a Florida Panther, or a Carolina Hurricane?