Two Moves The Hurricanes Need To Make Else The Trade Deadline Passes As A Bust

The Canes have a wealth of players with contracts coming due in the near future. There are also several other players with contracts not matching their value for the the team. Both are going to require a sweetener, but if both remain the trade deadline will have passed and the trade season will have been a bust for the Canes.
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Every Carolina Hurricane fan has been pulling for Jesperi Kotkaniemi this season. Not every Canes fan has been pulling for Tony DeAngelo. Despite their play being wildly opposite of their support from Canes fans, it would be hard to see this year's trade deadline as anything other than a bust for Carolina if both Kotkaniemi and DeAngelo remain here in Raleigh.

February was much better to Jesperi Kotkaniemi than was January and December put together. With three points, including a goal, it was his best month of the season and perhaps the improvement from -10 to -8 was the most impactful for the Hurricanes. Still, Kotkaniemi has unarguably not had the season anyone expected from him, yet he is still pulling the minutes of a much better player.

What Carolina could do with Kotkaniemi remains to be seen and we are all on the outside looking in at this point. Perhaps Canes GM Don Waddell is able to pull off a trade, or pull the Hurricanes into a trade that would net value from Kotkaniemi. There are teams needing a player with 10 goals and 11 assists over 61 games to round out a fourth line, but not many. Carolina did just pick up a draft pick as part of the Lyubushkin deal , so that might be used to sweeten the pot in a deal that sends the forward to a team with a Jesperi Kotkaniemi sized hole in their roster.

On the other hand, Tony DeAngelo has, when called on for limited use, actually played well beyond his numbers recently. Even this ardent anti-DeAngelo Caniac has to recognize that. Overcoming the early season foibles, DeAngelo has improved from an NHL worse +/- at one point to -7 and has been 0 or better in that column in his last 5 starts. He also has 10 points (3 G 7A) for his 27 games this season

As it stands, DeAngelo is going to continue to be a spot starter at the very best here in Raleigh, and his contract (remember Carolina picked up the tab for the money he lost leaving Philly) is not worth the limited play he has seen. Unlike Kotkaniemi, DeAngelo has taken advantage of his showcasing and the Hurricanes can hope to net more from a move on him than what might have been expected at the beginning of the season. Again, it will take a draft pick or perhaps a player to get anything of real value from a player all set for the KHL in October 2023, but Tony DeAngelo has certainly made it easy for himself and Carolina to do so.

If both Kotkaniemi and DeAngelo remain in Carolina, I cannot see this trade deadline season anything but a bust. And for oddly different reasons. DeAngelo has played too well to be a well paid spot starter, and Kotkaniemi has been too much of a disappointment for his minutes. To boot, too many Hurricanes adding value have contacts coming due in the near future to keep them on the team, and keep the beloved cap space Carolina insists on keeping. One or the other needs to be moved, if not both. Tony DeAngelo has certainly made it easier to make that move using his play to do the talking, while Jesperi Kotkaniemi has taken a different tact. Which one pays off, and how? We will all know on Friday March 8th.

At this point, no one really knows what will happen with the Cane and the trade deadline. Those that do are not telling either. All of the time and energy spent on the subject could be for naught, or we might all be right in some way or the other. The more likely of the two is the former not the latter. No one can be certain what the trade deadline holds for the Hurricanes. Not the so called, self proclaimed experts, and not those of us out here throwing darts at a board. It would behoove EVERYONE to remember that. This is all a game, centered on a game, and anyone taking it so seriously that they have to show themselves while claiming to be an expert needs to check themselves at the door.

To make sure you don't slip up at the deadline, Canes fans will want to sign up for FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook now so they don't miss out on their free $200! Betting in North Carolina doesn't launch until March 11, but FanDuel and DraftKings will each award you a free $100 if you register now, then each will also give you an extra $200 bonus just for betting $5 on the Hurricanes next week! Sign up for FanDuel through this link to claim up to $300, and then also head over to DraftKings for up to $300 more through this link today before the offers expire!